Men and miscarriage: a systematic review and thematic synthesis

Helen Williams, Anne Topping, Arri Coomarasamy, Laura Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
298 Downloads (Pure)


Miscarriage is common, affecting 1 in 5 pregnancies, but the psychosocial effects often go unrecognized and unsupported. The effects for men may be subject to unintentional neglect by healthcare practitioners, who typically focus on biological symptoms, confined to women. Therefore we set out to systematically review the evidence of lived experiences of male partners in high-income countries. Our search and thematic synthesis of the relevant literature identified 27 manuscripts reporting 22 studies with qualitative methods. The studies collected data from 241 male participants, and revealed the powerful effect of identities assumed and performed by men, or constructed for them in the context of miscarriage. We identified perceptions of female precedence, uncertain transition to parenthood, gendered coping responses, and ambiguous relations with healthcare practitioners. Men were often cast into roles that seemed secondary to others, with limited opportunities to articulate and address any emotions and uncertainties engendered by loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number1
Early online date16 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2019


  • bereavement
  • grief
  • quality of care
  • caregivers
  • caretaking
  • doctor-patient
  • nurse-patient
  • communication
  • fathers
  • fathering
  • families
  • masculinity
  • gender
  • lived experience
  • health
  • access to health care
  • pregnancy
  • reproduction
  • users' experiences
  • health care
  • psychology
  • psychological issues
  • qualitative
  • thematic synthesis
  • systematic review
  • high-income countires


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