SAN FRANCISCO, April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the fact that the majority of miscarriages are the result of chromosomal abnormalities, nearly 70 percent of women who have had a miscarriage believe that "stress" caused them to lose the pregnancy, and more than a quarter (27%) of them believe they "may have done something to cause it."
These are among the results of a recently completed survey of 2,552 US adult women by Ava, a medical technology company focused on innovations in women's reproductive health, that sought to uncover common beliefs and experiences surrounding miscarriage.
"Despite the fact that it's been proven consistently for decades now that miscarriages are not caused by day-to-day stress, intense exercise, lifting heavy objects or even a history of abortion, these are all common myths women still believe about how they may have somehow contributed to the loss of a pregnancy," said Ava Chief Medical Officer Maureen Cronin. "The result of these persistent fallacies is a lot of unnecessary guilt and suffering for women today."
According to the Ava survey, many women are not aware of how common miscarriages actually are. While current stats show about 20-30 percent of all pregnancies result in miscarriage, less than half (43%) accurately estimated the correct miscarriage rate. In fact, more than a quarter of women polled (28%) said they believed miscarriage was less common than that, while 30 percent actually overestimated the miscarriage rate.
Healthcare Providers Spreading Misinformation and Not Providing Needed Support
The survey also showed that many healthcare providers also may not be doing enough to support women following a miscarriage, even in providing accurate guidance about how long to wait before trying to conceive again. About a quarter of women reported that a doctor told them to "wait several months or more" before trying to conceive again - despite the fact medical research shows it's fine for the majority of women to try again within the first cycle following a miscarriage. The only exception to this is for women whose miscarriage involved surgical intervention like a D&C, when a doctor will likely ask her to wait a few cycles to allow the cervix to close and the uterine lining to heal.
In addition, 32 percent said they were "not satisfied with the care they received from their doctor when they miscarried," and about a quarter of the women covered by medical insurance said they still had miscarriage-related OOP expenses of more than $500. At the same time, 29 percent of women said they had experienced "severe pain," and 41 percent bled from 1-2 weeks or more after their miscarriage.
"The fact that doctors are still giving women inaccurate advice regarding the length of time to wait following a miscarriage to try again, is particularly unfortunate given 67 percent of those we surveyed said they're eager to 'try again right away' to get pregnant," said Cronin. "Even worse, this advice may be hurting women's chances of conceiving another healthy pregnancy. According to a 2010 BMJ study, women who conceive within the first six months after a miscarriage are less likely to have a subsequent miscarriage."
Founded in Switzerland in 2014 by industry leaders in wearable technology, women's health, and data science, Ava is a medical technology company dedicated to bringing innovation to women's reproductive health. The Ava bracelet, which received The Bump "Best of Baby Tech CES 2017" award for fertility and pregnancy and the Women's Health "Editors' Choice" award, is the company's first consumer product. Ava uses sensor technology, clinical research, and data science to precisely monitor a woman's menstrual cycle or pregnancy in real time. The company is also conducting clinical studies to adapt and expand its algorithms for use as a non-hormonal contraceptive device. Backed by USD12.3M in seed and Series A funding, Ava has operations in Zurich and San Francisco.