Study of the impact of dedicated recurrent miscarriage clinics in the Republic of Ireland

Spontaneous miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy. While improvements in the quality of care provided during pregnancy have led to substantial reductions in many adverse pregnancy outcomes, there has been little effect on miscarriage which still occurs in between 20% to 30% of pregnancies, in the first trimester. Recurrent early pregnancy loss (RPL) has traditionally been defined as the loss of three or more consecutive pregnancies, and research indicates that at least 1% of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) will experience RPL.

Guidelines for the investigation and care of women who experience RPL have been internationally agreed. Investigation is important for evaluating potential factors responsible for pregnancy loss. These guidelines have recently been updated, and state that RPL should now be defined as the loss of two or more consecutive pregnancies. Given that 6% of women will experience two or more consecutive miscarriages, more women will be accessing these services as the guidelines are adapted.

The National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death were published in 2016, and as part of the implementation programme in 2017 it identified that only 4 hospitals, out of the 19 in Ireland, ran specific pregnancy loss and/or miscarriage clinics, and their provision of services had not been formally assessed.

This project aims to evaluate all aspects of care for RPL and its organisation; including the provision of dedicated pregnancy loss clinics, treatment and management of RPL, investigations performed, and counselling and support of parents following RPL. This project will encompass people's experiences and opinions, and allow patient and stakeholder feedback to help inform and improve early pregnancy care in the Republic of Ireland.

Award Date
27 June 2019
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Keelin O'Donoghue
Host Institution
University College Cork
Investigator Led Projects