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Research and You

You can make a difference.
If you are a patient at BC Women's, you and your baby may have a chance to participate in a research study.  When you participate in a research study, you are making an important contribution to the health of women and their families.

You can learn more about research studies that are looking for participants by clicking on the tabs below. 
Research Opportunities

Antenatal corticosteroids are a medication given to pregnant people who are at risk of an early delivery to help reduce the chance of breathing problems for their baby after birth. 

Navigating the Grey Zone is a project that aims to improve clinical practice guidelines of antenatal corticosteroid use during late preterm births.

The goal of the study is to find out if including a decision support tool in clinical guidelines will improve how doctors discuss antenatal corticosteroids with patients who might deliver at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. 

By helping doctors and patients communicate about the harms and benefits of antenatal corticosteroids, this project could promote fully informed and optimal use of a drug that can reduce breathing problems in newborns. 

We're looking for people who are:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Delivered a live neonate at 34+0 to 36+6 weeks of gestation at one of the participating hospitals (Surrey Memorial Hospital or BC Women's Hospital)
  • Speak English
  • Agrees to participate in the questionnaire during their first post-partum week (i.e. within 1 week post-delivery, including during their postpartum hospital stay)

Researchers at UBC And BC Women’s Hospital are using a new technology to look for signs of placental infection (AFII) in mother’s blood during pregnancy.  We are inviting people who are at risk of premature delivery to participate in this research study. 

Amniotic fluid infection/inflammation (AFII) is a strong risk factor for preterm birth. Antibiotics might prevent infection-related preterm birth but there is currently no way to detect these infections before birth. 

This project will measure inflammation in placental tissue and blood from mothers who have preterm deliveries. Samples from moms affected by AFII will be compared to those without placental inflammation using a very sensitive technique. We hope to identify markers of AFII in mothers’ blood. The study findings will then be used to develop a blood test that can identify AFII during pregancy and allow for early treatment. 

We are looking for people who are:

  • Pregnant with one baby
  • At risk for pre-term birth

The only requirement for participating is donation of a teaspoon of blood when blood is drawn as part of your care and a small portion of your placenta following delivery.  No additional specimens or tests are needed.  Women who are donating cord blood to CBS are eligible to participate.  

Interested patients may contact the study team by email at

One in five pregnant and postpartum people suffers from an anxiety disorder. However, these difficulties are not screened for, and little is known about the impact of screening on mental health. 

We want to learn more about the impact of screening for perinatal anxiety disorders on mental health outcomes. 

Perinatal anxiety disorders (AD) are associated with chronic negative health outcomes. There are evidence-based treatments available, but screening for perinatal AD is rare, leaving these individuals without treatment. Research indicates that screening plus individualized follow-up and referral allows the majority of perinatal individuals to access treatment. This study examines the effect of personalized perinatal AD screening, feedback, and referrals on mental health outcomes, treatment seeking behaviours, and use of mental health services.

We are looking for people who:

  • Are pregnant (28 weeks and beyond) or have given birth up to or including 12 weeks ago
  • Live in BC
  • Are fluent in English 
  • Are 18 years of age or older at the time of the study
Participation takes 45-75 minutes. You will be asked to complete one online survey at 6-12 weeks postpartum, and another 20 weeks later. Surveys ask about your background, mental health and reproductive history, feelings of anxiety, and other mental health symptoms. Some participants will participate in a brief conversation with a study team member.

  1. The online screening eligibility and intake form will require approximately 10 minutes of the participant’s time.
  2. The online baseline questionnaire (6-12 weeks postpartum) will require approximately 30 minutes of the participant’s time.
  3. The online follow-up questionnaire (20 weeks later) will require approximately 20 minutes of the participant’s time. 
  4. Participants in arm 3: Referral phone calls will vary in length depending on the level of symptoms of anxiety reported by the participant. They will likely last 10-30 minutes. 
Total: For participants in arms 1 and 2, approximately 1 hour of their time will be required. For participants in arm 3, approximately 1.5  hours of their time will be required.

Participants who complete the full study will receive $25 via e-Transfer. Those who complete a portion of the study will receive $15. 
Did you know that uterine cancer affects women and all individuals with a uterus, and when detected early, it can be cured by surgical removal of the uterus? 

