Take part in our research trials

Our lifesaving research could not take place without the women who take part in our research trials. Getting involved in research also gives women the opportunity to benefit from new tests and treatments.


We are investigating if it is possible to look in detail at your baby’s heart, brain, spinal cord, bones, kidneys and stomach before 18 weeks of pregnancy using new ultrasound techniques and 3D ultrasound scanning. We will perform 2 extra ultrasound scans of your baby between 12 and 18 weeks of pregnancy. To be eligible for the study participants must be aged over 18 years and more than 7 weeks pregnant. Please email [email protected] or ring 07518210305 to register your interest in taking part in this research.

EPOS study

The early pregnancy period is critical for pregnancy success. We are investigating the impact of early pregnancy events such as pain and bleeding on the future risk of miscarriage and risk of long-term pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and preterm labour. Women who are less than 14 weeks pregnant, aged between 16 and 50 years, with or without the pregnancy events described, are eligible to participate in the study. Participants are seen up to six times during their pregnancy where ultrasound scans are performed, and samples collected to screen for differences between women who do and do not have adverse pregnancy outcomes. For more information about the study, please email [email protected] or call the clinical research fellow on 07934920180. 

ASPIRE study

It has been realised that there are bacteria in all parts of our body and the word microbiome refers to the genetic material of these organisms. Currently it is not known whether an imbalance of this bacteria or the presence of a certain type is linked to miscarriage. We are investigating whether there is a normal early pregnancy and endometrial microbiome, and whether this changes in miscarriage. We are also looking to identify a better way to see if someone has miscarried because of a chromosomal issue. Those undergoing management of the miscarriage will have the tissue analysed for chromosome abnormalities and are welcome to receive the results if they wish. Please email [email protected] or ring 0203 303 5131 if you would like to find out more information.

PIEPE study

In a recent pilot study published in BMJ Open we showed that women who have miscarried or had an ectopic pregnancy have high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as anxiety and depression. We are currently analysing the data from the full study examining the psychological impact of early pregnancy events on both women and their partners. Our next study will be to examine the value of different treatment strategies to help women deal with the psychological consequences of early pregnancy loss. 


‘PUL’ (pregnancy of unknown location) is a phenomenon in early pregnancy where a woman has a positive pregnancy test but we cannot see where the pregnancy is with an ultrasound scan. The majority of women in this situation will sadly be undergoing a very early miscarriage but some will go onto have a healthy pregnancy. There is a period of uncertainty whilst the outcome of the pregnancy is determined. We are carrying out research that may help come to a diagnosis much earlier to better support women and their partners through what is an emotionally demanding time. If you would like more information, please contact [email protected]


We are investigating if maternal cardiovascular function prior to pregnancy, and also an adaptation of the mum’s heart and circulation to pregnancy impacts on pregnancy outcomes, specifically first trimester miscarriage, pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction. This study is now closed for recruitment, but for further information, please email [email protected].

Cell-free fetal DNA study

This project investigates whether analysis of cell-free fetal DNA could help us to ascertain genetic reasons for early miscarriages. Women with a diagnosis of recurrent miscarriage, threatened miscarriage, missed miscarriage or incomplete miscarriage are eligible to participate in the study. Please email [email protected] to register your interest in taking part in this research at this hospital.

Sperm DNA fragmentation study

This project investigates whether miscarriage could be caused by sperm DNA damage in the male partner of couples having investigations for recurrent miscarriage. Please email [email protected] to register your interest in taking part in this research at this hospital.

Immune phenotyping study

We are investigating whether adaptations of the maternal immune system could be implicated in patients with a history of recurrent miscarriage. Please email [email protected] to register your interest in taking part in this research at this hospital.

SuPPoRT: Stitch, Progesterone or Pessary

Women with a short cervix are at higher risk of having an early baby. This study in Tommy's London centre compares the effectiveness of three treatments at preventing premature birth in these women. Women will either be given a cervical stitch or 'cerclage' which is placed around the cervix, vaginal progesterone, or a pessary inserted into the vagina. If you are pregnant with one baby and have been diagnosed with a short cervix, contact Dr Natasha Hezelgrave at natasha.[email protected].


Women with a twin pregnancy are at a higher risk of preterm labour. This study at around 45 sites in the UK, including our Edinburgh centre, aims to find out whether the Arabin cervical pessary can prevent premature birth in women with a short cervix who are pregnant with twins. For further details, please contact Lorraine Adamson on 01312422696.

QUIDS study

This study is trying to see if a test called quantitative fetal Fibronectin (qfFN) can help clinicians tell which women with symptoms of premature labour are actually at risk of giving birth too early. The test involves the measurement of fFN in a swab taken at speculum examination (like a smear test), which is part of the assessment of a woman presenting with signs and symptoms of preterm labour. The amount of fFN present in the sample can be measured in an analyser that provides results in less than 10 minutes. The lower the concentration of fFN in the sample, the less likely preterm delivery is to occur. 

Currently, the fFN test which is part of standard care provides only a positive or negative result. The ability to measure the absolute amount of fibronectin is new and has the potential to more accurately rule out preterm labour.

The main aim of this research is to see if qfFN can accurately rule out spontaneous preterm delivery within 7 days of testing. We will use our findings to develop a decision support tool, to help women and clinicians assess how likely preterm delivery is, and decide whether to start treatment or not. 

To find out more or register your interest in taking part, please visit the QUIDS website.

We hope to have details of stillbirth trials taking place soon.

Pre-eclampsia and hypertension

PARROT trial

This study is looking at levels of a protein made by the placenta called Placenta Growth Factor or PlGF to find women at risk of pre-eclampsia. Women can participate if they are between 20 and 36 weeks pregnant and have suspected pre-eclampsia. We have now completed our recruitment for this study. 


This study is trying to find out if delivery in women with pre-eclampsia between 34 and 37 weeks of pregnancy reduces complications for the mother without harming the baby. This avenue will be compared to expectant management (or the 'wait-and-watch' approach) and delivery at 37 weeks. To register your interest in this trial, please call the Trial Coordinator Anna Placzek on 01865289733 or email [email protected]


PITCHES is a placebo-controlled trial looking at the effectiveness of a drug called ursodeoxycholic acid, or UDCA, in treating the liver disease intraphepatic cholestasis of pregnancy or ICP. Women can take part if they are suffering from ICP and are between 20 and 41 weeks' pregnant with a single baby or twins. To register your interest please call Anne Smith, the trial coordinator, on 01865289735 or email [email protected].


GOT-IT trial

A retained placenta (RP) is a complication after a normal birth, which affects nearly 11,000 women in the UK a year. This is where the placenta is not delivered straight away after giving birth.  It is a major cause of major loss of blood (postpartum haemorrhage) which can lead in the most serious cases to the death of the mother.

Usually the placenta is removed manually in a surgical procedure, which is painful and unpleasant. This study in our Edinburgh centre is a randomised, placebo-controlled trial will try to prove the effectiveness Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) - already a safe treatment for other conditions - for RP.