There are about 23 million miscarriages occurring every year around the globe and one in every seven pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to experts.
The team of 31 researchers also stated 11 per cent of women around the world go through failed pregnancy at least once in their life. They also said that the number of miscarriages can be “substantially higher” if all the unreported cases are counted.
Here are other important highlights from The Lancet’s study:
- Two per cent of women around the world have experienced miscarriage two times in their lifetime.
- Less than one per cent of women around the world have gone through it three or more times.
- The study also found out that women suffering from failed pregnancies get highly uneven care across countries, even if they live in developed nations.
- The researchers’ team said, “A new system is needed to ensure miscarriages are better recognised and women are given the physical and mental health care they need.”
What are the misconceptions about failed pregnancy?
The authors of the study pointed that many believe in widespread misconceptions which can make the women blaming themselves or can leave their partners feeling responsible. They can also feel discouraged to seek treatment and support after their loss. Some misconceptions mentioned by the researchers were;
- Miscarriages are rare.
- Can be caused by lifting heavy objects.
- Can be caused by previous use of contraceptive.
- There is no effective treatment to stop them from happening.
Believing in such myths can also lead to women distancing themselves from close ones. They can isolate themselves and even hide the news of their loss from their family, friends or even their partner, the authors wrote. They called this phenomenon, ‘Silence around miscarriages’ not just prevalent among women who go through but also the health care providers and others.
Siobhan Quenby, professor at the University of Warwick and co-lead author of the study said, “Silence around miscarriage remains not only for women who experience it but also among health care providers, policymakers and research funders.” Quenby is also the director of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research.
What are the grave consequences?
The researchers after reviewing literature up to mid-may 2020, found out some of the main causes of failed pregnancies which can be previous miscarriages, father older than 40, under or overweight mother, persistent stress, smoking and alcohol consumption and heavy exposure to air pollution and pesticides.
Women who have gone through it two or multiple times can have severe consequences on their health. Another researcher Arri Coomarasamy said, “Recurrent miscarriage is a devastating experience for most women, but the mental health impact is rarely acknowledged or addressed in medical care.” Coomarasamy added that women can experience trauma and bereavement which may have no obvious signs and can go unrecognised.
About 20 per cent of women go through post-traumatic stress disorder after nine months of loss and can also lead to anxiety and depression. The authors of the study said that the data reflected in the study comes from wealthier nations and that the consequences of ‘silence around miscarriage’ can be found across the globe.
What were the measure recommended?
The study recommends more efficient miscarriage care services and urged the nations to improve their research in preventing it from happening and also a better way to identify women at high risk. The study said that the medical field has tried to minimise and dismiss miscarriages for too long. The Lancet study added that the lack of medical progress in the area is shocking and that it has been rather accepted.
Women are often told to just try again to get pregnant after they go through a miscarriage, Lancet study stated,” The era of telling women to ‘just try again’ is over.”