ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 5 (UPI) — Experiencing a miscarriage or stillbirth increases the risk the parents will break up, U.S. researchers found.
Lead author Dr. Katherine Gold, an assistant professor of family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Health System used data from the National Survey of Family Growth for married and cohabiting women who had a live birth, miscarriage (the loss of a fetus before 20 weeks of gestation) or stillbirth (loss after 20 weeks but before birth).
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found couples who miscarried had a 22 percent increased risk of breaking up and the increased risk persists as long as three years after the loss.
The study also found couples who suffered a stillbirth had a 40 percent increased risk of breaking up and that risk persisted as many as nine years after the loss.
“Miscarriage and stillbirth can be powerful and traumatic events for families,” Gold said in a statement. “While many couples become closer after a loss, if a couple was struggling before the loss, this could be a huge stress for their relationship.”
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