Widespread misperceptions about miscarriage and its causes

Survey identifies ‘widespread misperceptions’ about miscarriage

The findings of a new survey investigating American’s knowledge of miscarriage and its causes reveals there are widespread misperceptions about the condition.

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…
Sadly for many DES daughters having their own children is not possible!
Read more about DES pregnancy risks and studies about DES and pregnancy.

Sources and more information

4 thoughts on “Widespread misperceptions about miscarriage and its causes”

  1. Do you think part of the problem is misinformation of the public or cover-up of false ‘proofs’.

    1. Misinformation of the public I think and of the medical community.
      Some doctors are still unaware of some conditions putting some groups of people at higher risk

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