The Miscarriage Matters report found that existing care for sporadic or recurrent miscarriage is inconsistent and poorly organized worldwide, and a new system is needed to ensure miscarriages are given a high priority and women are given the physical and mental healthcare they need.
New estimates confirm that miscarriage occurs in 15% of all pregnancies, with one in five women experiencing a miscarriage in their lifetime. The data come from a new three- paper Miscarriage Matters report published by The Lancet with studies from Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research.
The Miscarriage Matters report published today found that existing care for sporadic or recurrent miscarriage is inconsistent and poorly organized worldwide, and a new system is needed to ensure miscarriages are given a high priority and women are given the physical and mental healthcare they need.
The report shows that in the UK alone miscarriage costs society approaching 500 million UK pounds each year. Furthermore, it describes the very significant psychological impact early pregnancy loss has on both women and their partners. The Lancet papers also highlight that in many cases miscarriage is associated with potentially modifiable risk factors.
“The diagnosis of miscarriage is entirely dependent on ultrasonography and relies on those carrying out the scans being well trained and aware of the appropriate protocols. ISUOG has consistently supported high-quality education in this area and has highlighted miscarriage care in both the societies journal, educational courses and World Congress. As this report emphasises, the psychological impact of miscarriage cannot be underestimated and we continue to stress the need for our members to provide/advocate for psychological support for women and their partners.” – Professor Tom Bourne, ISUOG President.
The study is the first to highlight the lasting impact of miscarriage on mothers’ long-term physical health, with each loss leaving them more vulnerable to heart disease and blood clots. Maternal health is damaged further as pregnancies after miscarriage are more likely to end in premature birth or stillbirth, as well as carry higher risks of complications such as fetal growth restriction and life-threatening placental problems.
The mental health impact is as important, with even one miscarriage leaving parents at higher risk of anxiety, depression, PTSD and suicide. Support, resources and education on the psychological impact are key for mothers and partners to be given appropriate care from healthcare workers.
Ultrasound is the key tool in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of miscarriage. The International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) has a pivotal role to play in ensuring that women are able to access good-quality ultrasound services provided by appropriately trained healthcare professionals. ISUOG helps to educate healthcare providers worldwide by teaching the ultrasound features of early pregnancy complications, facilitating research and providing patients with informational leaflets.
We hope this report brings to light key areas for improvement and also allows a greater discussion worldwide on improving health outcomes for women and their partners.
The following resources are available for patients and healthcare professionals:
ISUOG educational resources
- VISUOG chapter on miscarriage
- Patient information leaflet on Pregnancy of unknown location (PUL)
- Patient information leaflet on normal early pregnancy ultrasound
- ISUOG Basic training lecture 6: Assessing the normal pregnancy between 4 and 10 weeks in singleton and twin pregnancies
- ISUOG Basic training online full curriculum
Tom Bourne on: The psychological impact of early pregnancy loss
Articles from the White Journal
- Psychological impact of early miscarriage and client satisfaction with treatment: a comparison between expectant management and misoprostol treatment in a randomized controlled trial
- Differences in post‐traumatic stress, anxiety and depression following miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy between women and their partners: multicenter prospective cohort study
- Systematic analysis of copy‐number variations associated with early pregnancy loss
- Predictive value of presence of amniotic sac without visible embryonic heartbeat in diagnosis of early embryonic demise
- Natural history of pregnancy‐related enhanced myometrial vascularity following miscarriage
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