“For too long, miscarriage has been played down and often not taken seriously (…). It is no longer time to just tell women ‘Try again'”, argues The Lancet 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.

Read also: Miscarriage: one in six women suffers from post-traumatic stress

The risks of miscarriage

Certain factors are associated with an increased risk: chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus, the age of the mother, to a lesser extent the age of the father (especially above 40 years), a history of miscarriage, very low or very high body mass index, alcohol, tobacco, stress, night work or exposure to pesticides.

In addition, doctors observe that black women are more likely to experience a miscarriage.

Lack of empathy

“Although a miscarriage most of the time only happens once, a significant portion of the population will need treatment and support,” says one of the study’s editors, Prof. Siobhan Quenby. (University of Warwick), quoted in a Lancet press release.

“Despite this, the silence around miscarriages persists not only among the women who experience them, but also among caregivers, policy makers and research funding organizations,” she then laments.

“Many women complain about the lack of empathy with which they are taken care of 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.

Follow women and lift the taboo

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.