European Spontaneous Preterm Birth Congress

On behalf of the local organizing committee, we welcome you to the 4th European Spontaneous Preterm Birth Congress (ESPBC) on September 20-22, 2023 in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

Organized by stichting Stop te vroeg bevallen & Amsterdam UMC
ESPBC 2023 will start in

Accreditation NVOG: 15 points

Objectives ESPBC 2023

4th European Spontaneous Preterm Birth Congress

  1. To bring basic scientists and clinicians interested in preterm birth together at one conference to discuss the progress that has been made in the field of preterm birth and to develop our goals in the near future.
  2. To bring young investigators into contact with established investigators, in order to support collaboration between groups and maximize the full potential of our bright young investigators.
  3. To give a platform to investigators to present their newest data.
  4. To debate controversial themes within the field of preterm birth.
  5. To discuss potential new interventions.
  6. To discuss the development of an artificial womb for extremely preterm born neonates.

About This Event

We are honoured to host this successful bi-annual congress that is focussed on prevention and treatment of spontaneous preterm birth, the largest contributor to short term and long term morbidity and mortality for children.

Join us for three days of presentations on mechanism of disease, results of the latest RCT’s and current state of the art treatment presentations by international experts focussed on spontaneous preterm birth.

We are honoured to host this successful bi-annual congress that is focussed on prevention and treatment of spontaneous preterm birth, the largest contributor to short term and long term morbidity and mortality for children. The congress is traditionally held in Europe, however, previous editions of the congress were visited by approximately 350-400 leading investigators and clinicians from all over the world. The congress will be 3 days, covering the themes basic science on preterm birth, novel tests for early prediction of preterm birth, new clinical trials for prevention and treatment, and future directions of science and clinic.
Haarlem is a charming medieval Dutch city, close to our international airport of Schiphol and only 20 minutes by train to our capitol Amsterdam. This Dutch city offers visitors a lively cultural scene, loads of atmosphere, excellent shopping and dining – and is close to our wonderful Dutch beach.

Check Schedule

How to get to Haarlem

Reaching Haarlem from Schiphol Airport
If you are arriving in the Netherlands through Schiphol Airport, you can go to Haarlem with either train, bus or taxi. If you want to go by train, you need to change trains at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station. The train station is in the arrival terminal. A more convenient route is with Bus 300 (“Zuidtangent”) which runs every 10-15 minutes between Schiphol and Haarlem Central Station. Buses are signposted when you exit Schiphol Airport, and the Zuidtangent is a big red bus with number 300 on the front. Taxis are also found in front of Schiphol Plaza.

Reaching Haarlem to/from Amsterdam Central
Trains run direct from Amsterdam and Haarlem Central Station, usually every 15 minutes.

For latest train timetables and fares, check out

For latest public transportation timetables and fares, check out

The congress venue
The Phil is located in the middle of the beautiful centre of Haarlem. It is a 14 minute walk from the Haarlem Central Station. The nearest bus stations are Haarlem Centrum/Verwulft (7 min walk) or Haarlem, Naussaulaan (7 min walk). For more information on how to get there, please consult google maps for walking/public transportation routes to the Phil Haarlem.


Philharmonie Haarlem
Lange Begijnestraat 11
2011 HH Haarlem


Stichting Stop te vroeg bevallen
Amsterdam UMC

Prof. Dr. M.A. Oudijk
Professor of Obstetrics, Amsterdam UMC
Chairman of the Fetal-Maternal Medicine board of the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Prof. dr. Dr. E. Pajkrt
Professor of Obstetrics, Head of the Department of Obstetrics, Amsterdam UMC

IBAN: NL57 INGB 0007 7536 59
Chamber of Commerce: 68683278
RSIN: 857548049
Postal address: Keizersgracht 343C, 1016 EH Amsterdam



September 20th - 22th, 2023
8.30H - 17.30H


ESPBC Office
P +31205663654

Visit Amsterdam

If you arrive several days early, or stay the weekend after the ESPBC meeting, you can visit our capital Amsterdam with its world renowned van Gogh museum, Rijks museum and Anne Frank house, catch a canal cruise in the city center or visit the authentic wind mills at the Zaanse schans.

Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands! These days the city has a population of just over 790.000 inhabitants and is the largest city in the country. Amsterdam is located in the province ‘Noord-Holland’, situated in the west. It is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, receiving more than 4.5 million tourists annually. It is very unique for its large and untouched historic center. It has a rich architectural history, dominated by water. It is a meeting point for all different cultures around the world and has a welcoming attitude towards visitors. Well known for its museums, red light district, coffee shops but also the great variety of eating & drinking places and night life.

