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In a post-Roe world, miscarriage treatment becomes more difficult

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Many people will experience a miscarriage during their pregnancy journey.

Some will need medical assistance to get through their miscarriage without long-term health consequences. This can happen to patients before they’re connected with an OB-GYN, meaning they often end up in emergency rooms, where a lack of training can mean waiting for care — prolonging bleeding and causing other complications.

Uteruses are fraught political spaces in America. And that’s creating more barriers for doctors and nurses to practice miscarriage care.

The situation has worsened since the Dobbs decision ended the right to a legal abortion in many parts of the country.

That's where Training, Education, and Advocacy in Miscarriage Management, or TEAMM, comes into the picture. The program conducts in-person miscarriage treatment workshops across the country.

"Miscarriage is really common, "said Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington and a leader of the TEAMM program. "There are close to a million miscarriages that are happening annually, just in the United States."

Prager said there are three different ways to manage a miscarriage by level of physician intervention: expectant management, the use of medicine to expel tissue, and uterine aspiration. That last procedure is also used to perform abortions.

"The actual medical term for a spontaneous miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion," Prager said. "There are several different terms for miscarriage that all include the word abortion."

As some states limit abortion access or prohibit them entirely, those restrictions are also impacting access to and training for miscarriage treatment.

"We're really setting up a dangerous situation for patients and for providers who don't know, right now, whether there are going to be legal consequences for care," Prager said.

Listen to the full conversation with Dr. Sarah Prager by clicking the "play" button on the audio above.

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