About the P3 Study

Our research aims to help women have babies by choice, not by chance, to attain the best health they can before becoming pregnant, and to prevent poor pregnancy outcomes, particularly in women with unplanned pregnancies.

There are two main components to the P3 Study. The first is working with non-pregnant women to help them avoid unwanted pregnancies or to plan and prepare for the pregnancies they do want. The second is working with pregnant women to support those who are currently experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.

Avoiding unwanted pregnancies and planning for pregnancy

For most women there are times in their life when they want to avoid pregnancy, and times when they want to have a baby. When they want to get pregnant, there are some things that women and men can do to improve their health and the chances of a healthy pregnancy. This includes stopping smoking, reaching a healthy weight and taking folic acid. But not everyone knows about this and it can be hard to get the right advice at the right time. When they do not want to get pregnant, women need help to choose the method of contraception that suits them best, else they are at risk of having an unplanned pregnancy.

We plan to tackle both of these issues. We are testing a set of quick and simple questions to determine whether women are thinking about becoming pregnant in the next year. Doctors and nurses can then discuss with women either how to prepare for a pregnancy or which methods of contraception might be right for them. In this way pregnancy planning can be improved and unplanned pregnancies and abortions reduced.

To do this we are inviting 1000 women aged 15 and over to complete our online survey. We will follow these women up for a year, asking them to complete some questions again every 3 months. Women will receive an Amazon voucher for every survey they complete. We will be looking to see how many women become pregnant and whether these pregnancies are planned.

You can find out more about this part of the study, including whether you are eligible and how to take part, on the ‘Study Information’ tab.

While we are testing the questions we will interview women, doctors and nurses to find out how they would like to use them. For example, would women prefer to answer the questions themselves online (like in this survey) or to have the doctor or nurse ask them the questions face to face? We will also explore how doctors and nurses can use the questions to start a conversation around planning for or avoiding pregnancy, making this part of routine lifestyle checks.

Supporting women with an unplanned pregnancy

Despite everyone’s best efforts, unplanned pregnancies will always occur. We know that they are linked with poor outcomes, such as low birthweight, being born too early and depression after birth. We will work to find out how and why this is the case. Then we can design services to support women with an unplanned pregnancy to try stop these poor outcomes from happening.

To find women with unplanned pregnancies we will pilot the use of the ‘London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy’ (LMUP) in antenatal care at University College London Hospital (UCLH). The LMUP uses six questions to assess how planned or unplanned the current pregnancy is. To know how best to support women with an unplanned pregnancy we need to know how unplanned pregnancies are linked to poor outcomes. We will be using data we already have to explore this. We will use these findings, and interviews with women with unplanned pregnancies, midwives and doctors, to design services to meet the needs of these women. The aim of these services will be to prevent poor outcomes such as low birthweight.

Survey is currently closed.

Study Progress

Development of an integrated, community-based model combining contraception and preconception care

The Desire to Avoid Pregnancy Scale shown to be highly predictive of pregnancy

First paper from P3 Study published

LMUP Implementation Recruitment Progress

HUH recruitment


Recruitment at HUH is now closed.

UCLH recruitment


Recruitment at UCLH is now closed.

P3 Survey Recruitment Progress

12 months follow up

838/937 women

12 months follow up is now closed.

9 months follow up

935/965 women

9 months follow up is complete!

6 months follow up

884/995 women

6 months follow up is complete!

3 months follow up

913/1000 women

3 months follow up is complete!

2 week follow up

150/150 women

2 week follow up is complete!

1000/1000 women

Thank you to everyone who has joined the study – we now have 1000 women taking part in the study!

Participants & What They Say About Us