Tens of thousands of women in the UK may be experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after miscarriages each year, a leading researcher warns.
Prof Tom Bourne estimates the number affected could run to 45,000 annually.
But he says most are not given prompt psychological support that could help prevent PTSD developing.
The Miscarriage Association says there is an urgent need for better access to talking and other psychological therapies for those affected. At present, most women have to ask for help themselves rather than support being in place.
Prof Bourne believes there needs to be more research into other ways of helping people experiencing loss. His team is trying out a variety of new approaches - including virtual reality - to help address the issue.
One idea his team is experimenting with is offering women virtual reality headsets during miscarriage procedures.
It builds on previous work that shows VR headsets can help reduce pain during some medical procedures.
Researcher Dr Nina Parker says the aim is "to transport them to sort of a more calm, virtual reality world for distraction from the pain and anxiety during the procedure".
She adds: "There is nothing that we are ever going to be able to do that takes away from the loss and the trauma of losing pregnancy and having a miscarriage.
"But if we can do everything that we can to minimise any additional trauma we might be adding to in the interactions that are had within the hospital, then we are obligated to do that."
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Source: BBC News, 8 April 2022