One in ten women has had a miscarriage, and this phenomenon “too long minimized” needs to be better managed, especially on a psychological level, according to a report published Tuesday in The Lancet.
“For too long, the fact of having a miscarriage has been minimized and, often, not taken seriously (…). It is no longer time to simply say to women + Try again +”, pleads the prestigious medical journal in the editorial accompanying this report.
The report’s authors estimate that 23 million miscarriages occur worldwide each year, or about 15% of total pregnancies. That’s about “44 pregnancies lost every minute,” according to one of the three studies that make up this report.
Based on several other works published over the past 20 years, researchers estimate that 10.8% of women have miscarried. Recurrent miscarriages are much less frequent: 1.9% of women have had two and 0.7% have had three.
Certain factors are associated with an increased risk: chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus, the age of the mother and, to a lesser extent, of the father (especially above 40 years), a history of miscarriage, a clue very low or very high body mass, alcohol, tobacco, stress, night work or exposure to pesticides.
In addition, the risk is higher in black women.
“Although a miscarriage most of the time only happens once, a significant portion of the population will need treatment and support. Despite this, the silence around miscarriages persists not only among women who live them, but also among caregivers, policy makers and research funding organizations, “laments one of the study’s editors, Prof. Siobhan Quenby (University of Warwick), quoted in a Lancet press release.
“Many women complain about the lack of empathy with which they are cared for after a miscarriage: some do not receive any explanation, and the only advice they are given is to try again”, adds Professor Quenby, Deputy Director of Tommy’s National Center for Miscarriage Research, a British charity specializing in this issue and initiator of the report.
The authors recommend that women who have had a miscarriage benefit from a minimum follow-up, including psychological support for the couple and counseling before subsequent pregnancies. This care must be reinforced for women who have had several miscarriages.
They consider it necessary to harmonize this monitoring at the global level.
In recent months, model Chrissy Teigen and Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle have revealed that they have miscarried. Statements hailed by associations, according to which they have contributed to breaking a taboo.