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Pregnancy of unknown location (PUL)

Date issued: June 2022 

Review date: June 2024

Ref: A-496/KN/EARLY pregnancy/Pregnancy of unknown location (PUL)

PDF:  Pregnancy of unknown location (PUL) final June 2022.pdf[pdf] 163KB

What is a pregnancy of unknown location (PUL)?

This is where your pregnancy test is positive but cannot be seen on ultrasound. This could be for a number of reasons:

  1. An ongoing pregnancy within the uterus but too early to see on scan

  2. An early pregnancy that is not developing and may go on to miscarry

  3. A pregnancy that has already miscarried

  4. An ectopic pregnancy, where the pregnancy is developing outside of the womb

Why do I need blood tests?

Your blood level of βhCG (Beta human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, pregnancy hormone) and Progesterone are useful in aiding diagnosis. It is the change in the βhCG level on a repeated blood test approximately 48 hours later which provides the most information.

What happens next?

Most ladies will be able to go home, and we ask that you phone Early Pregnancy Unit after 3pm the same day for your blood results. The nurse will then inform you whether you need another blood test in 48 hours or a repeat ultrasound.

You will be followed up by Early Pregnancy Unit until a diagnosis is made. We are here to advise and support you through this uncertain time. If you have severe abdominal pain, heavy bleeding or have any questions, please call us on:

Early Pregnancy Unit: Tel: 01752 430887 / 01752 245212

Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 17:30

Ocean Suite (Gynaecology ward) Tel: 01752 430026

Monday to Friday: 17:30 – 08:00, all day Saturday and Sunday

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