Obstetrics & Gynecology

MSC 10 5580
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Research Projects

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is very involved in research and information for each Academic Division is available for current research projects.

Family Planning

The Family Planning research division supports sexual and reproductive health research and is committed to improving the reproductive health of women. Our research includes qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies that explore, examine, and evaluate family planning clinical practices. Our division works in collaboration with Project ECHO©, UNM CTSC, and UNM College of Pharmacy.

Current Studies:

Evaluation of Immediate Postpartum LARC Implementation Programs “IPP LARC Evaluation study”
This mixed-methods study aims to evaluate the components of this implementation program at several rural New Mexico hospitals. (Enrolling by invitation)

Upcoming Studies:

Perspectives on Prescribing Hormonal Contraception among Rural New Mexicans “PHARM study”
This is a qualitative study to explore pharmacist and women’s perspectives on pharmacist prescribed hormonal contraceptives. (Not yet recruiting)

Provider Perceptions of Early Postpartum IUDs “Provider – EPP IUD study”
This is a mixed-methods study of provider perceptions of inserting IUDs at a 2-week post-partum visit before and after this process has been implemented. This is a sub-study of a larger trial to provide IUDs to women at 2 weeks post-partum. (Recruitment expected to begin in 2018)

Recently Completed Studies:

Applying the ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Telehealth Model to Reproductive Health – A Pilot Study
This pilot project included a weekly educational presentation and discussion using tele-conference technologies to increase access to specialty reproductive health treatment in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico. A survey was distributed to participants to measure pre and post knowledge and self-efficacy. (Enrollment complete, June 2017)

Recent Publications:

Nitrous oxide for pain management during in-office hysteroscopic sterilization: a randomized controlled trial. Schneider EN, Riley R, Espey E, Mishra SI, Singh RH. Contraception. 2017 Mar;95(3):239-244.

Immediate postpartum levonorgestrel intrauterine device insertion and breast-feeding outcomes: a noninferiority randomized controlled trial. Turok DK, Leeman L, Sanders JN, Thaxton L, Eggebroten JL, Yonke N, Bullock H, Singh R, Gawron LM, Espey E. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Aug 23.

Emergency in the clinic: a simulation curriculum to improve outpatient safety. Espey E, Baty G, Rask J, Chungtuyco M, Pereda B, Leeman L. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep 14.

Maternal Fetal Medicine

  • Hyperemesis in pregnancy – treatment strategies, Rayburn W., Velazquez M.
  • Epidermal growth factor signaling in the trophoblast, effect on growth and differentiation, establishment of animal models, Leslie KK, Velazquez M, Cole L, Dai D. Funding: NIH R01 CA 99908-1 (KL)
  • Analysis of unique peptide markers for preeclampsia using the UNM/Lovelace Research Institute Proteomics Core, Leslie KK, Velazquez M. Funding: Cory/Beach Foundation (KL), NIH R01 CA 99908-1 (KL)
  • Treatment of patients with gestational diabetes using oral agents, Curet L., Velazquez M.
  • Clinical outcomes and ultrasonographic criteria in infants with gastroschisis, Rappaport V, Bolnick J, Leslie K, Hall R, Velazquez M. Funding: M-FM Division Research Fund
  • Cervidil vs. misoprostol in the induction of labor – 120 cases collected, Rayburn W, Bolnick J, Velazquez M. Funding: Industry.
  • Induction of labor: rising trends, effect of obesity, effect of oligohydramnios, Rayburn W, Zhang J (NICHD intramural investigator), Bolnick J. Funding: NICHD intramural contract.
  • Steroid dosing in pregnancy – the MACS multicenter trial, Leslie K, Velazquez M Funding: Industry and multicenter consortium.
  • The molecular effects of estrogen and progesterone in the trophoblast and the endometrium, Leslie K, Davies S, Dai D, Velazquez M. Funding: Dean’s Fund to K. Leslie, Cory/Beach Family Fund (KL), NIH R01 CA 99908-1, The University of New Mexico Cancer Center Translational Research Award (KL)
  • First trimester screening for aneuploidy in New Mexico using 3-D imaging of the nuchal translucency. Rappaport V, Hall R, Bolnick J, Velazquez M.


