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Mumsnet miscarriage 2014 survey results

Miscarriage Care campaign

We asked women who had miscarried since September 2011 (the date of our last survey) to complete a survey telling us about their experiences; nearly 1,100 women took part. Thank you to everyone.

Here are the stand-out points, and the full results below. 

  • Half (46%) had to wait for over 24 hours for a scan, with one in five (18%) waiting longer than three days
  • Half (47%) were treated alongside women with ongoing pregnancies
  • A third (31%) of those who miscarried at home following a scan were not offered any or adequate pain relief
  • Over half (58%) of respondents wanted counselling, but only 12% were offered it
  • Only 15% of women who miscarried at home following a scan felt they had the right support, information and pain relief to manage at home
  • 11 people were asked to store the remains of their baby at home prior to further tests

The results show just why this campaign is so important.

Please ask the three politicians who can make this happen - Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt), Andy Burnham (@andyburnhammp) and Norman Lamb (@normanlamb) - for their support, click the button to the right to Tweet at them. 

Don't use Twitter? Click here.

Full survey results

Data based on all respondents unless otherwise stated.


MN Miscarriage Survey May 2014
How many miscarriages have you experienced since Septmeber 2011?
Answer Options Response Percent
One 74%
Two 19%
Three 5%
Four 1%
Five 0%
Six 0%
Seven or more 0%
Not stated 1%
When did you have your miscarriage? (The last one if more than one experienced)
Answer Options Response Percent
Sept-Dec 2011 13%
2012 33%
2013 36%
2014 17%
Not stated 2%
How many weeks pregnant were you?
Answer Options Response Percent
Less than 4 weeks 1%
From 4 up to 6 weeks 15%
From 6 up to 12 weeks 72%
From 12 up to 16 weeks 7%
From 16 up to 20 weeks 2%
Over 20 weeks 1%
Don't know/ not stated 1%
Average 9.1weeks
Who from the following, if anyone, did you talk to about your miscarriage? Tick all that apply
Answer Options Response Percent
No-one 2%
Partner 95%
Close female friend 73%
Close male friend 10%
Close family member 65%
Wider friends 23%
Wider family 13%
Posted on Mumsnet about it 22%
Posted on an internet talkboard (not Mumsnet) 11%
Not stated 0%
Were healthcare professionals aware of your miscarriage at any stage or did you deal with it without informing any medical staff? If you've had more than one miscarriage please think about the last one you experienced.
Answer Options Response Percent
Healthcare professional was aware, whilst miscarriage happening - eg you miscarried in hospital or it was discovered following a routine scan 73%
Healthcare professional aware, after miscarriage had occurred - eg you dealt with it at home then reported to GP 20%
Dealt with it without informing any medical professional - eg no medical staff knew you'd miscarried 2%
Can't remember/ don't know 1%
Other 5%
If you were treated in hospital for your miscarriage, were you at any point being treated alongside women with ongoing pregnancies or newborn babies, or women who were terminating unwanted pregnancies? Base: all treated in hospital for miscarriage
Answer Options Response Percent
Yes 47%
No 39%
Don't know/not stated 15%
If you were referred for a scan on the NHS to confirm that your baby no longer had a heartbeat, how long did you have to wait for the scan to take place? Base: all who were referred for a scan on the NHS
Answer Options Response Percent
Under 4 hours 23%
Between 4 and 8 hours 9%
Between 8 and 24 hours 15%
Between 1 and 2 days 29%
More than three days 18%
Don't know/not stated 6%
Following representations from Mumsnet and other organisations, the procedure previously known as ERPC (evacuation of retained products of conception) has been renamed as ‘surgical management of miscarriage’. If your most recent miscarriage was within the last year, and was surgically managed, did any clinicians use the term ‘evacuation of retained products of conception’ or ERPC? 
Answer Options Response Percent
Yes 58%
No 30%
Don't know/not stated 13%
If you were referred for surgical management of your miscarriage (previously known as ‘evacuation of retained products of conception, or ERPC), how many days did you wait between your diagnosis and the surgical procedure? 
Answer Options Response Percent
Less than a day 9%
Next day 17%
2-3 days 32%
4 days or more 34%
Don't know/not stated 8%
If you miscarried in hospital, how would you describe the information you were given about what would happen to the foetus following the miscarriage?
Answer Options Response Percent
Information was comprehensive and compassionate 33%
It was accurate but lacked compassion 17%
It was compassionate but not clear 11%
It was sketchy and lacked compassion 11%
No information available 21%
