Professor Nicky Hudson

Job: Professor of Medical Sociology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Research group(s): Centre for Reproduction Research - Centre Director

Address: De Montfort, University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 207 8766

E: nhudson@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

Social Media: https://twitter.com/nicky_hudson

 

Personal profile

Nicky Hudson is a medical sociologist with particular expertise in social and cultural significance of reproduction, infertility and assisted reproductive technologies. Her work also focuses on the sociology of chronic illness. Uniting these themes is an emphasis on intersectionalities and questions of individual-biomedicine-society relations. She has received funding for her work from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, Foundation for Sociology of Health and Illness and the National Institute for Health Research. Her research is characterised by a strong commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration, social translation and impact.

She leads the Centre for Reproduction Research, an interdisciplinary centre of expertise dedicated to the production of scholarship on the social, cultural and political aspects of human reproduction based in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. The Centre has representation from sociology, psychology, anthropology, science and technology studies, nursing, midwifery, health policy and health sciences.

Research group affiliations

Publications and outputs 

  • On Ice: the impact of vitrification on the use of eggs in fertility treatment
    On Ice: the impact of vitrification on the use of eggs in fertility treatment Baldwin, K.; Gray, D.; Hudson, Nicky The possibility to freeze sperm and embryos has long been available to men and women facing infertility as a result of an illness or medical treatment. However, the ability to successfully cryopreserve human eggs is comparatively recent. The introduction and increasing use of egg vitrification from the mid-2000s onwards, alongside the use of ICSI, has seen improved on-going clinical pregnancy rates compared to slow freezing methods. Despite concerns, the technology has been widely embraced by the scientific community and in recent years has been applied in a greater variety of contexts. In this short commentary paper, we consider two specific applications for the vitrification of human eggs in routine assisted reproduction practice: social egg freezing and the use of frozen eggs in egg donation. We suggest that vitrification is transforming the reproductive landscape in novel and complex ways and that we must be alert to the challenges, complexities and ethics of such developments, especially for those who may be excluded or marginalised by these techniques. open access article
  • Whose eggs? Egg providers' perspectives on the creation and utilisation of eggs in the reproductive bio-economy.
    Whose eggs? Egg providers' perspectives on the creation and utilisation of eggs in the reproductive bio-economy. Hudson, Nicky; Weis, C.; Lafuente, S. As part of the expansion of global fertility markets and an increasingly neo-liberal framing of reproduction, egg donation has undergone a number of technical, political and commercial transformations. Its use by a growing and diverse range of social groups, complex national changes in donor identification and compensation practices, and more recently the dawn of vitrification technologies have fundamentally reconfigured the process. This method of ‘fast freezing’ allows clinics increased flexibility in the storage, export, and import of eggs thereby opening up potential for increased commercialisation. Whilst existing research has focused on egg providers’ motivations and experiences or on the social processes contributing to these wider shifts, less attention has been given to women’s perceptions of contemporary developments and changing practices in what has been referred to as the new reproductive bio-economy. This paper draws on interviews with egg providers in the UK (n= 27) and Spain (n=25) carried out as part of the EDNA project (ESRC grant ref: ES/N010604/1). The interviews included questions designed specifically to generate data on values and principles relating to the use, storage, and distribution of eggs. We identified two themes from the accounts present in both countries. First, positivity towards the use of eggs for the treatment of several recipients, thus ensuring the eggs do not ‘go to waste’; and second, a generalized concern regarding what is perceived as the over-commercialization of eggs by clinics. Egg providers’ ideas and reasoning about the use of their eggs need to be taken into account as new techniques and protocols emerge for the clinical and commercial management of donated tissue. Decision-making and informed consent processes should also be reviewed in light of these shifts and incorporated into the wider policy context.
  • Egg donation imaginaries: embodiment, ethics, and future family formation
