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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume VI, Issue XI, November 2022|ISSN 2454-6186

Psychological Experiences of Women Who Had Spontaneous Abortions in Budiriro Suburb, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Patience Dzikira, Shariwa Chindowa, Jacqueline Mayers, Sheron Gomera
Mental health Clinic Harare, Zimbabwe

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the psychological experiences of women who had spontaneous abortions in Budiriro suburb in Harare Metropolitan Province. The qualitative approach and phenomenology research design were used to describe the experiences of women who had spontaneous abortions. Data was collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The collected data showed that women who miscarry experience dysphoria, cognitive disorganization and health deficit. Barriers for timely seeking of counselling after miscarriages were social stigma, treatment fears, anticipated utilities and risks (expected help or lack of help to be obtained from a therapy), social norms and race and ethnicity background. The study recommends that the disclosure of spontaneous abortions can be improved through providing clear pathways, utilizing care networks, eHealth for miscarriage support, community-initiated interventions and use of spiritual intervention. The Ministry of health may also introduce programs which encourage women who have experienced spontaneous abortions to seek mental health counselling.

Keywords: Spontaneous abortions, women, psychological, depression, miscarriage


Worldwide, Nfii (2018) asserts that around 12 to 15 percent of pregnancies result in spontaneous abortions. Webb (2017) also alluded that about 30 to 50 percent of women suffer from anxiety with 10 to 15 percent of the survivor’s experience depression which could span over a period of four months. Meanwhile, in Africa information and knowledge regarding the miscarriage experiences is still scarce (Evans, 2021). Spontaneous abortion was the most regular negative pregnancy result with frustrating emotional outcome for the survivors and their families (Evans, 2021). As such, lack of adequate information regarding miscarriages or maternal and reproductive health-linked pointers would result in some pregnancies and miscarriages remain unrecorded or reported. In such cases, antenatal care (ANC) services are established from the whole number of women who gave birth in a certain time frame excluding about 30 percent of pregnancies lost through miscarriage or stillbirth (Mark, 2016). As a result of this, data on spontaneous abortions rates in low-income and middle-income nations like Zimbabwe remains scarce (Bauserman et al., 2020; Bearak et al., 2020).
According to Bearak et al (2020), studies carried out in developed nations defines miscarriages through distinguishing pregnancies from five to six gestation weeks’ pregnancies that