Miscarriage research projects
Tommy’s miscarriage research
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks. Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy with 1 in 4 women experiencing at least 1 miscarriage during their reproductive lifetime. This is a quarter of all mothers-to-be, a quarter of all families affected by loss. Tommy’s believes that the current situation can and must change – so in 2016, we opened the UK’s first national centre dedicated to miscarriage research. By finding the root causes of miscarriage, we can take steps to stop it from happening. We believe it is vital give parents-to-be the answers they need, so they are not left without reasons for their loss.
"There are people who say you can’t miss what you never had. They are totally wrong. The grief is instant, overwhelming and excruciating. You grieve for your unborn child, for yourself, for your partner. For several weeks, months even, we were consumed by intense heartache. We cried ourselves to sleep many nights."
Lewis and his partner Jules had three miscarriages before having a healthy baby girl under the care of a Tommy's clinic.
And yet it remains a shocking reality that under the NHS women will only be tested to find out why they have had a miscarriage after they have suffered through this 3 times in a row. 1 in 100 women experience recurrent miscarriage.
Miscarriage has long suffered from an attitude amongst the medical profession that some pregnancies are 'not meant to be' and therefore not worth spending time on. We refuse to accept this. It's not good enough. We know that half of all early miscarriages, for example, are not due to chromosomal abnormalities, but have underlying causes that we can cure.
Miscarriage research highlights
- The SIMPLANT trial is researching a drug that could increase stem cells in the wombs of women who have suffered recurrent miscarriage.
- We are testing fetal DNA to see if miscarriages happened for genetic reasons. This could help parents suffering miscarriage to find explanations for their loss.
- We are following up on studies that appear to show that damage to the DNA of sperm can more than double the risk of miscarriage.
- The CONCEIVE trial is looking to see if differences in women’s heart and blood vessels before or early in pregnancy can lead to miscarriage.
- The EPOS study is looking at over 1,100 women from 5 weeks of pregnancy through to delivery to help us understand why some women are more at risk of miscarriage than others.
- We are in the process of building Tommy’s Net, a platform that will help us to collect and store information from many different hospitals. By sharing information, we will be able carry out more effective research.
- Tommy’s has helped secure a £1.8 million National Institute of Health Research grant for the MifeMiso trial, which looks at the best way to medically treat miscarriage.
"Miscarriage is common and causes widespread devastation. At the Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research, we are determined to make a difference. The scientists and the clinicians from the three universities and the four trusts constitute a world class team. We are committed to understand the causes of miscarriage and find ways to prevent it. Tommy's investment in the new Centre is the best thing that has happened to miscarriage research. It will change many lives."
Professor Arri Coomarasamy, Director of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research