Early Pregnancy Assessment

What we do
Any women in the early stages of pregnancy who experiences bleeding or pain is understandably anxious. In most cases all that is needed is reassurance. The Women’s Ultrasound Centre is able to provide rapid access to diagnostic tests for women with any problem in early pregnancy (i.e. up to 14 weeks of pregnancy). We provide scanning facilities immediately at the time of consultation and interpretation of serum levels of the pregnancy hormones hCG and progesterone. The nature of these problems is such that they tend to occur without warning so we run a same day service to avoid people having to wait anxiously to know if everything is fine with the pregnancy. In the unlikely event that there is a problem we will discuss with you what the best thing will be to do.

Common reasons for assessment

  • Unexplained bleeding in early pregnancy
  • Lower abdominal pain in early pregnancy
  • Severe nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy
  • Possible miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy)
  • Reassurance following a previous miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • To date a pregnancy and check for the presence of a heartbeat
  • To see if there are twins

Information we would like you to bring

  • The date of the first day of your last menstrual period and whether it was unusually light or heavy
  • Whether you are pregnant. The commercially available urinary pregnancy tests you can buy from chemists are suitable.
  • Whether you have had any significant medical problems in the past and the nature of these.

What does an early pregnancy assessment involve?
At our clinics we assess early pregnancies using transvaginal ultrasonography and on occasion to use measurements of a hormone produced in pregnancy (hCG).

We will ask you to give a brief outline of the problem, the day of your last period and whether you have had any significant gynaecological or other medical problems in the past. If you have not had a pregnancy test, you will be asked to provide a sample of urine for this to be done. You will then probably have a transvaginal ultrasound carried out.

In the majority of cases, following the scan you will be told what the situation is in relation to your pregnancy, and whether or not any treatment is needed. If the situation is still unclear you may be asked to provide a blood sample in order to measure the pregnancy hormone (hCG) level in your blood. We may ask you to come back after a few days or 1 week to repeat either the scan or a blood test or both.

Results
All results will be given to you immediately at the time of your visit. A written report of the consultation will be sent to your referring doctor the same day. In the unfortunate event of an abnormal result we will contact your gynaecologist or GP. If you do not have a gynaecologist we can give you advice about what to do and arrange any care that may be appropriate.