Reproductive health knowledge about miscarriage: A cross-sectional study of university students

This cross-sectional study of 746 university students demonstrates a lack of knowledge about miscarriage. Heavy bleeding, cramping and pain were identified as common features for miscarriage; however, knowledge of type of management, and diagnostic tests available was poor.


Indra San Lázaro Campillo, Sarah Meaney, Rachel Rice, Keelin O'Donoghue

Journal Name
Maternal and Child Health Journal
Journal Article
Awareness / Knowledge, First-trimester miscarriage, Miscarriage, Second-trimester miscarriage

Miscarriage in Ireland

Full Citation

San Lazaro Campillo I, Meaney S, Sheehan J, Rice R, O'Donoghue K. Reproductive health knowledge about miscarriage: A cross-sectional study of university students. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2021;25(2):282-292.

Link to Publication


Previous evidence has found that there is a lack of understanding of miscarriage. This cross-sectional study explored 746 students’ understanding of miscarriage via a survey conducted at University College Cork (UCC) between April and May 2016. Specifically, the study focused on students’ knowledge of signs or symptomsof first and second trimester miscarriage, type of management and diagnostic tests available for women who miscarry. Although students correctly identified heavy bleeding, cramping and pain as common features of miscarriage, they were not aware that miscarriage can sometimes occur without any signs or symptoms. Students outside of disciplines from Medicine and Health were more likely to have a poor knowledge of second trimester miscarriage (i.e. miscarriages that occur after 12 weeks of gestation), treatment and investigations of miscarriage. Surprisingly, only 44% of students knew that expectant treatment (i.e. no treatment or conservative management) is an alternative management option for women who miscarry. Google was the preferred source for information related to miscarriage. Approximately 80% of the students reported that they had not received any information about miscarriage at school or university settings. Universities have an ideal opportunity to promote awareness about miscarriage among young adults.

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,