Wednesday 25 November 2020


 So far as I know, each of my concepta* have resulted in a live term baby. I never dared to hope for such good fortune, nor do I take it for granted.

Now that pregnancy can be diagnosed within just 2 weeks of conception (aka 4 weeks gestation, counting from the first day of the preceding period), we know that at least 1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage, usually during the first 12 weeks. Understanding that early miscarriage is so common usually prompts secrecy until the 12 week scan.

Miscarriage must be so difficult for couples. As a GP, I am frequently taken aback by the matter of fact response of patients who have experienced miscarriage.

However, the Duchess of Sussex is not the only one to experience 'almost unbearable grief' following a miscarriage.

Many women have been brave enough publicly to share similar feelings. But where are the voices of those who find different ways of coping? Where are the voices of the men for whom the reproductive implications of miscarriage are usually as significant as for their female partners?
(*no wonder the language is clumsy)

As a society, we definitely need to remove the stigma of miscarriage, if any existed. Crucially, we also need to lift the secrecy that surrounds early pregnancy and miscarriage, and listen to the voices of all those affected, not just the loudest.

1 comment:

Kiran said...

Usually as significant? I find it really appalling that as a doctor you would language that minimises what women go through. The rejection and guilt over their 'failing body'the intrusive ivf, the constant pill popping, the nauseas, the fatigue, the nonchalance of colleagues that just expect you to get on with work etc etc

Miscarriage stigma exists and by choosing words like "if any exists " takes away from the very real experiences of those that have experienced that stigma, often at the hands of men.
No doubt men need support and should be encouraged to be open.

Language matters. Its sad you think otherwise. Speak to any woman who has lost her baby or gone through labour, she carries the trauma of language used "dont worry youre still young" "lots of women miscarry" etc