    Egg donation imaginaries: embodiment, ethics, and future family formation Hudson, Nicky This paper considers the sociological utility of the ‘imaginary’ for understanding how a growing number of women who seek to conceive using donated eggs might make sense of their future desires, hopes and ambivalences. By combining the imaginary with insights from authors working on ideas about everyday or ‘ordinary’ ethics it considers how deliberations about egg donation take place and how future motherhood is constructed. Three main aspects of what are referred to as ‘egg donation imaginaries’ are defined: ‘imagining donor egg motherhood’; ‘imagining donor motivations’; and ‘imagining the donor’. The paper illustrates how the imaginary is a valuable analytical device because it illuminates how ideas, ambivalences, deliberations, and reflections about future family building are deeply social, embodied and reflexive. The imaginary advances sociological theorizing of reproduction more generally and helps to bridge existing tensions between individual practices and wider social and policy imaginaries. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Re-thinking egg donation in Europe: expanding practice, extending boundaries.
    Re-thinking egg donation in Europe: expanding practice, extending boundaries. Hudson, Nicky; Culley, Lorraine; Coveney, C.; Herbrand, C.; Pavone, V.; Lafuente, S.; Pennings, G.; Provoost, V.; Weis, C. The expansion of the use of donor eggs in fertility treatment has been exponential. Whilst the majority of egg donation historically took place in the US, donor eggs are used in over 56, 000 cycles of fertility treatment per year in Europe and a number of European egg donation ‘hubs’ have emerged, for example in Spain and Cyprus. Growth in the use of donor eggs in part reflects a changing profile amongst users of assisted reproductive technologies, including growing numbers of older women, male same sex couples, and those at risk from genetic conditions. An increasing number of egg donor ‘intermediaries’ such as egg banks and agencies have also emerged in the European context, reflecting a general shift towards an increasingly commercialised landscape around fertility treatment provision. Despite these changes, few studies have specifically considered their implications. Drawing on an ESRC-funded study on the economic, political and moral configuration of egg donation in the UK, Spain and Belgium, we suggest that changes in the ways egg donation is provided in the European context are worthy of increased attention. Data from policy mapping and interviews with policy stakeholders and professionals illustrate significant shifts in professional and commercial practice. These changes are reshaping the intersubjective, political and social boundaries involved in egg donation in novel and complex ways. We suggest that the expansion and diversification of its use has implications for the policy and regulation of egg donation the European context.
  • Recipient and donor experiences of known egg donation: Implications for fertility counselling
    Recipient and donor experiences of known egg donation: Implications for fertility counselling Martin, N; Mahmoodi, N; Jones, G; Hudson, Nicky Objective: To explore the experiences of known egg donors and recipients in order to inform counselling practice. Background: Relatively little is known about known egg donation as a form of family-building in the UK, and on the experiences of individuals who have sought this form of donation. As such, there is a lack of guidance for fertility counselling in this area. Method: This was a cross-sectional, qualitative study. A purposive sample of four recipient women were recruited via a national support group for women experiencing Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). Known egg donors (n=3) and recipient men (n=3) were recruited via a snowball sample, as identified by recipient women. In-depth interviews were conducted with participants. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Four themes were generated from the data: 1) ‘Doing anything’: existing relationships as the motivation to donate; 2) ‘It was my duty’: feelings of obligation to donate and to receive; 3) ‘Woman-to-woman’: a woman-centred experience; and 4) ‘Going through this together’: changed versus unchanged relationships. Conclusions: The study highlights a number of implications in known egg donation, arising from the relationships involved. It is recommended that these implications are considered by infertility counsellors in the provision of counselling, and by those undergoing known egg donation when seeking information and support, before, during and after the donation. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Patient perceptions of living with severe asthma: Challenges to effective management
    Patient perceptions of living with severe asthma: Challenges to effective management Apps, Lindsay D; Chantrell, Stacey; Majd, Sally; Eglinton, Elizabeth; Singh, Sally J; Murphy, Anna C; Bradding, Peter; Green, Ruth H; Hudson, Nicky; Evans, Rachael A Background: The management of severe asthma poses many challenges related to treatment, adherence and psychosocial morbidity. There is little direct data from the patient perspective to understand and negotiate the complexities of managing severe asthma Objective: To explore the patient perceptions of living with severe asthma and the experience of managing severe asthma, in order to better understand the support that might promote more effective self-management for severe asthma. Methods: Participants were recruited from a specialist Difficult Asthma Service. Semi-structured interviews were conducted by researchers independent of the patient’s care. