Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Men too suffer from miscarriage

Men also experience grief when dealing with the loss of a baby. Ruth Olurounbi reports that grief from miscarriage which men often share could also lead to depression, stress and other emotional problems.

WHILE miscarriage can be a devastating experience for both men andwomen, the focus in dealing with a miscarriage tends to lie heavily on the emotional and psychological effects on women. It is important to remember that men also experience grief when dealing with the loss of a baby. Psychologists have said miscarriage grief can lead to depression, stress and other emotional problems in men. According to them, the experience of miscarriage could have a long-term effect in men, as most men were not taught on how to properly vocalise their emotions. A man who wants to be simply identified as Yanju, while speaking to Your Health said he could not help his wife while she went through a miscarriage as he did not know what to do or say to alleviate her distress.

He then assumed blame for the miscarriage and then decided he could not put her through the same pain anymore, assuming the next pregnancy could lead to miscarriage. A psychologist, who has his office somewhere in Lagos, and rather choose to be anonymous, said men experience some problems when dealing with a miscarriage. He said to some men, sex feels like a chore. While explaining, he said the couple, while they were trying to get pregnant again after a miscarriage, sex can often feel like a planned chore to the man, as most times the couple have sex only on certain days to increase their fertility. He said this process could lead to pressure of conception, which “often leads to emotional problems in the relationship,” as he puts it. Another problem he pointed out was that most men absurb themselves into their work as a means of avoiding pain and frustration. He explained that some men “find it very difficult to express sadness openly, therefore, they choose their work as a place for dealing with mourning.” Mrs. Bukola Obajinmi, a social worker also said some men often have a sense of failure, as conflict often arose from their self-image as a provider and protector in their relationships with their partners, thus, leading them into isolation in their grief.

Medical experts believed that some men may experience an uncertainty about what to do and say in the face of their partner’s pain, therefore, a sense of powerlessness and helplessness was a common feature a problem the men might have to cope with. It was also believed that the men experience guilt and “rather than acknowledge their pain, they might deny it, moving into a more withdrawn state which may be interpreted as insensitivity’. According to physicians, some men have a tendency to blame their spouses or themselves for some thing they have done. Dr. Olatunde Oladoyinbo, a physician with CMF medical missions, said “the man may take on responsibility for the miscarriage especially if it was preceded by sexual intercourse. The man also could be sad if he sees his inability to produce a live child.” Another twist to the problem men face during miscarriage was what the physicians believed that the aforementioned reactions were not only confined to loss in miscarriage, but also in abortion.

Lanre, who once “forced” his girlfriend into abortion, said he felt a sense of loss when the abortion had been done. In providing solutions on how to help men cope with the trauma associated with a miscarriage, pyschologists said although coping could be hard for men, they need to accept the loss of the pregnancy. Acceptance, according to Dr. Oladoyinbo, meant allowing the man and his partner time to grieve. He also advised the couple to realise that pregnancy would occur when the time was right. Hence, they should re-adjust their pregnancy goals and expectations. Another pyschologist said men should be honest in dealing with their emotions by talking about their loss instead of absorbing themselves in their work. He counselled that finding a therapist to which they could talk one-on-one also aids in coming to terms with their loss”. He also counselled that family and friends are “excellent source of strength and support during the difficult time’. Some women, who have suffered a miscarriage spoke with Your Health on the condition of anonymity, said men should lean to show their grief as it is a way of allowing for healing.

They are of the opinion that by showing their grief, it would also be indicated to them where they could be of help to the men, rather than shutting themselves in as many “instances signal that they are unaffected by the loss or they don’t care. Mrs. Remi Adewale, who had two miscarriages said her husband’s showed his grief, indicated to her where she could be of help, and “that really helped us heal quickly as both us were honest with our feelings and emotions.” She advised that men should open-up to their spouses as doing so “signals that are also affected rather than shutting themselves in which borders on lack of sensitivity.” Medical experts also advised that the couple allowed time for their healing and learned to adjust to the difficult time, instead of denying the loss. This, they said would make a stronger relationship and give a sense of acceptance.

Source: http://www.tribune.com.ng/19062007/hlt1.html

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I am a newly devoted reader of your blog. I read your post titled "Just Once MOre" and I cried the entire way through it. Every emotion, thought,and prayer that I have ever had were expressd beautifully in your writing. I have posted a copy of it on my blog (please let me know if you mind, I did give your blog and name as reference for who wrote it). I just wanted to say thank you for letting me feel as though I am not so alone in this world. While I am so sad that someone else suffers as much as I do, it is still a relief to know that I am not alone.

Thank you from the bottom of my soul.