Visit Amsterdam

Phil Haarlem

Enjoy high quality theater, music & more in Stadsschouwburg & Phil Haarlem.

From classical quartets to rock bands and ballet, Stadsschouwburg & Phil Haarlem presents a riveting pallet of non Dutch spoken cultural events. Our theatre and concert hall, located in the historical city centre of Haarlem, both offer a high-quality programme of theatre, dance and music.

Visit Phil website


The ESPBC meeting of 2023 will be organised by the Dutch Preterm Birth research group, led by Eva Pajkrt and Martijn Oudijk, both employed by the Amsterdam University Medical Center. This research group, is internationally renowned for performing a large number of clinical trials on prevention and treatment of preterm birth, within the Dutch NVOG consortium.

Prof. dr. Martijn OudijkProf. dr. Martijn Oudijk
Prof. dr. Martijn Oudijk
Prof. dr. Martijn OudijkCongress President
Professor of Obstetrics, Amsterdam UMC
Chairman of the Fetal-Maternal Medicine board of the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Prof. dr. Eva PajkrtProf. dr. Eva Pajkrt
Prof. dr. Eva Pajkrt
Prof. dr. Eva PajkrtCongress President
Head of the Department of Obstetrics, Amsterdam UMC



Ben Willem Mol
Monash University
Melbourne, Australia

Gyamfi Photo (1)

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman
Department Chair, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences
Professor, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology
UC San Diego Health Sciences


Bo Jacobsson
Professor, Head of Perinatal Research Laboratory at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg

PB Bennett Photo

Phill Bennett 

Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist

Institute of Reproductive & Developmental Biology (IRDB), Imperial College London

David MacIntyre

David MacIntyre
Professor of Reproductive Systems Medicine,
March of Dimes European Prematurity Research Centre, Imperial College London

Ramkumar Menon

Ramkumar Menon
Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Perinatal Research Division, University of Texas Medical Branch, USA



Hanns Helmer
Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Clinical Department of Obstetrics and Feto-Maternal Medicine
Medical University of Vienna

Marian Kacerovsky

Marian Kacerovsky
Head of the Perinatal Center, Hradec Králové, czech republic


Amanda Roman
Associate professor, Thomas Jefferson University, USA


Janneke van ’t Hooft

Janneke van ’t Hooft
Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS)
Stanford University School of Medicine, USA



Catherine Williamson
Professor of Women’s Health at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant in Obstetric Medicine at Queen Charlotte’s, St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals.

Isabelle Dehaene

Isabelle Dehaene
Consultant Obstetrician
Ghent University Hospital, Belgium

Andrew Shennan

Andrew Shennan
Professor of Obstetrics
Kings College London

Maria Goya

Maria Goya
Senior consultant in Maternal-Fetal Medicine (Preterm Birth
Obstetric and Gynecology Department
Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.

Elena Carreras i Moratonas

Elena Carreras i Moratonas
Head of Department of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Reproductive Medicine and Gynecologic Endocrinology
Vall d’Hebron. Barcelona.


Hoffman Matthew Head shot

Matthew Hoffman
Vice Chairman at Christiana Care Health System, Delaware, USA


Vasso Terzidou
(affiliate) Consultant obstetrician at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Imperial College Parturition Research Group

Ina Schuppe Koistinen

Ina Schuppe Koistinen
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden


David Aronoff
Chair, Department of Medicine Indiana University, USA


Sabrina Badir

Sabrina Badir
Clinical researcher Pregnolia


Tracy Manuck
Professor, University of North Carolina Dept. of Ob/Gyn, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine


Dr. Clara Calvert 
Centre for Global Health
Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh

HALL Mugshot 2

Megan Hall
King’s College London

Headshot MSSM

Helen Feltovich
Professor of Obstetrics, Mount Sinai


Pihla Kuusela
Department of Gynecology and obstetrics
South Älvsborg Hospital, Borås
Gothenburg University, Sahlgrenska Academy


Anoop Rehal
Consultant Obstetrician
University Hospitals Birmingham



Get fascinated

Haarlem: a cozy historic center, famous museums, stores, restaurants and the beach around the corner. Welcome to the city that has everything. On the one hand, the hidden streets of bygone days and trendy concept stores. On the other hand, the medieval church and waterfront cafes. From Dutch masters to French star chefs. From antique market to pop concert.

