Clinical research is vital for the development of new and improved treatments and procedures for all our patients. Here at The Hewitt Fertility Centre we have a number of current research trials taking place that you can become involved in, we also have upcoming research that you may also be interested in.

If you would like to get involved in any research at the centre please contact us by:

Telephone: 0151 702 4123
Post: Scientific Administration Team, The Hewitt Fertility Centre, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, Crown Street, Liverpool, L8 7SS.

Current research

If you would like further information on any of the research projects shown below please contact our research nurse Deborah Coppin directly on 0151 702 4346 or email

  • Taking pART

    Understanding how people decide whether to consent to the use of their fertility data in research

    The main aim of this study is to find out how people who undergo fertility treatment in England make the decision to consent (or not) to allow their data to be used in infertility research. The study will use in-depth recorded interviews with three groups involved in the consent process – the women undergoing treatment, their partners and the clinic staff who explain the forms and ask for consent.

    Why are we doing the study?

    Research has shown that most children born after fertility treatment are healthy. However, we have less information about the longer term effects of fertility treatment on women and their children. As the treatments that clinics use change, it is also very important that we can continue to conduct research to find out about the health of children born as a result. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) collect data on all the fertility treatment conducted in the UK, and these data can be very useful for research. For example, it has been used to show that children born after IVF in Britain are not at greater risk of cancer overall. People receiving fertility treatment are asked to give consent to the use of these data in research studies, and currently around half agree. This means that researchers may be getting only half the picture.

    We want to find out how and why people decide to consent (or not) to their HFEA data being used in research. We hope that with better understanding of how people make this choice about consent, we may be able to improve consent rates – which would mean we have better data going forward. We want to speak to women and men who have had fertility treatment in the UK in the last 5 years.

    If you would like to find out more about this study please contact Dr Claire Carson on (01865) 289755, or you can email:

  • Endometrial Scratch Trial

    Endometrial Scratch

    The Endometrial Scratch trial is a randomised controlled trial aiming to assess the effectiveness of local endometrial trauma (also known as “endometrial scratch”) on In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

    1044 women will be recruited across the UK to be randomised to either receive the endometrial scratch intervention followed by “usual” IVF, or to just receive “usual” IVF. The pregnancy rates in each group will be analysed to assess if the endometrial scratch has a positive effect.

    The trial will start in July 2016 and recruit eligible women until December 2018.

    For more information, please contact Robin Chatters on 01142222969 or

  • The E-Freeze Trial

    Why frozen embryo transfer?

    Frozen embryo transfer breaks the link between ovarian stimulation and embryo transfer, giving time for the uterus to return to its natural state

    The idea for E-Freeze originally came about from some small research studies that showed that the pregnancy rates seemed to be higher for frozen embryo transfer than fresh embryo transfer.

    The research suggested that there may be a benefit to freezing embryos. For an embryo to grow it needs the right conditions in the uterus. Using frozen embryos, breaks the link that currently exists between ovarian stimulation and embryo transfer. When embryos are frozen, there is a short break in treatment, often 4 to 6 weeks and the uterus has a chance to return to its natural state.

    Whilst the research was suggestive of a benefit without, more research we cannot say which type of embryo transfer is better. E-Freeze is a large trial being conducted across the UK, with 1086 couples. It will help us to understand whether fresh or frozen embryo transfer is better for pregnancy rates and live birth rates or whether there is no difference at all

    For details of the research that led to the E-Freeze trial please see the research articles below:

    Evidence of impaired endometrial receptivity after ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization: a prospective randomized trial comparing fresh and frozen-thawed embryo transfer in normal responders.

    Evidence of impaired endometrial receptivity after ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization: a prospective randomized trial comparing fresh and frozen-thawed embryo transfers in high responders.

    Since the E-Freeze trial launched there has been further research into the comparison of fresh embryo transfer with frozen embryo transfer. Research, published last year, into infertile women suffering with polycystic ovary syndrome, found that frozen embryo transfer was associated with a higher live birth rate:

    Fresh versus Frozen Embryos for Infertility in the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

    Global Research

    Thinking big. E-Freeze is leading a global collaboration of fertility studies that will further understanding of IVF. Map of the world showing participating regions or countries. They are: Australia, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Netherlands, United Kingdom, the USA and Vietnam.

    E-Freeze is not just about the research being done in the UK. E-Freeze is leading a global research collaboration with 7 other studies around the world. The research being done now will help to inform the fertility treatment of the future.


    If you wish to take part in the study please contact Dr Claire Carson @