Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO)

This NIH-funded prospective cohort study is recruiting female residents of Massachusetts and their male partners via the Internet to study risk factors for delayed conception, miscarriage, and adverse birth outcomes. It is the first Internet-based fertility study in the United States. The study plans to enroll 2,500 couples and follow them for up to twelve months or until they become pregnant. Female participants are asked to complete a series of web-based surveys (every two months) and are given the opportunity to invite their male partners to complete a short baseline questionnaire. Female participants are randomized to receive a complimentary subscription to, a web-based software that allows them to record data on their menstrual cycles and fertility signs.

The primary exposures of interest are caffeine and alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, obesity, and medication use. Questionnaire data will be linked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health birth registry, which will allow the investigators to obtain additional data including preterm birth, low birth weight, preeclampsia, and other adverse birth outcomes. This study will assess the feasibility and validity of the using the Internet for epidemiologic research in the United States.

For more information, please visit the PRESTO participants’ website.


Lauren A. Wise, Sc.D., Principal Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Elizabeth E. Hatch, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Department of Epidemiology, BU School of Public Health

Kenneth J. Rothman, D.M.D, Dr.P.H., Co-Investigator
Department of Epidemiology, BU School of Public Health

Study Staff:

Amelia Wesselink, Research Assistant
Craig McKinnon, Data Analyst
Michael Bairos, Computer Programmer

Source of Funding:

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Study Period:

2013 to 2015