So, fancy an unforgettable day out? Visit Haarlem and thus be surprised by the sights, boutiques and picturesque squares, by the old and contemporary artists,
the burgundian atmosphere and the rich history.
In Haarlem you have everything together.

Visit Haarlem


Here is a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the conference.

  • When will conference program be announced: March 2023.
  • Registration: When will registration be opened: March 2023.
  • Is there a discount: there will be a special registration price for PhD students.
  • What do registration fees cover: attendance for the scientific program, coffee and tea breaks, drinks and lunches, and the social program conference dinner on Thursday 21 September 2023.

If you still have unanswered questions after reading this page, please contact us.


Have a look at the event schedule

9 am - 5 pmPreterm Birth – Mechanism of disease
9:00 - 9:15Opening ESPBC – Eva Pajkrt and Martijn Oudijk
9:15 - 9:40The pregnancy microbiome and its role in preterm birth – Ina Schuppe Koistinen
9.15-10.30The Vaginal Microbiome – Phil Bennett and David Macintryre
9:40 - 10:05Beyond composition; mechanistic insights into how vaginal microbiota shape preterm birth risk – David MacIntyre
10.05 - 10.30Regulation of host microbial interactions at the maternal fetal interface – David Aronoff
10.30 - 11.00Coffee
11:00-12:30The Cervix – Eva Pajkrt and Maud van Zijl
11.00-11.20Multi-modality imaging of cervix to predict PTB – Helen Feltovitch
11:20-11:40Cervical stiffness measurement to predict PTB – Sabrina Badir
11.40-12.00Development of Rapid miRNA based predictive tests for cervical shortening and preterm labor – A. Vasso Terzidou
12.00-12.20Cervical length measurement – Pihla Kuusela
12.30 - 14.00Lunch – Poster session I
14:00 – 15:45PREBIC session – Ram Menon and Cynthia Gyamfi
12:30 - 14:00I-SPY lunch meeting
14.00 - 14.05Introduction
14. 05 - 14.30Unanswered questions about antenatal corticosteroids – Cynthia Gyamfi Bannerman
14.30 - 14.55Liquid biopsy and spontaneous preterm delivery – Marian Kacerovsky
14.55 - 15.20The FIGO Prem Prep 6 bundle – Megan Hall
15.20 - 15.45Challenges of preterm birth at the border of viability – Hanns Helmer
15.45 - 16.15Tea
First abstract session, oral presentations
16.00 - 16.15Abstracts
16.15 - 17:00Abstracts Moderator Lissa van Gils and Katie Morris
Cervical stiffness measurements as a predictive test for spontaneous preterm birth – Hannah Rosen O’Sullivan
Effect of Probiotics on the Preterm Delivery Rate in Pregnant Women at High Risk for Preterm Birth (PROPEV) – Marta Miserachs
Non-invasive prediction models of intraamniotic infection in women with preterm labor – Teresa Cobo
Vaginal microbiota composition as a potential indicator of adverse pregnancy outcomes : a prospective observational study, France – Laura Lesimple
Real-time ultrasound demonstration of uterine isthmus contractions during pregnancy – Alba Farràs
17.00-17.30Keynote lecture Born too Soon – the decade version WHO, UNICEF, PMNCH by Bo Jacobsson
17.30-18.30Welcome reception – Hosted by Martijn Oudijk and Eva pajkrt
I-SPY dinner
9 am - 5 pmClinical research and current state-of-the-art
9:00-10:30The short cervix
9:00 - 10:00Singletons with a short cervix – Maria Goya and Frederik Hermans
9.00 - 9.15IPD short cervix in singletons and twins – BW Mol
9.15 - 9.30Short cervix pessary vs standard/progesterone – Matthew Hoffman
9.30 - 9.45QP RCT singletons: progesterone vs pessary – Lotte van Dijk
9.45 - 10.00PROMPT: Prospective Meta-analysis for Pessary Trials Study – Eva Pajkrt
10:00 - 10:30Twin pregnancies
10.00 - 10.15Progesterone in women with a twin pregnancy – Anoop Rehal
10.15 - 10.30Cerclage in women with a twin pregnancy with a short cervix – Amanda Roman
10.30 - 11.00Coffee
11:00 - 12:00Cerclages – Moderator Joris van Drongelen and Anna Landman
11.00 - 11.15Update on Vaginal cerclages including C-stitch trial – Vicky Hodgetts Morton
11.15 - 11.30Complications of vaginal cerclages – Sofie Breuking
11.30 - 11.45Abdominal cerclages: which patients benefit? – Andrew Shennan
11.45 - 12.00Laparoscopic abdominal cerclages – Nicole Burger
12.00 - 12:30PTB – Moderatoren Yves Jacquemyn and Annabelle van Gils
12.00 - 12.15Preterm birth in women with ICP – Catherine Williamson
12.15 - 12.30Environmental exposures and preterm birth – Tracy Manuck
12.30 - 14.00Lunch – Poster sessions II
14:00 - 14:45Second abstract session, oral presentations
14.00 - 14.45Abstracts Second abstract session, oral presentations Moderator Tobias Nijman and Begona Martinez de Tejada Weber
Long-term child follow-up after randomized controlled trials evaluating prevention of preterm birth interventions: a systematic review – Larissa van der Windt
Tommy’s Clinical Decision Support Tool: a novel digital device for reducing inequalities in preterm birth and stillbirth – an implementation evaluation. – Jenny Carter
Preterm Prelabour Rupture Of Membranes (PPROM) before 23 weeks’ gestation: A prospective observational study – Laura Goodfellow
Interventions for women with premature cervical dilatation and exposed fetal membranes to prevent pregnancy loss and preterm birth – a broad systematic review and meta-analysis – N. Pilarski
14.45 - 15.15Aspirine for all? Debate – Matthew Hoffman and Marjon de Boer
15.15 - 15.45Tea
15:45 - 17:00I-SPY session Moderator Isabelle Dehaene and Janneke van ‘T Hooft
15:45-15:55I-SPY: International Spontaneous Preterm birth Young Investigators: past, present and future. Isabelle Dehaene
16.10 - 16.25Strategies in Europe for detection and treatment of infections associated with PTB. Dominique Werter
15:55 - 16:10Strategies in Europe for cervical length screening. Emilie van Limburg-Stirum
16.25 - 16.45Risk factors for preterm birth, an Umbrella Review – Job Klumper
16.45 - 17.00Increasing usefulness of future RCT’s in PTB. Janneke van ’t Hooft
Dutch dinner at the beach for all attendees
9 am - 1 pmPreterm birth: the future
9:00 - 9:05Opening
Artificial womb and placenta technology – Martijn Oudijk and Guid Oei
9:05-9.45The artificial Womb – Beatrijs van der Hout
9:45-10:05The artificial placenta – Jutta Arens
10:05-10:30Transfer from natural to artificial womb – Juliette van Haren
10:30 - 11:00Coffee break
New developments Moderator Jan Derks and Annemijn de Ruigh
11:00 - 11:30What can we learn from the COVID pandemic with regards to reduction of PTB? – Clara Calvert
11:30 - 12:00Long term FU of PPROMEXIL trials – Noor Simons
12:00 - 12:30Artificial intelligence to predict PTB – Anne Fischer
12:30 - 13:00Closing ESPBC 2023 and Short presentation ESPBC 2023 – Eva Pajkrt / Martijn Oudijk / Future presidents

