The WILL study: When to Induce Labour to Limit risk in pregnancy hypertension

Research Details

Research area

Women's Health and Maternity

Status of the Research:

This research study is looking for volunteers to take part

Lead Research organisation

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

Description of volunteers required

  • Pregnant women nearing ‘term’ gestational age (defined as 37-42 weeks) and diagnosed with high blood pressure

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Research Overview

The WILL study is looking to enrol pregnant women who have high blood pressure (hypertension) during their pregnancy. High blood pressure increases the risk of harm to the mother and to her baby, and the WILL trial is being conducted to see when it is best to deliver your baby in order to minimise this risk as much as possible.
In the UK, up to 55,000 pregnant women each year have high blood pressure during their pregnancies. It is not known whether delivery should be started before the onset of spontaneous labour that usually occurs at term, defined as 37-42 weeks (within which is the ‘due date’ of 40 weeks of pregnancy). Early planned delivery at term (at 37-38 weeks) may reduce stillbirth, and complications for the mother (such as separation of the placenta from the wall of the womb or development of ‘pre-eclampsia’, a more concerning form of high blood pressure that is associated with protein in the urine or other problems for mothers and babiesand possibly Caesarean delivery. However, early planned delivery at term may also cause harm, including newborn health
problems such as breathing or other difficulties that may require the baby to need care in a newborn unit.
Our study is looking at the outcomes experienced by 1,080 pregnant women with hypertension who have been pregnant for at least 36 to 37 weeks to see if delivering their baby between 38 weeks plus zero days to 38 weeks plus 3 days gives a better outcome for the mother and her baby than does waiting for at least 40 weeks for the women to deliver. At the moment, there is no conclusive evidence to say which delivery time is best. Different doctors do different things and this is why we are doing the WILL study.

If you do decide that you wish to take part in this study, please contact us directly at or 01535 292838.