According to a new study, one in 12 partners of women who have a miscarriage experience post-traumatic stress (PTS). The findings were published in the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Researchers at the Imperial College London conducted a survey of more than 100 couples who had experienced pregnancy loss at an early stage (miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy before 12 weeks). They completed validated questionnaires pertaining to their emotions and behaviour at one, three and nine months after pregnancy loss.
Thirty-four per cent of women experienced PTS at one month, 26 per cent at three months and 21 per cent at nine months after the pregnancy loss. Seven per cent of partners experienced PTS at one month, increasing to 8 per cent at three months and 4 per cent at nine months after the pregnancy loss.
Although fewer partners fulfilled the criteria for PTS than women, several of them experienced individual symptoms of PTS such as feeling helpless or terrified, despite not meeting the full criteria for the condition.
Dr Jessica Farren, one of the study authors, said: "This study demonstrates there is a sizeable proportion of partners who experience severe psychological symptoms after a pregnancy loss. Moreover, those partners who did not reach the threshold for diagnosis of post-traumatic stress are still very likely to be experiencing symptoms that have an impact on their wellbeing."