Premature birth service

About

Our prematurity service is provided at both Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea and St Mary's hospitals. The Trust’s prematurity clinics are amongst the longest established prematurity services in the UK. The clinics are staffed by doctors and midwives with a special interest in preventing preterm delivery. They are overseen by Professor Phillip Bennett at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital and Mr Tiong Teoh at St Mary’s Hospital, both of whom have international reputations for the prediction and prevention of preterm birth.

Conditions and treatments

Pregnant women who have previously experienced a premature birth (before 37 weeks) or a late miscarriage (after 14 weeks) are referred to the clinic after their dating scan. Women who have had some treatment to their cervix after an abnormal smear test or who have been told they have an abnormally shaped womb are also referred. We risk stratify patients based on their medical history and perform cervical length surveillance through ultrasound scans. Interventions include lifestyle modification, progesterone and cervical stitches.

Additional information

Clinical trials and research

Women are invited to participate in continuing research into the causes and mechanisms of preterm labour, and the clinics are closely affiliated with the parturition research group, led by Professor Bennett at Imperial College. We are currently recruiting women to a study in the prediction of early preterm labour (PEPTL) and VMe2. PEPTL is focused upon finding a marker in blood or urine which might show if women are at increased risk of early delivery. VMet2 investigates the bacterial flora present in the vagina and metabolites in the urine, vagina and blood for the prediction and prevention of preterm birth.

Further online resources