The Midwifery Division is active in innovative and evaluative women’s health research in collaboration with the OB/GYN Department, College of Nursing and School of Medicine.   We often ask women if they are interested in research and provide information about studies. 

 Some past research highlights include:

  •  The “INTACT” Study was a large NIH funded RCT to assess techniques used by midwives on rates of spontaneous lacerations to the birth canal.  This large study was done in collaboration with Leah Albers, CNM, PhD and Kay Sedler, CNM and our patients.
  • The “APPLE” Study was an NIH funded prospective study exploring alternations in the pelvic floor in pregnancy, labor, and the ensuring years completed with Drs. Rebecca Rogers, Lawrence Leeman and Leah Albers CNM, PhD.
  • The “FACT” Study explored pelvic floor outcomes following childbirth and was a collaboration with the UNM Midwives and Drs. Rebecca Rogers & Lawrence Leeman.
  • “Language in Labor” was a qualitative study about the language and coaching done at birth completed by Noelle Borders, CNM in collaboration with Dr. Rebecca Rogers and faculty from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine College of Nursing.
  • “Postpartum Yoga for Depression and Anxiety” was a comprehensive study and program completed with CNMs Felicia Mancini and Regina Manocchio in conjunction with OB resident Sara Woods.
  • “Number of Vaginal Exams (NOVEL) in Labor” was a clinical practice audit and review completed by CNMs Noelle Borders, Robyn Lawton & Shannon Martin, MPA.

Some recent publications:


  • Contribution of the second stage of labour to pelvic floor dysfunction: a prospective cohort comparison of nulliparous women. Rebecca G. Rogers, Lawrence M. Leeman, Aleda Noelle Borders, Qualls C, Anne Fullilove, Dusty Teaf, Rebecca J. Hall, Edward J. Bedrick, Leah L. Albers. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2014 Aug: 121(9), 1145-53.
  • Postpartum translabial 2D and 3D ultrasound measurements of the anal sphincter complex in primiparous women delivering by vaginal birth versus Cesarean delivery. Kate Meriwether, Rebeca J. Hall, Lawrence M. Leeman, Laura Migliaccio, Qualls C, Rebecca G. Rogers. Int. Urogynecol. J. March 2014:25(3): 329-36.
  • Impact of first time mother’s body mass index and excessive weight gain in pregnancy on genital tract trauma at birth; A prospective cohort study.  Kelly Gallagher, Laura Migliaccio, Rebecca G. Rogers, Lawrence M. Leeman, Elizabeth Hervey, Qualls C. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. Jan-Feb 2014: 59(1): 54-9.
  • Postpartum contraceptive choices among ethnically diverse women in New Mexico. Rameet Singh, Rebecca G. Rogers, Lawrence M. Leeman, Aleda Noelle Borders, Jessica Highfill, Eve Espey. Contraception 2014 Jan 7.


  • Midwives’ verbal support of nulliparous women in second-stage labor. Aleda Noelle Borders, Wendland C, Haozous E, Lawrence M. Leeman, Rebecca G. Rogers. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. May-June 2013: 42(3), 311-320.


  • A clinical audit of number of vaginal examinations in labor: a NOVEL idea. Aleda Noelle Borders, Robyn Lawton, Shannon Martin. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health 2012: 57:2, 139-144.


  • Does Spontaneous Genital Tract Trauma Impact Postpartum Sexual Function? Rebecca G. Rogers, Borders N, Lawrence M. Leeman, Leah L. Albers. March/April 2009 edition of the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. March 2009; 54(2):98-103.
  • Postpartum Pain in a Low Episiotomy Setting: Association with Severity of Genital Trauma, Labor Care, and Birth Variables, Lawrence M. Leeman, Anne Fullilove, Aleda Noelle Borders, Regina Manocchio, Leah L. Albers, Rebecca G. Rogers. Birth, December 2009: 36(4): 283-288.




