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Miscarriage and mental health

Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 2 minutes read

Miscarriage, or early pregnancy loss, is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks gestation (time since conception). The majority of miscarriages occur before the 13th week of gestation. Sadly, miscarriage is far more common than people sometimes think. One in every four to five pregnancies will end in miscarriage.

Miscarriage is an incredibly difficult and emotional experience. There are physical, mental health, and social impacts from a miscarriage. If you have had a miscarriage, are worried about it, we want you to be reassured that there isn’t anything you have done wrong, and there is nothing you could have done differently or better. A miscarriage or even multiple miscarriages does not mean that you are not going to be a parent.

Common link to mental health

Many people need to take time to grieve for the loss of their baby after a miscarriage. Up to 2 in 10 women who have suffered a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy will have mental health or psychological symptoms that can last for many months.

Your doctor would want to know that you have had a miscarriage and would want to know if you were having a difficult time with your mood, mental health, or bothersome psychological symptoms.

What is the first step?

If you have had a miscarriage, or are having any ongoing mental health symptoms, book a routine appointment with your doctor. They will want to hear how you are doing and may be able to advise of useful support groups, charities, or services that are available in your area.

You should speak to a medical professional urgently if you are having suicidal thoughts or have a plan to self-harm. You can get urgent help via your doctor, calling 111, or by attending the emergency department, which is a safe place during a crisis.

If you have had multiple miscarriages, you should speak to your doctor, as there are some instances where medical causes lead to an increased chance of miscarriage.

Other support available

The miscarriage association is a UK-based charity that can provide you with information and give you support via telephone, online chat, or support groups.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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