Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Miscarriage - an "invisible phenomenon"


Expectant women are often advised that they should not publicly reveal their pregnancy until they are past the 12-week mark. One reason given is the high chance of miscarriage in the first trimester. The assumption is that if you were to have a miscarriage, the last thing you’d want is for anyone to know about it. It is a misfortune which we are expected to keep to ourselves.

Dux goes on to recount her own recent experience of miscarriage. It is not actually such an uncommon event amongst adult women. Indeed, for every three women who have given birth by their early 30s, one has had a miscarriage. Yet, Dux argues, despite its frequency, miscarriage is an “almost invisible” phenomenon.

It seems our society is not geared towards grieving, or even acknowledging, the loss of an early pregnancy. As the American author Peggy Orenstein has observed, the English language doesn’t even have a word for a lost foetus.

It makes you wonder: would grieving women find more support if the subject wasn’t hidden away as an shameful “women’s issue”? Or do many women actually prefer not to talk about? I assume there are 10,000 different answers to the question. A little acknowledgment might go a long way though.


  1. How did your five days of Clomid go? Hope you got away without any side effects!

  2. I am thrilled to say that I had exactly ZERO side effects from the clomid. I am now trying to figure ovulation out, since fertility charting tells me I've ovulated, but none of the ovulation predictor kits I have used say that I have.

  3. There are some women grieving for the loss. And I think they need more support.

  4. I am so glad people knew about my miscarriage because of all the emotional support I received. I even wrote a column about it (http://www.dioceseofknoxville.org/?news=2941&menu=1462&level=1) so a LOT of people knew about it. Their kind comments and prayers meant so much to me. But I think it's very personal and others might not feel the same way.

  5. i went to the Walk to Remember in Edmonton last year (www.walktoremember.org i think) and it was so beautiful to be around a lot of other people who *got* what i was feeling, and we didn't even have to say a word. just show up.
    i did a youtube video about it...
    but i loved this idea. i would like to do the same for women in my community (i drove 3 hours to go to the one in Edmonton). Just so they know they are not alone...