As new research on issues affecting high-risk pregnancies comes to our attention, we will post links to articles.

Outcomes from Research Studies


Progesterone and preterm birth prevention: translating clinical trials data into clinical practice -  Sought to provide evidence-based guidelines for using progestogens for the prevention of preterm birth (PTB).

Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)

Twin-twin transfusion syndrome - Sought to review the natural history, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment options for twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS).

Current Research Studies

The following Western Australian relevant research studies are being led by the Women and Infants Research Foundation.


Exploring the Genetics of Preterm Birth in Western Australian Families It is currently known that genes are associated with the risk of preterm birth. The best predictor of preterm birth is either having a previous preterm birth, or having a sister who has had a preterm birth.

Gestational Diabetes

The Cycle Study - Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects one in 12 pregnancies. If the condition is not managed well, there are serious health risks for both the mother and baby. For the mother there is increased risk of complications with the delivery and more chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the years that follow. For the child there is increased risk of developing obesity and diabetes later in life. Finding a way to prevent gestational diabetes will have profound benefits for the health of future generations.


Predicting Infection-Research Reports related Risk of Preterm Birth - Intrauterine infection is the major cause of preterm birth prior to 34 weeks’ gestation. The severity of the inflammatory response to the infection is dependent on the nature of the infection - the microbiological load, type and characteristics of the organism, duration of exposure - and the response of the maternal fetal immune systems.

Prevalence of Ureaplasma and Candida spp. during pregnancy in Western Australian women (UPCAN Study) - Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity within Australia. In ~40% of cases of preterm birth, bacterial infection within the amniotic fluid is present. It is believed that these bacteria originate within the vagina and migrate to the womb, either before or after fertilisation has occurred. In particular, a bacteria called Ureaplasma is frequently found in preterm pregnancy tissues, yet  current information regarding its presence within the vaginal tract of Australian women during pregnancy is lacking.

The Fetal Skin and Preterm Birth - Intrauterine infection, especially in those deliveries that occur prior to 32 weeks gestation, is a leading cause of preterm birth and fetal injury. Although regulated cytokine expression is a normal part of pregnancy, recent data demonstrate that pathological intrauterine inflammation results in fatal brain injury, even when the inflammatory insult is insufficient to induce preterm labour. Accordingly, identifying and characterising the inflammatory pathways activated by intrauterine infection is key to the prevention of preterm birth and fetal injury.


Placental Research - Studies the formation, barrier function and pharmacological treatment of the placenta and its role in inflammation-driven preterm birth and other pregnancy complications.