The Cost Women Pay When They Have Miscarriages
Editor's note: The following may be triggering for readers who have experienced ectopic pregnancies, stillbirths, miscarriages or abortions.
Aside from purchasing feminine hygiene products, women also have to factor in birth control, gynecological exams, STD screenings and grooming expenses.
ELLE's Latest Series
In a new series, titled The Cost of Being a Woman, ELLE Magazine seeks to investigate circumstances where women unknowingly have to pay for a profound moment in their lives. The first video in the series highlights the cost and emotional baggage that comes with having a miscarriage.
Although they normally happen to 1 out of 4 women, a miscarriage can cause depression and onset a deep shame for those who couldn't carry their fetuses to term.
"According to the most recent data, around 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage—a statistic and population of sufferers that remains almost invisible in mainstream culture," the woman's publication reports.
"And even the most 'routine' miscarriage can add up to thousands of dollars in medical bills."
In the episode, three women share the highs and lows of their short-lived pregnancies and what they wish they knew when their miscarriages happened.
Brave Women Tell Their Stories
Jamie Stelter opened the episode sharing how she and her partner were trying to get pregnant for a long time. While on camera she reminisced about how she felt hearing her baby's heartbeat. Stelter spoke about how excited she was about the planning process: clothes shopping for the baby, the baby shower and what maternity leave would be like. She then transitioned to the moment her miscarriage occurred, citing that her obstetrician was speechless.
During a routine check-up, the physician didn't hear the baby's heartbeat. So after he awkwardly said sorry to Stelter, he recommended she get a D&C (dilation and curettage). While some women allow for the fetus to pass out of their uterus naturally, others can opt for this surgical procedure to remove the extra tissue from their uterus completely. It is usually performed after first-trimester miscarriages.
Journalist and Dreams In Drive podcast host Rana Campbell said she too was given the same option and was quickly told that her insurance covered the cost. She assumed the surgical procedure would be covered under pre-natal care but was surprised to receive several co-pay bills after the medical professionals professed that she wouldn't have to pay for anything. Despite having what is considered good insurance, Campbell said that the procedure was still expensive. The total cost for her was approximately $7,000.
Despite having to deal with similar financial circumstances like Stelter and Campbell, Racine Henry revealed she didn't leave her bed for days after her miscarriage happened. She said she told her fiancé that she "didn't want to have a baby anymore, didn't want to get pregnant anymore and didn't want to try ever again." She continued noting that it felt like the miscarriage was her fault and as a woman, it was somehow her fault that the pregnancy wasn't viable. Henry believes the word "miscarriage" implies that the pregnant woman did something wrong to not have her pregnancy come to full term. She is strongly convinced that women feel a sense of shame over this normal occurrence because of the language used to describe it.
Watch the full episode of Miscarriage, here.