Photo from ABCLast Thursday's season finale episode of Grey's Anatomy featured much turmoil in the hospital -- sudden deaths, a shooter, relationship drama, and, by the end, a miscarriage caused by the stress of it all.
Most of the time when I watch Grey's Anatomy, I do so knowing that my doctors don't really talk about their love lives while I'm under the knife (please god). They don't really all trade sex partners back and forth like horny teenagers instead of respected surgeons and mostly, I watch knowing it's fiction.
However, the (very stressful) episode did feature something that, had I been pregnant, would have had me clutching my belly with worry.
In last Thursday's episode, Meredith Grey (the doctor for whom the series is named) suffers a miscarriage after her husband and love of her life is shot right in front of her.
It's implied, though never implicitly stated, that the miscarriage was caused by stress. After all, prior to this, she had been developing morning sickness and had a positive pregnancy test just earlier that morning, both indications that the pregnancy was moving in the right direction.
As someone who spent the first four months of both of my pregnancies plagued by stress over the health of the babies and my potential for miscarriage, the show concerned me, so I decided to do a little research.
Dr. Sarah Jeffers is an OB/GYN from Atlanta, Georgia. Her practice, Atlanta Women's Specialists, works out of Atlanta's Northside Hospital. "There is no direct cause and effect relationship between acute onset of stress (like the one encountered by Meredith Grey) and an increased risk of miscarriage," says Dr. Jeffers, who added, "We also have no proof that even prolonged stress like depression or something similar could cause an early miscarriage."
Although there are some studies that have been inconclusive and others that show there may be some link, the show's oversimplification of the matter is simply not rooted in fact, says Dr. Jeffers.
In fact, 50 percent of miscarriages are caused by a chromosomal abnormality. The other 50 percent could be caused by "other factors such as heavy smoking and maternal medical factors, autoimmune disorders, obesity, history of previous miscarriages, and a few others," according to Dr. Jeffers.
Notably absent from the list? Seeing Dr. McDreamy shot before your eyes.
So, yes, let's enjoy Grey's for the eye candy and the drama, but let's leave the medical facts to the real doctors of the world.