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and inductive Thematic Analysis was performed. Results: Twenty-nine participants [13 male, mean (SD) age 49.5 (13.6) years, mean Asthma Control Questionnaire 2.2 (1.2)] participated in an interview. Analysis resulted in four major themes describing the experience and challenges to managing severe asthma: Understanding of severe asthma, emotional impact of living with severe asthma (sub-theme: fear of hospitalisation), public perceptions of asthma, and concerns about medications. Conclusion: Healthcare professionals need to consider and discuss with patients their perceptions of severe asthma and the relevant treatments; particular attention should focus around education of disease control and actively exploring thoughts around hospitalisation. Our data highlights the potential for psychological and social support to enhance self-management by directly addressing the wide-ranging individual challenges patients face. There is also a need for greater public awareness and education about severe asthma to minimise patient distress particularly in the work environment. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Egg providers' views on the use of surplus eggs in the UK, Spain and Belgium: implications for information giving and informed consent (POSTER)
    Egg providers' views on the use of surplus eggs in the UK, Spain and Belgium: implications for information giving and informed consent (POSTER) Hudson, Nicky; Culley, Lorraine; Herbrand, C.; Weis, Christina; Coveney, C.; Goethals, T.; Lafuente, S.; Pavone, V.; Pennings, G.; Provoost, V.
  • Re-framing egg 'donation' in Europe: socio-technical transformations and the emergence of new markets.
    Re-framing egg 'donation' in Europe: socio-technical transformations and the emergence of new markets. Hudson, Nicky The expansion of the use of donor eggs in fertility treatment has been exponential. Whilst the majority of egg donation historically took place in the US, donor eggs are used in over 56, 000 cycles of fertility treatment per year in Europe and a number of European egg donation ‘hubs’, such as those in Spain and Cyprus, now exist. Growth in the use of donor eggs in part reflects a changing profile amongst users of assisted reproductive technologies, including growing numbers of older women, male same sex couples, and those at risk from genetic conditions. An increasing number of egg donor ‘intermediaries’ such as egg banks and agencies have also emerged in the European context, reflecting a general shift towards an increasingly commercialised landscape around fertility treatment provision. Despite these changes, few studies have specifically considered their implications. Drawing on an ESRC-funded study on the economic, political and moral configuration of egg donation in the UK, Spain and Belgium, we suggest that changes in the ways egg donation is provided in the European context are worthy of increased attention. Data from policy mapping and interviews with policy stakeholders and professionals illustrate significant shifts in professional and commercial practice. Changes in the social, political and intercorporeal character of egg donation are informing the exchange of reproductive tissue in novel and complex ways. We suggest that the expansion and diversification of its use has implications for the policy and regulation of egg donation the European context.
  • Reproduction research: From complexity to methodological innovation
    Reproduction research: From complexity to methodological innovation Buhler, N; Daly, I; Hudson, Nicky; Baldwin, K.; Herbrand, C.
  • Qualitative study to identify ethnicity-specific perceptions of and barriers to asthma management in South Asian and White British children with asthma
    Qualitative study to identify ethnicity-specific perceptions of and barriers to asthma management in South Asian and White British children with asthma Lakhanpaul, M.; Culley, Lorraine; Huq, T.; Robertson, N.; McFeeters, Melanie; Manikam, L.; Johal, N.; Hamlyn-Williams, C.; Hudson, Nicky; Bird, D.; Johnson, M.R.D. Objective This paper draws on the data from the Management and Interventions for Asthma (MIA) study to explore the perceptions and experiences of asthma in British South Asian children using semi-structured interviews. A comparable cohort of White British children was recruited to identify whether any emerging themes were subject to variation between the two groups so that generic and ethnicity-specific themes could be identified for future tailored intervention programmes for South Asian children with asthma. Setting South Asian and White British children with asthma took part in semi-structured interviews in Leicester, UK. Participants Thirty three South Asian and 14 White British children with asthma and aged 5–12 years were interviewed. Results Both similar and contrasting themes emerged from the semi-structured interviews. Interviews revealed considerable similarities in the experience of asthma between the South Asian and White British children, including the lack of understanding of asthma (often confusing trigger with cause), lack of holistic discussions with healthcare professionals (HCPs), an overall neutral or positive experience of interactions with HCPs, the role of the family in children’s self-management and the positive role of school and friends. Issues pertinent to South Asian children related to a higher likelihood of feeling embarrassed and attributing physical activity to being a trigger for asthma symptoms. Conclusions The two ethnicity-specific factors revealed by the interviews are significant in children’s self-management of asthma and therefore, indicate the need for a tailored intervention in South Asian children. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. Open access article