Unfortunately, when women are diagnosed later, their chances of survival are decreased. Many risk factors of uterine cancer are reversable, but few are aware of them. Delayed diagnosis can be due to lack of recognition of symptoms. Delays in diagnosis are also associated with cultural, racial and socioeconomic factors.

We want to know how well women can differentiate between normal changes of reproductive aging and menopause from changes that may be early signs of uterine cancer. To do this, we are looking to recruit members of the community to share their lived experiences as they transitioned to menopause in a confidential, virtual interview. 

Identifying gaps in knowledge to raise awareness and help women identify early signs and risk factors for uterine cancer can reduce delays in diagnosis and lead to improved health outcomes.

To participate, you:

  • Must be over the age of 40
  • Must be able to read and verbally communicate in English
  • Must have access to the internet to partake in virtual interview and workshop process
You will first participate in a virtual interview, where you will be asked about your experience with menopause and reproductive aging, your experiences with the healthcare system, and your willingness to use digital health tools. The interview will be 30 minutes to 1 hour long. You will then be invited to an optional virtual workshop, where you can discuss common themes that came up during the interviews and provide feedback on a digital app and discuss barriers to using digital health tools. The workshop will be about 5 to 6 hours, including a complementary lunch. If you participate in the workshop, you will receive 50$, as well as a copy of Dr. Jerilynn Prior’s award-winning novel, “Estrogen’s Storm Season: stories of perimenopause.”  

Pregnant and lactating people are at higher risk of hospitalization and ICU admission. Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccination safety, effectiveness, and attitudes are particularly important for this group of people. 

Pregnant and lactating people are at higher risk of hospitalization and ICU admission. Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccination safety, effectiveness, and attitudes are particularly important for this group of people.

Currently, there is a major knowledge gap with regard to the use of COVID-19 vaccines in this population. To address this knowledge gap, we are conducting this research and creating this vaccine registry.

We are looking for people who are:

  • Age 19 and older
  • Currently pregnant, recently pregnant or lactating individuals 
  • Pregnancy will or has conclude(d) after March 1, 2020
Participants will complete surveys regarding COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, health experiences and pregnancy outcomes.  The expected time commitment is 5-20 minutes every 2 months, for up to 14 months. There are no known benefits of participating in this study. The information gained could potentially benefit pregnant people in the future. 

Learn more:


Formal vaccine trials typically do not include people that are pregnant. This research will help develop guidelines for the best delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy for both the birthing parent and the baby.

We know that birthing parents and newborns require special care due to increased risk of respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Due to this increased risk, it is now being recommended that all pregnant women and pregnant individuals receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The purpose of this study is to better understand the immune response after receiving a vaccine during pregnancy.

We are looking for people who are:

  • Currently pregnant and have scheduled to or have been vaccinated 
  • Currently pregnant during the pandemic and not vaccnated
  • Currently lactating and scheduled to or have been vaccinated
  • 19 years of age or older
  • Able to communicate in English
  • Registered to deliver at BC Women's Hospital
You will have a maximum of 8 study visits at BC Women’s Hospital scheduled around your delivery and your vaccine dose schedule as part of this study. Each study visit requires about 10-15 minutes of your time. During study visits, the samples that we intend to collect include birthing parent blood, cord blood, infant blood and breast milk.

You will not receive any direct benefit from participating in the study. However, knowledge gained from this study may benefit pregnant women and pregnant individuals in the future by helping to determine optimal use of COVID-19 vaccinations during pregnancy.

Research and You

About consent

Your written consent is always required before you take part in a research study. Before you make your decision:

  • it is important to be informed
  • ask questions to understand the research study
  • take the time you need to think about it
  • and talk it over with a family member or your doctor if you need to.
  • each study is different and a study team member will explain the purpose of the research, the benefits of the study, possible risks, and what is supposed to be learned. 

Thinking about taking part

If you are taking part in a study remember:

  • it is always your choice
  • you can change your mind at any time
  • you will always receive the best possible care whether or not you are in a study
  • information about you is only shared with your consent
  • information collected about you is used only for the research study you consented to participate in
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