Touch to call us on 03457 30 40 30

Completed research projects

Abortion terminology: views of women seeking abortion in Britain

Controversy exists as to whether 'abortion or 'termination of prgnancy' should be used by health professionals during interactions with women and in published works. Self administered anonymous questionnaires were distributed to women attending 54 abortion clinics in Scotland, England and Wales during a 4 month period in 2015. The Study concluded that most women seeking abortion did not find the terms 'abortion and 'termination of pregnancy distressing. When given a choice of terms, more women who expressed a preference chose 'termination of pregnancy'.
Sharon Cameron, Patricia A. Lohr, Roger Ingham

View the published abstract

Outcomes with dilatation and evacuation with and without feticide: a service evaluation

Feticide with intra-cardiac potassium chloride is routinely performed at BPAS before D&E at 22 weeks gestation or greater and in some cases at lower gestations. This service evaluation will assess D&E outcomes with and without feticide using a "before and after" or double cohort design.

In the first half of the year, BPAS' D&E service will continue as usual and in the second half, feticide will be discontinued. Data will be collected on outcomes, including safety and efficiency, of all D&E procedures. In addition, we will survey women and staff about the acceptability of feticide and their experiences of an options about its use. This project is funded by the Society of Family Planning.
Patricia A. Lohr, John Parsons, Chelsea Morroni, Jeanette Taylor

Research concluded and abstract awaited

International observational e-registry on the use of Dilapan-S/Dilasoft osmotic dilators for cervical priming prior to termination of pregnancy

The aim of this study is to obtain more data on the optimal time to leave osmotic dilators in situ, the number of dilators to use at different gestational ages, when termination of pregnancy can be provided, and the impact of these parameters on clinical outcomes. We hope to confirm that the use of Dilapan-S/Dilasoft meets the expected efficacy and safety outcomes and to confirm the recommendations provided in the product instructions for use. This will be done by collecting data in an e-registry from a range of providers in different countries. As the study is international and multicentre, we will be able to compare the clinical practice of using dilators within the other study sites to learn more about the impact of different clinical practices on clinical outcomes.

Research concluded and abstract awaited

Prospective observational study to assess clinical follow-up and outcomes of pregnancies exposed to ellaOne

EllaOne (ulipristal acetate 30 mg tablet) is a selective progesterone modulator with antagonistic and partial agonist effects at the progesterone receptor. It is licensed for use as an oral emergency contraceptive that can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse.

During the clinical development phase, only a small number of pregnancies occurred following administration of ellaOne leading the European Medicines Agency and US Food and Drug Administration to request additional information on the potential effects of ellaOne exposure on pregnancy course and outcome. The manufacturer of ellaOne, HRA Pharma, have implemented a prospective multisite observational study (in the US and UK) to collate data on pregnancies that are carried to term and delivered, those that miscarry, and those that are terminated. BPAS’ participation will be limited to providing data on women in the latter two groups.

Research concluded and abstract awaited

RU OK? The acceptability and feasibility of remote technologies for follow-up after early medical abortion

The study tested the effectiveness and feasibility of remote communication technologies to increase follow up after early medical abortion. Women were randomised to 'remote' or 'clinic' follow-up. 'Remote' follow up incorporated a low sensitivity pregnancy test, online symptom questionnaire and text or telephone follow-up by non-clinical staff 2 weeks after treatment. 'Clinic' based follow-up included ultrasound scan 1 week after treatment. Rates of complications, acceptability and preferences were compared.
Bracken H, Lohr PA, Taylor J, Morroni C, Winikoff B.
View the published abstract

Disposal of fetal tissue following elective abortion: What women think

This qualitative study explored women's understanding of disposal of fetal tissue following elective abortion. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with women who have undergone an elective abortion up to the legal gestational age limit of 24 weeks. This study was funded by the Society of Family Planning.
Patricia Lohr, Mandy Myers, Jo Wade, Naomi Pfeffer, BPAS
View the published abstract

