University students' awareness of causes and risk factors of miscarriage: a cross-sectional study

This cross-sectional study illustrates that common misunderstandings still prevail regarding the etiology of miscarriage, suggesting a deficiency in formal information and access to information related to reproductive health.

Indra San Lázaro Campillo, Sarah Meaney, Rachel Rice, Keelin O'Donoghue
Journal Name
BMC Women's Health
Journal Article
Awareness / Knowledge, Miscarriage
Full Citation
San Lázaro Campillo I, Meaney S, Sheehan J, Rice R, O'Donoghue K. University students' awareness of causes and risk factors of miscarriage: a cross-sectional study. BMC Womens Health. 2018;18(1):188.
Link to Publication


Previous evidence has found that there is a lack of understanding of miscarriage among Irish adults aged 18-65 years in the Republic of Ireland. This cross-sectional study provides insight into university students’ awareness of prevalence and risk factors of miscarriage at a University between April and May of 2016. Specifically, it shows that there is a lack of knowledge of rates, causes, risk factors, and features of miscarriage among university students. Only 20% of students correctly identified the prevalence of miscarriage in Ireland, and almost 30% of this sample believed that the prevalence of miscarriage was less common than 10%. Approximately 75% of the students knew that chromosomal abnormalities were a cause of miscarriage, yet only 43% recognised them as the leading cause. Less than 50% of the students were aware that being overweight is a risk factor for miscarriage. On the other hand, more than 80% of the students considered that stress was an established risk factor for miscarriage. University settings represent an ideal opportunity for health promotion strategies to increase awareness of potential adverse outcomes in pregnancy. These findings highlight an opportunity for public health interventions to improve reproductive health education.

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,