Nicola Sturgeon has shown her support for Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla after they shared their heartbreaking experience of multiple miscarriages. 

In an interview with Holyrood's Mandy Rhodes, the pair told of the pain felt after four failed pregnancies in less than three years as well as the helplessness and lost dreams.

In May 2019, their daughter Amal was born safely after doctors prescribed the hormone progesterone which can help stop bleeding during pregnancy.

But in March this year, the couple were once again faced with the painful reality of another miscarriage.

Mr Yousaf revealed he felt “utterly helpless” and said while it has been “difficult”, he and his wife Nadia El-Nakla hoped "others could hopefully take comfort and know they’re not alone”.

He told Holyrood Magazine: “You watch Hollywood movies or TV programmes and dramas, and the women will go into the toilet cubicle, there will be a bit of blood on the tissue, she will be upset and that’ll be the end, and they will move on to the next scene in the movie.

“Nobody tells you, in some cases, in our case, in almost all of them, just how horrifically traumatising they’ve been for the woman who’s suffering the miscarriage or going through the physical and emotional elements of it.

“For me, I just felt utterly helpless, not knowing what to do.

“Nobody tells you about everything that miscarriage can entail, not just the physical elements but the emotional elements, and I suppose for me part of talking about it, and it’s taken me years to get to this point, I just hope that other men don’t actually have to buckle up and keep this all to themselves.

“I really regret the fact that, certainly after the first couple of miscarriages, I really didn’t share this with anyone, and while the focus is rightly on the woman who is physically going through this, men should really talk about it, too.”

His wife said because her most recent miscarriage happened during lockdown it was “even harder for my family and friends who wanted to comfort me but couldn’t”.

She said: “That was probably hardest on my mum, who just wanted to give me a hug, but thankfully at that point in lockdown we could meet in gardens and I remember my best friend sitting in the rain just so she could be there for me.”

Ms El-Nakla added: “I know I am lucky to have Amal and I have an 11-year-old daughter, Maya, from my previous marriage.

“So, when people say you are blessed, you know that already, but it doesn’t take away the pain of what you have lost.

“You start planning as soon as you know you are pregnant. You can’t help but think about what the future might hold and even silly things like whether the car will be big enough and how will you get both baby seats in.

“You can’t stop those thoughts but then when you miscarry you’re expected to just forget, instantly move on, and that’s hard.”

In a series of tweets following the interview, Mr Yousaf said:

"We haven't been able to speak openly about it until now, I still find it difficult but wanted to share our story so others could hopefully take comfort and know they're not alone."

He added: "[I] know this is outdated thinking, but I felt it was my role to be the strong one, not to show the hurt and pain each loss brought, as I had to be there for Nadia.

"Hope other men who unfortunately find themselves in this position know that it's okay to cry, to open up and talk about it."

Responding to the couple's "brave account of miscarriage", First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - who is married to SNP chief executive Peter Murrell - also revealed her experience of miscarrying.

She said: "It’s an experience my husband and I had just once, but it never leaves you.

"Nadia’s account of the physical pain especially sparks awful memories." 

She added: "We don’t talk about all this enough."