Frequently Asked Questions about research in pregnancy.

Taking part in a research study (or studies) is always entirely voluntary. You will always be provided with detailed information regarding an individual study before you are asked whether you would like to consent to take part. You will always be given time to consider whether you wish to participate.

If you decide that you do not wish to take part in a study, your clinical care will not be affected in any way. Once you decline to participate, you will receive all of the usual clinical care provided in line with local policies and guidelines. 

Yes essentially, it is safe to take part in research during your pregnancy. Every research study in the United Kingdom has to pass through stringent ethical approval - this makes sure it's safe for those people who choose to participate. Research ethics committees review research applications and give an opinion about whether the research is ethical. They look at things like the proposed participants and stand totally independent of the research sponsors (that is, the organisations which are responsible for the management and conduct of the research), funders and investigating academics.

Every research study is different. Some involve trying new drug treatments, others might look at interventions such as a particular package of support. Whatever the design of the study, as a participant you will be given all the information you need about the trial. You will be given time to consider whether participation is right for you, and should not feel coerced into taking part. If you decide you no longer want to be involved at any point, you can just choose not to - and this won't ever impact on any clinical care you receive.

Information about Research Ethics Committees

Yes, your information is stored and used in accordance to Good Clinical Practice regulations. Our work is also bound by the University of Edinburgh GDPR guidelines:

University of Edinburgh GDPR policies

You have the right to make the decision to withdraw from participation in a study at any time. When you consent to participate in a study, you will be provided with contact details for the research team. If you would like to withdraw, please contact the team at any point to inform them and the team will explain to you what will happen with your personal information. Your decision to withdraw will not affect the standard of clinical care you receive.

When you consent to take part in a study, you will be provided with contact details for the study team or a named research midwife. If you have any questions during the study period, please contact them directly to answer these questions. If your questions relate to a clinical concern or query about yourself or your baby, please contact us.

Our team is committed to making research in pregnancy inclusive.

Inclusivity statement