Modelling prenatal Oogenesis

The processes of human egg formation, survival, differentiation and selection before birth can all affect an adult's fertility and reproduction at a later date. The immature eggs present before birth are much smaller than the mature egg, that is ovulated monthly by an adult woman, and there are many more of them. Most of these immature eggs do not survive beyond birth and they may start to develop abnormally during the processes of egg formation, for reasons that are not clear. The aim of this research was to improve understanding of this process and to develop new and better methods to study immature eggs in laboratories. Women attending for termination of pregnancy were given the opportunity to donate their fetal tissue to be used for research purposes. The human oocytes were studied in vitro to identify factors affecting their survival and differentiation.
Geraldine Hartshorne, Clinical Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School.
View the abstract

Surveillance of surgical site infection after vasectomy at BPAS

This study is one of the first surveillance studies to compare post vasectomy infection rates in different settings. It was conducted by bpas in collaboration with the nursing research department of DeMontfort University, Leicester. The aim of this study was to identify the incidence of surgical site infection (SSI) and associated risk factors following vasectomies. SSI data on vasectomies undertaken by bpas using 10 and 30 day post-discharge follow up was collected.
Michael Nevill, Jo Wade, Mandy Myers, Patricia Lohr, BPAS. Judith Tanner, Debra Khan, University of Leicester.
View the published abstract

Seasonal variations in abortion

Seasonal variations in abortion have been reported in many countries, including the UK, United States of America and Australia. This study explores - over a seven year period (2002-2008) - seasonality in conception, help seeking, abortion, and gestational age at abortion.

The investigator analysed several anonymous data sources including bpas and the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes in Lifestyles in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the factors contributing to seasonality in abortion.

It is hoped the findings will further our understanding of the phenomenon and contribute to the better targeting, tailoring and timing of prevention of unwanted conceptions and wider service provision.

The study is funded by the Medical Research Council.

Wendy McDowell is located at the Centre of Sexual and Reproductive Health Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Young women, sex and choices: teenage pregnancy research on under-18 abortions, and repeat abortions, in London

This research was commissioned by the Young London Matters Teenage Pregnancy Work-Strand group of the Government Office for London with BPAS as a participating study site. The purpose of the research was to identify factors associated with the disproportionately high proportion of under-18 conceptions that end in abortion in London, and underlying factors associated with the disproportionately high under-18 repeat abortion rates in London. The research explored young women's attitudes towards sexual behaviour, contraception and abortion decision-making with groups of young women in schools and young women who had made the decision to terminate pregnancies. The aim is to improve the sexual health and personal relationships of young Londoners, and inform future commissioning and provision of services (contraception and sexual health, targeted youth support services, extended services, sex and relationships education).
Lesley Hoggart, Policy Studies Institute
Executive Summary
Full report - Young people in London: abortion and repeat abortion

Client survey on home use of misoprostol

168 women undergoing early medical abortion at bpas were surveyed about their opinions and experience of home management of early medical abortion (EMA) with mifepristone and misoprostol. Conclusions of the survey were that home management of EMA was acceptable to most women surveyed and for many, was preferable to a clinical setting.
Ann Furedi, Patricia Lohr, Jo Wade, Laura Riley, BPAS
Read the full abstract

The concept of nursing in abortion provision, and how nurses felt about the abortion limit and viability

Gallagher, K., Porock, D., & Edgley, A. (2010). The concept of 'nursing' in the abortion services. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 66(4), 849-857. This qualitative study explored the perceptions of nurses who work in abortion services. Nine nurses working in three different abortion clinics in the United Kingdom were interviewed. The study illuminated the importance of empowering nurses to treat clients as individuals and suggested that defined roles for nurses in abortion services would enable them to perform that role more effectively.
Katie Gallagher, University of Nottingham
Read the full abstract

Evaluation of Early Medical Abortion (EMA) Pilot Sites

This multi method study was commissioned by the Department of Health to assess the safety, effectiveness, and acceptability of early medical abortions in non traditional settings. Two pilot sites, two "traditional sites" and bpas as an independent sector site were evaluated. No discernible differences were found at the sites. The study highlighted the need for detailed guidelines and the importance of skilled nursing staff to any expansion of EMA services.
Roger Ingham Centre for Sexual Health Research, University of Southampton
Read the full report

