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.
Kuehn BM. More Comprehensive Care for Miscarriage Needed Worldwide. JAMA. 2021;325(23):2335. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.8549
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