Don't know/not stated  8%
If you miscarried at home following a scan, did you feel you were given adequate pain relief medication?  
Answer Options Response Percent
Yes - was given adequate pain relief 9%
No - was not given or offered adequate or any pain relief 31%
Was advised to take own pain relief 40%
Didn't need any 16%
Don't know 2%
Other (please specify) 2%
After your miscarriage (whether at home or in hospital), were you contacted by anyone (such as a GP surgery or community midwife) who seemed unaware that you had miscarried? If so, by whom?
Answer Options Response Percent
Yes - by GP 15%
Yes - by Doctor’s receptionist 11%
Yes - by Community midwife 35%
Yes - by Hospital midwife 15%
Yes - by Hospital consultant 7%
Yes - by Hospital nurse 4%
Yes - by Scan technician 10%
Yes - by commercial company eg Bounty, Boots Baby Club 39%
If you were unhappy with the care you received in hospital, did you make any complaint to the hospital afterwards? If not, why not?
Answer Options Response Percent
NA: Was happy with care / didn't have treatment in hospital / not stated 70%
Yes - unhappy with care and made a complaint 4%
No - unhappy with care but did not make a complaint 26%
If your miscarriage was managed ‘expectantly’ - that is, you were advised to go home and wait for the miscarriage to occur naturally - please tell us which, if any, of the following applied to you (you can choose more than one). 
Answer Options Response Percent
I was satisfied that this was the best course of action 39%
I would have preferred surgical or medical management, but was told that this was not available for me/ didn't know this option was available 8%
I felt that I needed more professional support and input while miscarrying at home 28%
I felt that I needed more prescription pain relief than I was given (or some prescription pain relief, if nothing was prescribed) 26%
I was asked to store my baby/ foetus at home and bring it back into the hospital/GP surgery at a later date for investigation 2%
I felt that miscarrying at home was reasonably OK, given the circumstances 36%
I felt that I had enough support, information and pain relief to enable me to miscarry at home as comfortably as possible, given the circumstances 15%
Other 13%
Following your miscarriage, please tick yes or no to best describe your experiences. 
Answer Options Yes  No  Don't know
Did you feel the need for follow-up medical care (such as an appointment with a GP or at a hospital clinic)? 56% 41% 3%
Did you feel you could benefit from one or more counselling sessions to help me cope with the emotional distress? 58% 34% 8%
Were you offered follow-up medical care? 26% 73% 1%
Were you offered counselling? 12% 86% 2%
Did you pro-actively seek follow-up medical care? 34% 65% 0%
Did you pro-actively seek counselling? 14% 86% 0%
For each of the following NHS healthcare professionals who were potentially involved in your treatment for miscarriage, please rate them for how sympathetic and compassionate they were, where ‘5’ is excellent and ‘1’ is awful.
Answer Options 5 excellent 4 3 2 1 awful Don't  know
GP 38% 24% 20% 10% 8% 0%
Doctor’s receptionist 21% 20% 22% 12% 17% 8%
Community midwife 31% 20% 19% 15% 11% 3%
Hospital midwife 46% 24% 16% 8% 5% 1%
Hospital consultant 30% 26% 18% 13% 11% 1%
Hospital nurse 41% 23% 18% 8% 8% 1%
Scan technician 36% 27% 18% 11% 9% 1%
GP 3.7 out of 5
Doctor’s receptionist 3.2 out of 5
Community midwife 3.5 out of 5
Hospital midwife 4.0 out of 5
Hospital consultant 3.5 out of 5
Hospital nurse 3.8 out of 5
Scan technician 3.7 out of 5
Throughout your miscarriage, how would you rate the information you were given by NHS healthcare staff (where ‘5’ is comprehensive, and ‘1’ is inadequate and/or misleading). 
Answer Options Response Percent 
5 - comprehensive 19%
4 30%
3 27%
2 12%
1 - inadequate and/or misleading 9%
Don't know/not stated 2%
Average  3.4
If you sought or received medical attention from the NHS, how would you rate your overall care, where ‘5’ is excellent and ‘1’ is abysmal? Base: all who had or sought medical attention from NHS
Answer Options Response Percent 
5 - excellent 17%
4 36%
3 27%
2 12%
1 - abysmal 5%
Don't know 2%
Average  3.5
For each of the following NHS healthcare professionals who were potentially involved in your treatment for miscarriage, please rate them for how sympathetic and compassionate they were, where ‘5’ is excellent and ‘1’ is awful.
Answer Options 1 - unsupportive 2 3 4 5 - very supportive Used but can't rate 
/ don't  know
Medical staff in hospitals 10% 12% 19% 28% 29% 1%
Medical staff in the community 15% 13% 22% 22% 19% 9%
Friends 2% 5% 16% 27% 49% 1%
Family 4% 6% 16% 20% 53% 1%
Spouse/partner 2% 5% 7% 14% 71% 0%
Mumsnet 1% 1% 8% 26% 51% 13%
Other internet sites 2% 1% 15% 29% 34% 19%
Charity/NHS leaflets 6% 13% 26% 26% 14% 15%
Charity/NHS helplines 10% 4% 14% 12% 17% 42%



Last updated: 8 months ago