6 Myths About Miscarriage Lots of People Still Believe

posted: 08/14/15
by: Mara Betsch
woman hospital sad miscarriage myths

Recently, YouTube stars Sam and Nia announced their third pregnancy with a viral video where Sam went to some extreme measures to find out if his wife was pregnant. Unfortunately just a few days later, the tearful couple explained in another video that Nia had miscarried. The Internet was in uproar, claiming that the couple announced their pregnancy too early, and worse, that they had never been pregnant in the first place. Though controversy has more or less blown over, it does raise some interesting points about misconceptions surrounding miscarriages. Here, we're debunking the six biggest ones:

Myth: Miscarriage is rare

About 10-20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. And about 80 percent of those occur in the first trimester. This is often why doctors advise you abstain from telling friends and family until you enter your second trimester. However, a recent survey found that 55 percent of people in the United States believe that miscarriage happens in 5 percent or less of all pregnancies.

Myth: Miscarriages can be caused by lifting heavy objects

According to the same survey, participants wrongly assumed that miscarriages are caused by a variety of actions. Sixty-four percent believed that a miscarriage could be caused by lifting a heavy object, 41 percent believed that having a sexually transmitted disease in the past could also play a role, and more than 20 percent of participants believed that IUDs and oral contraception could also increase your risk of a miscarriage. Contrary to popular belief, the bulk of miscarriage are due to medical or genetic issues.

Myth: If you have one miscarriage, you'll have another

As we've mentioned above, miscarriage is relatively common, and the chance of losing a child after one miscarriage is just the same as if you hadn't had a pregnancy loss. That being said, after two miscarriages, your risk of experiencing goes up 20 percent, and continues to go up after three and four miscarriages. But there's still hope -- even after four losses, you're chances of carrying to term are still 60 percent. Just make sure to talk to your doctor so he or she can check for underlying medical issues.

Myth: If you had an abortion, you're more likely to miscarry

Though you should absolutely let your OB-GYN know about any abortions, having one or even two shouldn't affect your ability to get and stay pregnant. But the jury is still out if you had more than three abortions, and there's some research that suggests that having a short amount of time (about 3 months) between an abortion and a pregnancy may affect your risk of miscarriage.

Myth: You don't need to grieve a miscarriage

Ask anyone who's miscarried and they'll probably tell you it was just as upsetting as losing a child. Unfortunately, the medical community isn't exactly known for their gentleness around the topic. Just 45 percent of survey participants said they had received "adequate emotional support" from doctors and nurses, while 25 percent said they didn't receive any support at all. The good news is that research shows most women's grief will lessen after six months, but while you're mourning your loss, be sure to talk about it with your friends and family, which brings us to our next point.

Myth: You should keep your miscarriage a secret

The reason most people think miscarriages are rare is because few women talk about it outside of their close circle of friends. Though celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow openly talking about the issue can help, it's more important to share your story with friends who are going through the same thing. When a friend revealed a miscarriage, 46 percent of survey takers claimed they felt less alone after their own miscarriages.