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The Sussexes

Miscarriage causes the loss of about one in four pregnancies – the Duchess of Sussex should be praised for opening up about her experiences

The Duchess of Sussex revealed on Wednesday that she suffered a miscarriage in July.

Writing in the New York Times, Meghan wrote: “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”

Despite miscarriage causing the loss of about one in four pregnancies, it is still a highly taboo subject, with people finding the subject very difficult to talk about despite it happening so often.

The fact that Meghan feels she is able to speak up about her experience of miscarriage will no doubt help millions of women in the future when they go through the same tragedy in their lives.

Journalist Anita Singh tweeted: “When I had a miscarriage, I remember scouring the internet for articles by women who had been through the same thing. Because reading that you’re not alone is helpful and it’s comforting. So thank you to Meghan Markle for writing about something so difficult.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “This is awful news and my heart goes out to Meghan and Harry. I think it’s really important that more people speak out about miscarriages and the pain they went through. There’s such a stigma around it and talking about it will help so many who’ll go through the same pain.”

What is a miscarriage?

  • A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy up to the 24 weeks stage of pregnancy. If a baby is lost past the 24 weeks stage, this will be classed as stillbirth.
  • Around one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, with there being around 250,000 miscarriages in the UK each year. However, this is this is only an estimate. Unlike stillbirths, miscarriages do not have to be registered, so there are no official statistics in existence.
  • The majority of miscarriages happen within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with the majority of these occurring within the first eight weeks.
  • Many miscarriages happen because of an issue during the stages of early development between the sperm cell or the egg cell.
  • Miscarriages can also occur because of blood clotting problems which can starve the baby of oxygen. There may also be hormonal problems, a problem with the uterus or cervix, or infection.
  • The main two risk factors of miscarriage are a woman’s age and the number of miscarriages she has had before.

If you need support or someone to talk to because of miscarriage or child loss, there are many organisations offering help including The Miscarriage Association, Sands and Tommy’s.