Partners of women who miscarry often feel invisible, ignored and sidelined during and after the miscarriage - and unable to talk about their own feelings of loss and pain - according to new research.

A study carried out by University College London for the Miscarriage Association found 48 per cent of partners said the experience had affected their work, with 58 per cent of partners saying they struggled to concentrate, and 47 per cent saying they suffered sleep problems.

The majority of partners said they had experienced sadness, grief and shock, but 46 pe cent had bottled up their distress as they felt their role was to help their wife or girlfriend cope.

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More than one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage and a further two per cent are ectopic - when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb. The Miscarriage Association is today launching a public awareness campaign, 'Partners Too', to highlight the issue and help those affected find help and information.

UCL researchers carried out in-depth interviews with partners, who said they did not share their feelings with their partners for fear of causing further distress or saying the wrong thing.

Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of the Miscarriage Association, said: "These findings show that partners often feel ­invisible during and after miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Friends and family often ask how the woman is coping, but never think to ask her partner.

"All too often the voices of partners go unheard, and their needs go unmet.

"We want them to be considered rather than sidelined during and after pregnancy loss."