Learn more about preterm birth, why it happens, it’s influence on future pregnancies, and what it means for you.


The reasons why some women deliver preterm while others deliver at full term remains poorly understood. The best treatments for preterm birth are also unclear in some situations. researchers are always trying to find better ways to do things: better medications for preterm contractions, better detection of preterm birth symptoms, etc.

As a preterm birth clinic patient, you may have the opportunity to become involved with some preterm birth research. This is purely optional and does not affect your clinical care in any way. Please talk to your doctor or a research assistant if you have any questions about these exciting opportunities!

By participating in a research study you have the potential to help yourself, your child, and future mothers like you. Depending on the study:

  • You can play a more active role in your own health care.
  • You can gain access to potential treatments before they are widely available.
  • You can receive expert medical care at leading healthcare facilities while participating in important medical research.


(1) Preterm Birth Biobank Study

Principal Investigator: Dr. Tracy Manuck

Brief Study Description: Women at risk for preterm delivery are asked to participate. Participation involves collection of clinical information and a small amount of your blood and cord blood/placenta at delivery. The goal of the study is to create a biobank of women at high risk for preterm birth, so that in the future we can study a wide range of outcomes related to preterm birth to learn more about this condition and better be able to prevent and treat it.

(2) Fetal Gene Expression Study

Principal Investigator: Dr. Neeta Vora

Brief Study Description: Women in preterm labor less than 34 weeks of gestation with a single baby will be asked to participate. Participation involves collection of clinical information and a small amount of your blood and cord blood/placenta and amniotic fluid at delivery. The goal of this study is to compare genetic changes between babies delivering early versus those delivering at full term.

(3) PROSPECT – Pessary Study in Twins

Principal Investigator: Dr. John Thorp

Brief Study Description: This is a nationwide study being conducted at 14 centers across the United States through the NICHD Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network. Women with a twin pregnancy who are found to have a short cervix during pregnancy will be asked to participate. Women will be randomized (flip of a coin) to receive vaginal progesterone, vaginal pessary, or a vaginal placebo (no active medication) to treat the short cervix.

Link to more information on this study at www.clinicaltrials.gov

Prematurity Prevention Clinic • 101 Manning Drive • Chapel Hill, NC 27514