  • After the Afterbirth: A Critical Review of Postpartum Health Relative to Method of Delivery.  Noelle Borders. July/August, 2006 edition of the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. 51:4, 242-248


The Urogynecology research division is committed to improving the pelvic health of women.  Our research is nationally recognized and we work closely with the community through the UNMH Urogynecology clinic, the Clinical and Translational Science Center and senior centers.

Research highlights from past/present/future include:

Evaluation of women with urinary incontinence

  • The New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance "CUTI" study evaluates cancer of the uterus and treatment of stress urinary incontinence. (Currently enrolling)
  • The NIH funded “Hyp-hOP” study is currently comparing hypnosis to medications for treatment of urge urinary incontinence.  (Closed to enrollment)
  • The NIH funded “ESTEEM” study is currently evaluating the role of physical therapy after a midurethral sling surgery for women with stress and urge urinary incontinence. (Closed to enrollment)
  • The NIH funded “HMS ESTEEM” study evaluated the genito-urinary human microbiome in women with stress and urge urinary incontinence versus those without. (Study completed)
  • The NIH Funded “ROSETTA” study compared botox to interstim for treatment of severe urge incontinence. The findings are published in JAMA.  “OnabotulinumtoxinA vs Sacral Neuromodulation on Refractory Urgency Urinary Incontinence in Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Amundsen CL, Richter HE, Menefee SA, Komesu YM, et al. JAMA. 2016 Oct 4; 316(3):1366-1374.  (Study Completed)
  • The NIH funded “RUM” study compared substances in the urine that may be associated with urgency urinary incontinence in women. (Study completed)

Evaluation of surgery for women with vaginal prolapse (vaginal bulge)

  • The NIH funded “SUPeR” study is evaluating different surgeries to repair vaginal prolapse (often called “bulging”) to see if one operation is better than the other. (Closed to enrollment)
  • The NIH funded “DEMAND” study is looking at MRIs performed on women enrolled in the SUPeR trial to understand the anatomy associated with prolapse.
  • The Seligman Grant funded “POETRY” study is evaluating a woman’s body image after surgery for pelvic organ prolapse with either a perineorrhaphy (bringing the muscles of the perineum together) or none. (Closed to enrollment)

Evaluation of women with fecal incontinence (Accidental Bowel Leakage)

  • The Pelvalon funded “LIBERATE” study, is evaluating the efficacy of the Eclipse® device placed in the vagina to treat fecal incontinence.  (Closed to enrollment)
  • The NIH funded “CAPABLe” study evaluated efficacy of medication and physical therapy treatment of fecal incontinence.  (Study completed)
  • The NIH funded “SMM-CAPABLe” study evaluated the stool microbiome in women enrolled in CAPABLe. (Study completed)

Pre and Post-op evaluation

  • The CTSC funded “OPTIONs” study is evaluating patient satisfaction, safety and cost-effectiveness between traditional clinic visits and follow up telephone calls for post-operative care.  (Currently recruiting)
  • The Pelvic Floor Disorders Research Foundation funded “PeerS” study is evaluating what kinds of information needs and expectations women may have when participating in a perioperative (pre and post-operative care) peer support program for pelvic floor disorder surgery (including urinary incontinence and prolapse). Patients that have already undergone surgery mentor patients that are planning to have surgery. Patients can choose to meet in a group, one on one or choose not to have a mentor and fill out questionnaires. (Closed to enrollment)

Focus Groups

The NIH funded “PASEo” study evaluated how women and their healthcare providers think about adverse events that can happen after surgery for pelvic floor problems.  (Currently enrolling)

The BRINM funded Albuquerque Veterans Affairs Hospital qualitative study evaluates patient needs and experiences for military sexual trauma treatment. (Study completed)

Upcoming Research Studies (We hope to be enrolling soon!):

  • Vaginal laxity study
  • Bladder Botox for treatment of bladder pain syndrome (IC)
  • Investigate new treatment for stress urinary incontinence
  • Patient centered versus physician centered counseling videos for stress urinary incontinence surgery