Pregnancy loss: a major life event affecting emotional health and well-being

Philip M Boyce, John T Condon and David A Ellwood
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04399.x
Published online: 18 March 2002

Comprehensive management of pregnancy loss is enhanced by psychological support and follow-up counselling

It is generally accepted that 12%–15% of confirmed pregnancies do not progress to term, with the risk of pregnancy loss increasing with maternal age. In particular, early pregnancy loss (< 20 weeks' gestation) is experienced by one in four women. In about half these women, a medical explanation can be found,1 although, in clinical practice, investigations to identify the cause are rarely pursued. Most women go on to have successful subsequent pregnancies, although there is a slightly increased risk of a second miscarriage that increases incrementally with each subsequent loss.1

  • Philip M Boyce1
  • John T Condon2
  • David A Ellwood3

  • 1 Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, NSW.
  • 2 Department of Psychiatry, Flinders University, Repatriation Hospital, Daw Park, SA.
  • 3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Sydney, Canberra Clinical School. The Canberra Hospital, Woden, ACT.



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