Join the I-SPY team

Do you want to work together within an European network of researchers?

Come and join I-SPY. More information.

Scientific Committee

Name Country
‣ Martijn Oudijk Amsterdam UMC
‣ Eva Pajkrt Amsterdam UMC
‣ Ben Willem Mol Australia
‣ Bo Jacobsson Sweden, FIGO
‣ Ronnie Lamont UK
‣ Jan Stener Jørgensen Denmark
‣ Vincenzo Berghella USA
Begoña Martinez de Tejada Switzerland
‣ Elena Carreras Spain
‣ Phil Bennett UK
‣ Guid Oei MMC Eindhoven
‣ Andrew Shennan UK
‣ Ram Menon USA

Local Organizing Commitee

Amsterdam UMC: Noor Simons, Frederik Hermans, Maud van Zijl, Lotte van Dijk, Bouchra Koullali, Anna Landman, Job Klumper, Sofie Breuking, Larissa van der Windt, Lissa van Gils, Annabelle van Gils, Emilie van Limburg Stirum.

Special Interest Group Preterm Birth, Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology: Carolien Dijkstra, Janneke ’t Hooft, Brenda Kazemier, Jan Derks, Stijn van Teefelen, Tobias Nijman, Frederik Hermans, Jelmer Prins, Margo Lutke Holzik, Sam Schoenmakers, Joris van Drongelen.

