University of Michigan researchers have shed light on a possible consequence of miscarriage or stillborn: the end of the parents' relationship. In a study involving 7,770 pregnant women, Katherine Gold, MD, and colleagues show that couples face an increased risk of breaking up after the loss of a pregnancy. From a release:
Over a 15-year period, couples who miscarried had a 22 percent higher risk of experiencing a break-up while couples who experienced a stillbirth had a 40 percent higher risk of their relationship ending. For a miscarriage, the risk persists up to three years after the loss. For stillbirths, it persists up to nine years after the loss, according to research data.
Anecdotal evidence on pregnancy loss and break-up has existed for years, but this is the first national study to show a link. The authors say that a better understanding of the effect of miscarriage and stillborn on relationships has "important implications for counseling and supporting couples after pregnancy loss."
The study appears in the current issue of Pediatrics.