Misperceptions about what causes a miscarriage

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks and happens in over 50% of all pregnancies, most of them early in pregnancy. Studies have shown that over 4 in 5 miscarriages are due to chromosomal anomalies and unrelated to other conditions.

This study published online in May in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal called “A National Survey on Public Perceptions of Miscarriage” asked about perceptions about miscarriage. Not surprisingly, most who answered the questionnaire have many misconceptions about miscarriage.

Respondents to the 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 (it actually happens in over 50% of all pregnancies).

There were also widespread misperceptions about causes of miscarriage (the causes are often unknown though chromosomal anomalies are frequent).

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.

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