Click here for a full listing of Nicky Hudson‘s publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Sociology of reproduction, especially infertility, assisted reproductive technologies, gamete donation and freezing, surrogacy and cross border reproduction
  • Sociology of medicine
  • Chronic illness
  • Qualitative research methods

Areas of teaching

  • Gender, health and healthcare
  • Social Research Methods

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Member of British Sociological Association
  • Convener of BSA East Midlands Medical Sociology Group
  • Member Society for Social Studies of Science (2015 - 2016)
  • Member ESHRE (2014-2015)
  • Member of International Sociological Association (2010-2014)  

Current research students

I supervise students on the following subjects:

  • Reproduction
  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies
  • Medicine
  • Chronic Illness

Externally funded research grants information

Current research projects:

  • Egg Donation in the UK, Belgium and Spain: an interdisciplinary studyHudson (PI) with Culley, Herbrand, Pennings, Provoost, Pavone. ESRC.  £494,350. April 2017-March 2020. Grant ref. ES/N010604/1.
  • Digitizing Reproduction: new technologies, intersectionality and the politics of inclusion. Research Development Grant funded by the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness. Mackkintosh, N. (PI), Hudson, N. (CI), Mcintosh, T. Sandall, J. and Verdezoto, N. £5952.38. April 2018 - June 2018.
  • Understanding Klinefelters Syndrome: genetics, gender and reproduction. The Foundation For Sociology of Health and Illness. Hanna, E. (PI), Hudson, N. (CI), McEleny, K. Stevenson, E. Quinten, R. Wilkes, S. and Herbrand, C. £4,682.20. Jan 2018 - July 2018. 
  • Increasing uptake of effective self-management education programmes for type 2 diabetes in multi-ethnic primary care settings. Programme Grants for Applied Research, NIHR. Davies, M (PI) et al, Hudson, N (CI). £2m. Nov 2015 - Oct 2020.
  • A feasibility study to inform the development of a multicentre randomised controlled trial of an asthma-tailored pulmonary rehabilitation programme versus usual care for individuals with severe asthma. Research for Patient Benefit Programme, NIHR. Evans, R (PI). Eglinton, E. Singh, S. Bradding, P. Apps, L. Martin, N. Green, R. Hudson, N. (CI) Povrod, I. £340K. Nov 2013 - Oct 2017.

Previous research projects:

