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Global Health
June 15, 2021

More Comprehensive Care for Miscarriage Needed Worldwide

JAMA. 2021;325(23):2335. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.8549

About 1 in 10 women will have a miscarriage over a lifetime—a statistic that represents 23 million pregnancies lost annually, or 44 per minute worldwide, according to a series of articles in The Lancet. Despite the magnitude, the articles described miscarriage as a misunderstood phenomenon and called for more comprehensive care to prevent and treat miscarriage.

The 15% of pregnancies that end in a miscarriage can be attributed to risk factors including age during pregnancy, smoking, stress, air pollution, and exposure to pesticides, 1 of the studies reported. For repeated miscarriages, which affect about 2% of women, another study indicated that progesterone could increase live-birth rates and that levothyroxine may decrease the risk of miscarriage for women with subclinical hypothyroidism. Repeated miscarriages can be emotionally devastating and pose a risk of future pregnancy complications, the authors noted. In some cultures, they added, women who are unable to have children and their partners may face discrimination, stigma, and ostracism.

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