Obstetric and Reproductive Health Research

The overall aim with our research is to improve health for women, mothers and children, not only during the important perinatal period but also in the long term, a core theme being short- and long-term follow-up of children after different intrauterine and peripartum exposures. More specifically, we focus on youth’s health, sexually transmitted infections, gender-based violence, human reproduction, improving the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for various conditions, while in parallel addressing breastfeeding, parenting and perinatal mental health. Special focus is given to research on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), both within Sweden and internationally.

The research group consists of 15 senior researchers, 8 of whom are professors and 8 of whom are senior lecturers.  We collaborate intensively within the group, other research groups in the Department and Faculty, as well as the Karolinska Institute and international centers. Our research methodology involves qualitative and quantitative methods, from laboratory work to clinical epidemiology, increasingly focusing on intervention studies, often in collaboration with other departments.

The group’s researchers contribute with several projects and three substantial biobanks.

In collaboration with other research groups within the Department of Women and Children’s Health, a biobank with blood samples from over 12 000 pregnant women has been established. (Uppsala Biobank for Pregnant Women, Prof. Ove Axelsson).

A clinical-epidemiological database that includes detailed information for about 55 000 children born in Uppsala University Hospital, is also available for analysis of relevant issues (Uppsala Mother-Child cohort, Prof. Ulf Högberg).

A perinatal mental health cohort of women followed with questionnaires from mid-pregnancy until their children reach the 11th year of their life (studies BASIC and U-BIRTH), has so far included 5 700 pregnancies. Relevant biological material (blood samples, umbilical cord blood samples, umbilical cord samples, placenta samples, amniotic and spinal fluid samples) is stored in a biobank.

Specific projects are described under the heading Projects.