How Men and Women React to Miscarriages
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Dr. Carrillo explains if women and men react differently to a miscarriage.


How Men and Women React to Miscarriages In the majority of women, regardless of what stage they find out they have lost a pregnancy they will have some level of a grief response. Some women will form attachment to the pregnancy the moment they get a positive pregnancy test, the moment they are a day late for their period and at that point they start imagining the life of that pregnancy. Whether it’s a boy, whether it’s a girl, we sometimes will allow ourselves to invest emotionally in the idea of that life. The earlier you attach typically the more of a grief response you will have and this can happen early on because in the beginning women will often have symptoms of pregnancy, breast tenderness, nausea, fatigue, and have an early ultrasound in some circumstances which will show them the pregnancy. And those things help women to form attachment to the pregnancy after them being told that the pregnancy is non-viable, that the pregnancy is not going to continue, that the pregnancy has stopped. It is extremely normal to feel sad and it’s normal to have it affect your life for sometimes several weeks and several months. In terms of our spouses, our partners, men, it’s very well established that they are different. We don’t always respond emotionally the same way to all life events and pregnancy loss is no exception. Sometimes couples will experience conflict after a miscarriage or after a loss because husbands don’t grieve in the same way. And sometimes wives don’t even appreciate their grieving at all and it’s something that I try to encourage my patients to talk about and to not feel bad or feel like they must hide their sorrow or sadness because it is completely legitimate for them to be sad. One of the most obvious reasons why men and women grieve differently other than the fact that we are different is that men don’t experience the early symptoms of pregnancy and ultimately the pregnancy is separate from his body. Sometimes women will go through the grief personally because it is within them and men, sometimes will be grieving equally but they will do it in ways that are different. They tend to get busier or focus on other activities, and again, I am generalizing, I am stereotyping, but in any form of loss men grieve silently with more activity.