Background information

Miscarriage

  • More than one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage – probably around a quarter of a million in the UK each year.
  • Most miscarriages happen in the first three months of pregnancy – but they can happen up to the 24th week. Pregnancy loss from 24 weeks is known as stillbirth.
  • Any woman who could conceive could also miscarry – it can happen to anyone.
  • Even after several miscarriages, most women have a good chance of a successful pregnancy.
  • It is common for women who have miscarried to feel high levels of anxiety in a subsequent pregnancy.
  • Most women never know what has caused them to miscarry. Investigations are generally limited to women who have had three or more miscarriages. Even after investigations, in many cases a specific cause is not found.
  • 1-2 in one hundred pregnancies are ectopic. This means the pregnancy is developing outside the womb – most often in one of the Fallopian tubes. This condition is life-threatening for the mother and, with exceedingly rare exceptions, the pregnancy cannot survive.
  • One in 600 pregnancies is a molar pregnancy.  The pregnancy cannot survive and the woman needs specialist follow-up.

Research some years ago amongst a sample of over 300 women who had experienced miscarriage showed:

  • Nearly half (45%) of them did not feel well informed about what was happening to them
  • Only 29% felt well cared for emotionally
  • Nearly four out of five (79%) received no aftercare

Access to information and emotional support has been shown time and time again to help people cope with the experience of loss.

“Apart from loss, the most painful aspects of miscarriage are failure and grief. If you can talk about your feelings and be met with patient sympathy, you can heal.” Anna Raeburn – former patron of the Miscarriage Association

The Miscarriage Association

The Miscarriage Association is a registered national charity, offering its services across the UK through:

Support

The Miscarriage Association’s head office responds to over 5,000 calls and e-mails per year from those who have suffered the loss of a baby in pregnancy. Hundreds more use our online support services and we note an average of 80,000 visits per month to our website.

We have a network of telephone volunteers across the UK who offer support and understanding from the perspective of having been through miscarriage themselves. Twenty local support groups provide a safe space where people can meet and share their experiences and feelings.

“Thank you so much for being at the end of the phone when I really needed someone to talk to.”

Information

The Miscarriage Association produces leaflets which answer the most commonly asked questions about pregnancy loss. Our website provides an additional source of information, with all leaflets available on-line, free to download.

“It was only your organisation that answered the questions we needed to know and sent through readable information.”

Awareness

Those experiencing miscarriage often feel isolated and ignored, and understanding and sensitivity from friends and family can help enormously. It is much easier for people to give this when they have some knowledge about pregnancy loss and the impact it can have. The Miscarriage Association works with the media to raise awareness of these issues.

“I read your article in the Express. For the first time in months I feel I’m not an alien.”

Better care

The Miscarriage Association works to raise awareness and sensitivity amongst health professionals through lectures, workshops and articles in professional journals. Their attitude and care can make all the difference in coping with the loss of a baby in pregnancy.

“We greatly appreciate the work of the Miscarriage Association in providing a place for women to turn to.” Roy Farquharson MD FRCOG – Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists