According to a survey conducted in the US, it seems that misconceptions about miscarriages are still extremely common among men and women alike. This is quite dangerous because it greatly contributes to the frequent cases of depression associated with the premature loss of a child.
The survey was conducted in 2013 by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from Yeshiva University and the Montefiore Health System from the Bronx. It had about 1,000 participants, from which more than half were women.
The results proved that miscarriages are widely misunderstood in America and that popular beliefs are the main cause of the majority of problems that arise after the loss of a child, ranging from arguments between partners to depressive states of all types to serious violence.
Firstly, the survey demonstrates that the public opinion on miscarriage is that it is a very rare phenomenon. Most of the 1,000 participants believed that miscarriages happen only in 6% of all pregnancies, and thus viewed people who had gone through this as a minority, which contributes to the isolation often seen in these cases.
This is actually considerably far from the truth. According to statistics, premature child loss occurs in about 30% of cases in the US, making it an extremely frequent occurance. Apparently, this is one figure that the public needs to be aware of, in order to understand that there is no need for stigmatization of these women.
Secondly, it has been observed that the majority of the people who took the survey believe that miscarriages are caused by day-to-day activities and lifestyle choices of women. 76% believe that it can be caused by a stressful event, from which 21% believe that it could even be a strong argument, and as many as 64% of the 1,000 participants think that by lifting heavy objects are a sure road to child-loss.
Furthermore, contraception is commonly regarded as a predisposing cause of miscarriage. 28% of participants believe that the use of intrauterine devices would be a definite cause for this and astonishingly 22% consider that even oral contraception will surely prevent them from having children.
Regarding lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking, 22% of participants viewed them as an extremely common cause for miscarriages. Moreover, men have been shown to be 2,6 times more likely to believe this.
The survey also assessed what the participants felt in the case that they had suffered a miscarriage. 15% said that either them or their partners have gone through this. And among them, 47% experienced guilt towards the situation, 41% believed that they had done something to cause it and 28% felt ashamed.
Doctors and scientists believe that a campaign to raise awareness on this matter would save so many people a tremendous amount of grief. It is not only the women who go through a miscarriage that experience depression afterwards, but also their partners.
Men often feel that they could have prevented the loss of the child by taking better care of their partners and set unreachable stakes for how they should have behaved. Other times, they blame themselves for not having intervened more thoroughly in the lifestyle choices of their partner.
Either way, it constitutes significant grounds for deeply altering a relationship. And in the event that the female partner is also going through depression, her state is also worsened to a great extent.
People need to understand that while special care needs to be taken throughout the duration of a pregnancy, events such as lifting heavy objects, stress, smoking or drinking are unable to cause termination all on their own. Moreover, it is crucial that the association with contraception be eliminated.
Most miscarriages occur due to genetic causes, hormonal imbalances and immune factors, and in most cases, the mothers have very little say in the matter.
While it is absolutely normal to grieve the passing of an unborn child, it would make a considerable difference in the well-being of both the parents if they do not regard themselves as guilty.
Misconceptions about miscarriages are widely spread and according to this survey, in the US people seem to strongly believe in them. Therefore, it is of great importance that extensive work be done to raise awareness on the matter.
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