2015 Study Abstract
To assess attitudes and perceptions of U.S. survey respondents regarding prevalence, causes, and emotional effects of miscarriage.
We used a questionnaire consisting of 33 questions administered in January of 2013 to men and women aged 18-69 years across the United States.
Participants from 49 states completed the questionnaire: 45% male and 55% female (N=1,084).
- Fifteen percent reported they or their partner experienced at least one miscarriage.
- Fifty-five percent of respondents believed that miscarriage occurred in 5% or less of all pregnancies.
- Commonly believed causes of miscarriage included
- a stressful event (76%),
- lifting a heavy object (64%),
- previous use of an intrauterine device (28%),
- or oral contraceptives (22%).
- Of those who had a miscarriage,
- 37% felt they had lost a child,
- 47% felt guilty,
- 41% reported feeling that they had done something wrong,
- 41% felt alone,
- and 28% felt ashamed.
- Nineteen percent fewer people felt they had done something wrong when a cause for the miscarriage was found.
- Seventy-eight percent of all participants reported wanting to know the cause of their miscarriage, even if no intervention could have prevented it from occurring.
- Disclosures of miscarriages by public figures assuaged feelings of isolation for 28% of respondents.
- Level of education and gender had a significant effect on perceptions and understanding of miscarriage.
Respondents to our survey erroneously believed that miscarriage is a rare complication of pregnancy, with the majority believing that it occurred in 5% or less of all pregnancies. There were also widespread misconceptions about causes of miscarriage. Those who had experienced a miscarriage frequently felt guilty, isolated, and alone. Identifying a potential cause of the miscarriage may have an effect on patients’ psychological and emotional responses.
Many DES-exposed women have experienced miscarriages, and even recurrent miscarriages… Some of us want to have kids but are struggling or unable to…
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Sources and more information
- A National Survey on Public Perceptions of Miscarriage, Obstetrics & Gynecology, May 06, 2015 doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000859.
- 7 Miscarriage Myths That Are Harmful And Isolating, huffingtonpost, 05/08/2015.
- Survey identifies ‘widespread misperceptions’ about miscarriage, medicalnewstoday, 8 May 2015.