Second trimester abortion in England and Wales

This study was a questionnaire survey that examined the reasons that women give for delays in seeking and obtaining an abortion. 883 women having a 2nd trimester abortion at non-NHS units, including bpas, were surveyed. The key findings were that no single reason emerged for the delay, most of the delay occurred before the request for an abortion although the delay was partly service related. Concerns about what happened during an abortion and complex relationships with partners also played a role.
Roger Ingham, Ellie Lee, Steve Clements and Nicole Stone Centre for Sexual Health Research, University of Southampton
Read the full report

Support before and after termination and miscarriage for pregnant teenagers in Coventry

This exploratory study investigated the availability and quality of support before and after termination of pregnancy and after miscarriage in young women in Coventry. Interviews were conducted with 15 professionals, and five young women. The report discusses influences on young women's decision making and makes recommendations for future policy and practice.
Geraldine Brady, Geraldine Brown, Gayle Letherby, Julie Bayley and Louise Wallace Applied Research Centre for Sustainable Regeneration, Coventry University
Read the summary

Contraceptive use by women requesting abortion

In 1999 BPAS conducted a survey with 2,140 clients to determine whether or not women requesting abortion had used a method of contraception at the time they conceived and if they usually used a method of contraception. Findings support other studies that show a large percentage of women used a method of contraception at the time they conceived.
Ann Furedi, BPAS
Read the full report

Becoming a father/refusing fatherhood

Using qualitative methodology data was gathered from 12 focus groups run with men who have had a variety of different fathering experiences (n=50). The study was conducted in 2005-2006 and explored the moral sources of paternal responsibilities and rights. Findings show that overall, men from a variety of differing fathering backgrounds share a common set of moral intuitions about fatherhood. The author discusses how exploration of men's normative constructions of fatherhood may inform the philosophical/ moral debate around this topic.
Jonathan Ives, Centre for the study of Global Ethics, University of Birmingham
Read the full report

BPAS publications, presentations and reports

A comparison of transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasonography for determination of gestational age and clinical outcomes in women undergoing early medical abortion.
Lohr PA, Reeves MF, Creinin MD
Contraception. 2010 Mar;81(3):240-244. Epub 2009 Nov 14.
Click here for the full abstract

Developing a Model for Infection Control in the Independent Healthcare Sector in the United Kingdom.
Nevill M, Myers M, Wade J, Lohr PA (2009)
Poster Presentation. APIC 36th Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting – The Power of Collaboration. Fort Lauderdale, FL. June 7 – 11.
Click here to view poster

Developing Online Learning to Improve Access to Infection Control Education
Nevill M, Stewart L, Myers M, Wade J, Lohr PA (2009)
Poster Presentation. Infection Prevention Society Annual Conference – Infection Prevention 09, Harrogate. September 21-23.
Click here to see the poster 

Abortion Review Special Edition: Papers from BPAS conference 2008.
Visit the abortion review website

Screening for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea in abortion services – an opportunity not to be missed.
Melanie Rosenvinge, Tracey Forsyth, Michael Pollard, Wendy Majewska, Amanda J. Myers, Mark Pakianathan, Patricia A. Lohr.
Poster presentation at Second Joint Conference of the British HIV Association (BHIVA) with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. 21 April 2010, Manchester, England.
Click here for the abstract 
Click here to see the poster 

A successful outcome of HIV testing in south London termination of pregnancy services.
Melanie Rosenvinge, Wendy Majewska, Tracey Forsyth, Elizabeth Vaceral, Kamal Ohja, Michael Pollard, Amanda J. Myers, Patricia A. Lohr, Mark Pakianathan.
Poster presentation at Second Joint Conference of the British HIV Association (BHIVA) with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. 21 April 2010, Manchester, England.
Click here for the abstract
Click here to see the poster

The impact of contraceptive counselling over the telephone on uptake of family planning methods in women seeking consultation for induced abortion.
Lohr PA, Forsyth T, Plummer C, Myers AJ, Field R
Click here to read the full abstract