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Miscarriage and mental health

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

Miscarriage, or early pregnancy loss, is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 20 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. Approximately one in every ten 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 and 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 the loss of their baby after a miscarriage. Some 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 like to see if you were having difficulty with your mood, mental health, or bothersome psychological symptoms.

What is the first step?

If you have had a miscarriage or 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 on useful support groups 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, call 911, or go to 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

Online groups are available that can provide you with information and give you support via telephone, online chat, or support groups.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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