Women's Health

Obstetric research

Studies I can join

Can ultrasound detect negative outcomes for pregnancies affected by gestational diabetes?

Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes often give birth to babies that are larger than average. A larger baby’s shoulder can get stuck during delivery. Mothers/babies experiencing gestational diabetes are also more likely to have high blood pressure during pregnancy.

In this study, we are trying to learn whether a Doppler ultrasound can predict which babies are at increased risk of certain adverse newborn outcomes.

If you are a pregnant woman attending St. Michael's Hospital for your prenatal care and have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you may qualify for this study. Please contact the research team for more details.

Use of the hormone progesterone for pregnant women with HIV

Standard care for pregnant women living with HIV is to take anti-retroviral medication (drugs that are used to treat HIV infection). These drugs prevent parent-to-child HIV transmission and protect the mother’s health. In Canada, most HIV-positive pregnant women take these anti-retroviral drugs. However, research shows that taking anti-retrovirals during pregnancy may increase the chances of delivering too early and of having a baby with a low birth weight. Our research shows that the anti-retroviral drugs may cause a decrease in a hormone called progesterone that is naturally produced in high amounts during pregnancy and is very important for a growing baby. 

In this study, we are trying to learn whether taking a progesterone supplement during pregnancy might improve the chances of having a normal weight baby and may help avoid a pre-term birth. Progesterone supplementation during pregnancy is recommended by the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Canada. 

If you are a pregnant woman with HIV who’s taking antiretroviral treatment and attending St. Michael's Hospital for your prenatal care, you may be eligible for this study. Please contact the research team for more details.

Ontario Birth Study

Understanding the health of a mother and her baby over a long period of time, can help physicians and researchers understand  early-life risk factors that lead to health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The goal of the Ontario Birth Study is to develop a confidential database of mothers’ biological information from the duration their pregnancies. Physicians and researchers can use this database for future research on pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as diseases that affect both mom and baby’s health. A large long-term database of pregnancy health characteristics, will allow future experts to understand how disease from the start of pregnancy, through to the time of delivery and in the post-pregnancy period.

If you are a pregnant woman attending St. Michael's Hospital for your prenatal care, are 18 or older and in the early stages of your pregnancy (before 17 weeks of pregnancy), you may qualify for this research study. Please contact the research team for more details.