Men, trans/masculine, and non-binary people's experiences of pregnancy loss: An international qualitative study

Damien W. Riggs, Ruth Pearce, Carla A. Pfeffer, Sally Hines, Francis Ray White, Elisabetta Ruspini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Growing numbers of men, trans/masculine, and non-binary people are becoming gestational parents, yet very little is known about experiences of pregnancy loss among this diverse population. Methods: The study employed a cross sectional design. Interviews were undertaken with a convenience sample of 51 trans/masculine and non-binary people who had undertaken at least one pregnancy, living in either Australia, the United States, Canada, or the European Union (including the United Kingdom). Participants were recruited by posts on Facebook and Twitter, via researcher networks, and by community members. 16 (31.2%) of the participants had experienced a pregnancy loss and are the focus of this paper. Thematic analysis was used to analyse interview responses given by these 16 participants to a specific question asking about becoming pregnant and a follow up probe question about pregnancy loss. Results: Thematic analysis of interview responses given by the 16 participants led to the development of 10 themes: (1) pregnancy losses count as children, (2) minimizing pregnancy loss, (3) accounting for causes of pregnancy loss, (4) pregnancy loss as devastating, (5) pregnancy loss as having positive meaning, (6) fears arising from a pregnancy loss, (7) experiences of hospitals enacting inclusion, (8) lack of formal support offered, (9) lack of understanding from family, and (10) importance of friends. Conclusions: The paper concludes by outlining specific recommendations for clinical practice. These include the importance of focusing on the emotions attached to pregnancy loss, the need for targeted support services for men, trans/masculine, and non-binary people who undertake a pregnancy (including for their partners), and the need for ongoing training for hospital staff so as to ensure the provision of trans-affirming medical care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number482
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Men
  • Miscarriage
  • Pregnancy loss
  • Reproduction
  • Trans/masculine and non-binary
  • Transgender


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