World Maternal Antifibrinolytic Trial_2 (WOMAN-2)

  • End date
    Aug 20, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Updated on 4 October 2022


Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is responsible for about 100,000 maternal deaths every year, almost all of which occur in low and middle income countries. When given within three hours of birth, tranexamic acid reduces deaths due to bleeding in women with PPH by almost one third. However, for many women, treatment of PPH is too late to prevent death and severe morbidities. Over one-third of pregnant women in the world are anaemic and many are severely anaemic. We now want to do the WOMAN-2 trial to see if giving tranexamic acid can prevent PPH and other severe outcomes in women with moderate and severe anaemia.


Anaemia is a cause and consequence of PPH. A cohort study in Assam, India found that women with moderate or severe anaemia had a greatly increased risk of PPH. Women with moderate anaemia had a 50% increased risk, whereas those with severe anaemia had a ten-fold increased risk of PPH. Anaemic women may be more susceptible to uterine atony due to impaired oxygen transport to the uterus. Anaemic women experience worse outcomes after PPH. An international survey of 275,000 women found that severe maternal outcomes after PPH were nearly three times more common in anaemic than in non-anaemic women. Even moderate bleeding can be life threatening in anaemic women. Excessive bleeding after childbirth worsens maternal anaemia, resulting in a vicious circle of bleeding and adverse outcomes. Fatigue due to anaemia severely limits a mothers' wellbeing and her ability to care for her children. Despite efforts to prevent anaemia, many women labour with perilously low haemoglobin levels

Tranexamic acid (TXA) inhibits fibrinolysis by blocking the lysine binding sites on plasminogen. TXA reduces surgical bleeding and death due to bleeding in trauma patients. The WOMAN trial assessed the effects of TXA in 20,060 women with PPH. When given within three hours of birth, TXA reduced death due to bleeding by nearly one-third (RR=0.69, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.91, p=0.008). However, for many women, treatment is too late to prevent death from PPH. Most PPH deaths occur in the first hours after giving birth and women with anaemia are at greatly increased risk. Whilst there have been some trials of TXA for the prevention of PPH, most have serious flaws and none collected data on maternal health and wellbeing. There is currently no reliable evidence about the effectiveness and safety of TXA for preventing PPH.

The WOMAN-2 trial will determine reliably the effects of TXA in anaemic women who give birth vaginally.

Condition Intrapartum - Moderate and Severe Anaemia
Treatment Placebo, Tranexamic Acid
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03475342
SponsorLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Last Modified on4 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Women with moderate or severe anaemia (haemoglobin level <100 g/L or packed cell volume <30%) after giving birth vaginally where the responsible clinician is substantially uncertain whether to use TXA

Exclusion Criteria

Women who are not legally adult (<18 years) and not accompanied by a guardian
Women with a known allergy to tranexamic acid or its excipients
Women who experience postpartum haemorrhage before the umbilical cord is cut or clamped
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