One of the hardest things to do as a doctor is say, “I don’t know.” It’s especially gut-wrenching when the patient across from you is distraught and bleeding heavily from her third miscarriage. For women like this patient – who suffer multiple miscarriages, go into preterm labor, or break their bags of water long before their due date – the question of “why” is haunting.
We can run tests for possible genetic explanations, infectious causes and other underlying medical issues. Yet, our clinical work-up has a striking gap: the role of environmental exposures, including chemicals that our patients encounter at home and in the workplace.
California Senate Bill 258 and Assembly Bill 1575, both due to come up for a vote this summer, aim to take a critical first step toward filling that gap.