Advisory Committee

Name Country
‣ Andrew Shennan UK
‣ Hanns Helmer Austria
‣ Birgit Arabin Germany
‣ Bill Grobman USA
‣ Vedran Stefanovic Finland
‣ Marian Kacerovsky Czech Republic
‣ Fabio Facchinetti Italy
‣ Diogo Aryes-de-Campos Portugal
‣ Irene Hösli Switzerland
‣ Yves Jacquemyn Belgium
‣ Nils Halvdan Morken Norway
‣ Maria M. Goya Canimo Spain
‣ Wes Onland Netherlands
‣ Ronnie Lamont UK
‣ Jan Stener Jørgensen Denmark
‣ Wilfried Geyselaers Belgium
‣ Christophe Vayssière France
‣ Salim Read Israel
‣ Hildur Harðardóttir Iceland


Museum of Wonder

Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon, Einstein, and so many others who have feasted their eyes on everything that can be seen in Teylers Museum in Haarlem. Teylers opened its doors in 1784 and is now known as the oldest museum in the Netherlands, with a collection that is unique in the world. Ever since it was founded, this has been the place to surprise yourself and to wonder at ancient fossils, magnificent stones, ingenious devices, precious books, fascinating coins and medallions, marvellous drawings and romantic paintings.

Almost everything you see was once part of a laboratory collection of functional objects. They were not placed in the museum just to be admired, but mainly to encourage new discoveries. Teylers was a place of endless wonder. And it still is.
And don’t forget to look at the rooms themselves and the way they are furnished. The building itself is a museum piece – a time machine. Teylers is still, as far as possible, a daylight museum, which means that it becomes quite a different place in bright sunshine compared to overcast days.

Visit Teylers Museum website


Have a look at the social program schedule.

6 pm - 10 pmSpeaker’s dinner
7 pm - 10 pmYoung investigators dinner organized by I-SPY
17:30 -18:30Welcome reception ESPBC hosted by Martijn Oudijk and Eva Pajkrt
7 pm - 11 pmDutch conference dinner Zandvoort beach


Haarlem has many nice hotels, most of them relatively small. We advise you to book in advance. Please check with the hotel if the price includes breakfast and city tax. Here are some suggestions of hotels close to the venue. In addition to these hotels, many other smaller options are also available in the vicinity of the congress venue.


March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We believe that every baby deserves the best possible start. Unfortunately, not all babies get one. We are changing that.

At Danone Nutricia Research we believe that every consumer and patient deserves optimal nutritional support. We use life science, food science and technology, together with the passion, drive and expertise of over 500 employees, to pioneer nutritional solutions for those with special nutritional needs.

Pregnolia AG is a Women’s Health startup based in Switzerland, developing a medical device to support the risk assessment of premature birth. The Pregnolia System is the first CE-marked medical device to accurately measure cervical stiffness – it is based on the aspiration technique and measurements can be done in a simple, safe and quick way. Pregnolia wants to help clinicians provide a more informed care by better revealing the biomechanical status of the cervix at different moments of the pregnancy, improving on the current standard for risk stratification.

Besins Healthcare is a privately held, global pharmaceutical company headquarted in Monaco. We are a world leader in novel therapies for gynecology and andrology. We have discovered ground-breaking technologies to improve patient well-being throughout our history. We continue to be a leader in Estradiol Replacement Therapy with the first transdermal gel marketed in Europe.

The  special interest groups on perinatal and maternal diseases (WPMZ) and fetal ultrasound (WFE) of The Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology have sponsored the ESPBC.

Our goal is to create a better and healthier every day, for every woman by building a pipeline and portfolio of products specifically designed to address her needs. We seek opportunities in contraception, fertility, pregnancy management and perinatal disease, conditions impacting women and those predominant to women.

Every day, QIAGEN serves 500,000 customers globally, all seeking insights from DNA and RNA – the building blocks of life. Delivering Sample to Insight solutions for molecular testing, our foundation is rooted in women’s health. Committed to ensuring the health and safety of women, we offer products that aim to provide objective, accurate information to help guide clinical decisions during critical moments. This includes the AmniSure® ROM Test for detecting rupture of fetal membranes
and the PartoSure® Test for assessing spontaneous preterm birth risk.

At Pampers we share the belief that parents do not have to choose between what is good for their baby and what is good for the world in which they grow up. We therefore do our best to limit the impact of our products on the environment and at the same time make the world a better place for babies.

Register Now and Guarantee Your Seat!

Registration for the congress is open!

ESPBC Office - Amsterdam - The Netherlands


P +31205663654

Give us a call or drop by anytime, we endeavour to answer
all enquiries
within 24 hours on business days.

Quick links

ESPBC is organized by Stichting Stop te vroeg bevallen | and