Men living through multiple miscarriages: protocol for a qualitative exploration of experiences and support requirements

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Up to 1 in 4 pregnancies and 1 in 20 subsequent pregnancies end in miscarriage. Despite such prevalence the psychosocial effects are often unrecognised and unsupported. In the absence of any biomedical sequelae among men such marginalisation may be intensified. Men living through multiple miscarriages may also find any grief or anxiety intensified by loss of hope for future parenthood, but robust qualitative studies of these experiences are limited. We aim to rectify the deficiency.

Methods and analysis

Our qualitative study will adopt the sounds of silence framework designed by Serrant-Green to hear the voices of populations possibly marginalised. We will listen and learn from 30 to 50 men with a history of two or more miscarriages. The research participants will be recruited from a recurrent miscarriage clinic at a large tertiary hospital in England, and from advertisements to be disseminated by the project sponsor and miscarriage charities.
Individual telephone interviews supported by a semistructured discussion guide will be audio-recorded, transcribed and anonymised. The transcriptions and any field notes will be interpreted by the framework method of Ritchie and Lewis embedded within the sounds of silence framework. Tentative findings will be presented to research participants in face-to-face focus group discussion, to enable member synthesis to enhance authenticity. The focus group discussion will be audio-recorded, transcribed, anonymised and similarly interpreted to contribute to our final synthesis.

Ethics and dissemination

The protocol of this project received a favourable opinion from the West Midlands South Birmingham Research Ethics Committee (16/WM/0423). Results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences, and disseminated via newsletters and social media of our clinical collaborators and miscarriage charities. Outputs are anticipated to inform future policy and practice in the management of multiple miscarriages.

Trial registration number

ISRCTN 21828561.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere035967
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020


  • gynaecology
  • public health
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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