Experience of miscarriage: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

This study of men and women’s experience with miscarriage involved interviewing 16 participants. Six major themes around experience of miscarriage were identified. Key findings include a need for increased awareness of miscarriage and to prioritise investigating miscarriage.

Sarah Meaney, Niamh Spillane, Keelin O'Donoghue
Journal Name
BMJ Open
Journal Article
Experience, Miscarriage, Recurrent miscarriage
Causes and consequences of pregnancy loss and perinatal death
Full Citation
Meaney S, Corcoran P, Spillane N, O'Donoghue K. Experience of miscarriage: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. BMJ Open. 2017;7:e011382.
Link to Publication


The objective of this study was to explore the experiences of those who have experienced miscarriage, focusing on men's and women's accounts of miscarriage. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews using a technique that aims to explore men and women’s insight into their experience with miscarriage. The interviews were analysed to identify major themes relating to their experience of miscarriage. 10 women and 6 men were interviewed for this study. Six major themes in relation to the participants’ experience of miscarriage were identified: (1) acknowledgement of miscarriage as a valid loss; (2) misperceptions of miscarriage; (3) the hospital environment, management of miscarriage; (4) support and coping; (5) reproductive history; and (6) implications for future pregnancies. One of the key findings illustrates a need for increased awareness in relation to miscarriage. The study also indicates that the experience of miscarriage has a considerable impact on men and women. This study highlights that a thorough investigation of the underlying causes of miscarriage and continuity of care in subsequent pregnancies are priorities for those who experience miscarriage. Women who have not experienced recurrent miscarriage but have other potential risk factors for miscarriage may benefit from structured pathways for follow up in clinical practice.

Pregnancy Loss Research Group

Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College Cork, Fifth Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, T12 YE02, Ireland,