Miscarriage and men
One in 4 women are likely to suffer a miscarriage in their lifetime and for some, it can be a very traumatic experience.
It is life changing for women and also for men. However, men feel a different grief and the MISS charity, with whom I am a volunteer, would like to encourage males/partners to speak more openly about how they feel after a miscarriage. It’s a taboo subject but males/partners are just as affected from an emotional point of view.
Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks. Signs can include: vaginal bleeding, cramping and pain in the lower abdomen. There are no clear reasons as why miscarriage happens. However hopefully in time, there will be further research conducted to get a better understanding of this.
There is information about miscarriage on the NHS website.
Biologically, men will not experience the full physical impact of a miscarriage like women who was carrying but men can suffer mentally and emotionally. Men may carry guilt as they are not able to understand the true pain and physical discomfort their partner may have experienced. There are also feelings of just not knowing what to say or do for your partner.
Sitting outside waiting
No words can really sum up how devastated you are when you find out or see your partner miscarry. Some of the male members at MISS have explained how they didn’t want to share how much they were hurting inside to their partners. They just wanted to cry but they put on a brave face so show that everything was going to be OK. It wasn’t until they were in a quiet room, bathroom or work that they could breathe and perhaps tell close friends how they were truly feeling.
We are currently living in the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic and during ‘lockdown’s, some partners and men have not been able to support their partners in the hospital because of Covid restrictions. Partners have had to wait outside, sit in the car and wait.
What are the partners left to do whilst waiting? Think? Imagine how their partner may feel and possibly even cry? Knowing your partner is alone, needing your shoulder to cry on hand to hold is hard to bear. Two very close individuals who may have experienced much together are now forced apart during a life changing and traumatic time.
Supporting your partner
So, after a miscarriage, how can you support your partner? Simply listening and being a shoulder to cry on can help to let your partner’s emotions pour out and let her know that you are there to support her. Tell your partner its not her fault and acknowledge the loss.
Let her rest. Encourage her to take time off work to give her space to grieve. In time, you and your partner will find coping strategies of how to move forward.
Support for men
There is support for males and partners after a miscarriage and the MISS team want to ensure that you are not alone, supported and understand how you can reach us.
I joined the team of volunteers recently. My background is in counselling. I can listen and offer support where required through monthly sessions.We also have a private online group for members to speak with one another and when Covid restrictions allow, we will be organising male/partner activities and events to support one another.
- MISS is a registered Scottish charity supporting men and women after a miscarriage. They're also on Facebook.
It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.
Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.
Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.