Our current research
Tommy's is funding many exciting research projects and clinical trials across the UK. We thought we'd share some of our ongoing research so you can learn a little more about where your fundraising could be making a difference.
We're creating the Tommy's Pathway
The Tommy's Pathway is a tool that's being designed right now. And your fundraising could over the next few years be helping to trial and roll out this tool across the country.
Why is the Tommy's Pathway needed?
There is a vast difference in the quality of care given to pregnant people in different parts of the UK, as well as in the rates of stillbirth and premature birth. These differences are partly due to differences in how care guidelines are being followed locally and the availability of resources. This is leading to worsening health inequalities.
The way risk in pregnancy is currently assessed is outdated. A checklist, which has remained unchanged since the 1970s, does not allow healthcare providers to accurately measure how high or low someone’s risk of poorer pregnancy outcomes is. It is inaccurate and therefore can result in more resource being given to those who don’t need it, and less being given to those who do.
We also know that we have a healthcare system where some people, particularly those from minority ethnic backgrounds and more deprived communities, have poor pregnancy outcomes. This is unacceptable.
Vaginal microbiome research
Why is this research needed?
1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss and many parents never find out why. Around half of early miscarriages happen because of chromosomal abnormalities in the baby, but in the rest, something else must be going on. Our researchers want to understand how the environment in the vagina might be leading to miscarriage.
Research into preventing and treating Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis (CHI)
What has our research taught us so far?
CHI is a rare condition in which the immune system reacts abnormally during pregnancy, damaging the placenta. This can cause inflammation and blood clots in the placenta, and prevent the baby from growing properly. In severe cases, it can potentially lead to stillbirth or miscarriage.
In women with a history of CHI, research has shown that treatment with drugs that reduce inflammation made CHI less severe and live birth 25% more likely, compared with just using drugs that reduce blood clotting or no treatment at all.
Our ongoing campaigns
What have we campaigned for so far?
Over the last year we've been campaigning the government for 5 key improvements in miscarriage care:
1. Support should be available after every miscarriage, not just after 3.
2. Mental health support should be available after each loss.
3. An end to the postcode lottery: tests and treatments must be standardised across the UK.
4. Higher risk women must get better care from the start.
5. All miscarriages must be recorded, so we understand the scale of the problem.