  • A feasibility study to inform the design of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate an interactive internet (web) based pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Research for Patient Benefit Programme, NIHR. PB-PG-0711-25127. Williams, J. (PI), Singh, S. Pulikottil-Jacob, R. Hudson, N. (qualitative consultant). £158K. Jan 2013-Jan 2015.
  • Endometriosis: Improving the Well-being of Couples. ESRC. ES/J003662/1. Culley (PI), Denny, Hudson (CI), Mitchell, Raine-Fenning. £89,228. 2011-13.
  • Increasing Physical Activity in Chronic Kidney Disease: The Patient Perspective. British Renal Society. Dr Alice Smith, Dr James Burton (PI), Dr Jo Byrne, Prof. Nigel Brunskill, Mrs Hannah Young. Dr Nicky Hudson (CI). £45K. Sept 2012-Aug 2013. 
  • Structured Education in Diabetes. NIHR Programme Development Grant. Prof Melanie Davies (PI), Prof. Kamlesh Khunti, Dr Marian Carey, Prof. L Culley, Prof M Johnson. Dr Nicky Hudson team member and PI for DMU work package. £100K. May 2012-April 2013.
  • Management and Interventions for Asthma. HSR programme, NIHR. Prof. M Lakhanpaul (PI), Prof. L Culley, Prof. M Johnson, Dr. D Bird, Prof. Jonathon Grigg, Mrs Narynder Johal, Dr Noelle Robertson, Mrs Melanie McFeeters. Dr Nicky Hudson team member and PI for DMU work package. £334K. Sept 2010- Feb 13. 
  • Barriers and Motivators to Implementation of an Intradialytic Exercise Programme. British Renal Society. Dr Alice Smith (PI), Dr James Burton, Dr Jo Byrne, Dr Noelle Robertson, Dr Nicky Hudson (CI) and Prof John Feehally. £18,775. Sept 2011-Aug 2012.
  • A Systematic Review of the Literature on Asthma and South Asians. Asthma UK. Dr Monica Lakhanpaul (PI), Dr Deborah Bird, Prof Lorraine Culley, Prof Mark Johnson. Project advisor. £27K. Oct 2010-April 2011. 
  • The Educational Experiences of Muslim Students on Pre-Registration Nursing and Midwifery Programmes East Midlands Healthcare Workforce Deanery, Dr Sue Dyson (PI), Prof. Lorraine Culley, Dr Nicky Hudson. June 2010-July 2011.
  • Transnational Reproduction. An Exploratory Study of UK Residents who Travel Abroad for Fertility Treatment (TRANSREP)ESRC, RES 000-22-3390. Culley (PI), Hudson, Blyth, Pacey, Rapport, Norton. £99,844. 1 March 2009 – 30 Nov 2010.
  • Regional Evaluation of the Pacesetters Programme (PACEVAL) Leicester City Primary Care Trust. Prof. Mark Johnson (PI), Prof Lorraine Culley, Ms Jennie Fleming, Dr Nicky Hudson, Dr Fenglin Guo. £78,946.81. May 2008 – October 2009.
  • Palliative Care for Children and Young People in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland: An Evaluation of Parents/Carers’ and Young People’s Perspectives of Service Provision. (PALLCARE) Leicester City West Primary Care Trust, L. Culley & N Hudson. £15K. February – September 2006.
  • Evaluation of Patient Information resources on Osteomalacia in Asian Languages (ARCOST) Arthritis Research Campaign, Prof. Mark Johnson (PI), Prof. Lorraine Culley, Dr. Ash Samanta, Dr Fenglin Guo, Dr Nicky Hudson. 2005-2006. 
  • Public Perceptions of Gamete Donation in British South Asian Communities (GAMDON)ESRC, RES-160-25-0044. Prof. Lorraine Culley (PI), Prof. Mark Johnson, Prof. Frances Rapport, Dr Adi Bharadwaj. Dr Nicky Hudson, project researcher. £46, 577. April 05 – March 06. 
  • Ethnicity Infertility and Reproductive Technologies. International Symposium funded by ESRC, Science and Society Programme. Co-convenor with Prof. Lorraine Culley & Dr. Floor van Rooij. £7K. Nottingham, September 2006.
  • Improving the Access of Ethnic Minority Visually Impaired People to Appropriate Services: Building a Supported Community Referral System (OV2) Thomas Pocklington Trust, Prof. Mark Johnson (PI) et al. Nicky Hudson, team member. 2003-2004.
  • Europe's Migrants and Human Tissue Donation - ESF Exploratory Workshop (EUMIDON) European Science Foundation. Prof Mark Johnson (PI), Prof. Lorraine Culley, Dr Nicky Hudson. September 2004.
  • A Study of the Provision of Infertility Services to South Asian Communities (ASFERT) NHS Trent Region, Prof. Lorraine Culley (PI), Prof. Mark Johnson, Prof. Frances Rapport, Dr Savita Katbamna. Dr Nicky Hudson, project researcher. £100K. January 2002 – March 2004.

Internally funded research project information

  • Visualising Reproduction in Medical, Social and Historical Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry. De Montfort University's Revolving Investment Fund. Pichel, B (PI) and Hudson, N (CI). £2,410. Nov 2017 - July 2018. 

  • ENDOPART 2: developing a knowledge exchange partnership and improving support in endometriosis. De Montfort University's Higher Education Innovation Fund. Hudson, N (PI). Oct 2015 - July 2016.

  • Egg Donation in Europe: an international workshop. De Montfort University's Revolving Investment Fund. Hudson, N (PI). Oct 2014 - July 2015.

  • European network for research on men, in/fertilities and assisted conception. De Montfort University's Revolving Investment Fund. Culley, L (PI), Hudson, N (CI), Norton, W (CI). Oct 2011 - July 2012.

Nicky Hudson

Search Who's Who

 

 
News target area image
News

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events at DMU
Events

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.