Miscarriage is common, one in four women will experience one. Nevertheless the impact a pregnancy loss can have on women and those around them can be huge.
The most common question women and those affected by miscarriage as is why did it happen? While we believe that most miscarriages happen due to a problem with the development of the embryo, but are unable to provide adequate answers for our patients.
Miscarriage is not only a physical process. The emotional impact is often greater and can last long after a miscarriage has happened. A miscarriage will always be part of a woman’s life and is often viewed as the baby they did not have.
A miscarriage will always be part of a woman’s life
Many women who have a pregnancy loss do not even access medical care, their pregnancy test goes from positive to negative and they have had a biochemical miscarriage.
Early pregnancy services are predominantly set up to diagnose the cause of pregnancy loss, rule out ectopic pregnancy and deal with complex cases. Many units are understaffed and patients have to wait for several days, or weeks for a scan, anxious about what is happening.
After a miscarriage, there is very little support available. Even though health care professionals may not be able to provide answers, they can listen and provide emotional support. However, this resource is not readily available and falls to patient support groups such as the Miscarriage Association and Tommy’s.
Women can only be referred to a specialist after three miscarriages. Many women understandably feel that the system does not value their miscarriages. About half of women seen by a specialist after their third miscarriage will have completely normal tests.
I believe this approach trivialises miscarriage. Women and their partners shouldn’t have to wait until they have had three miscarriages to receive support.