Our specialist early pregnancy clinic offers services to women who have had a positive pregnancy test and are under 13 weeks pregnant who experience pain and or bleeding. We also offer a service of reassurance ultrasound scans to women in early pregnancy that have had 2 previous miscarriages.
You can self refer to the service or be referred to us by your GP, Midwife, NHS 24, Out of Hours Service, Sexual Health Service, Infertility Service and the Assisted Conception Unit.
24 hour telephone service on 01592 729706 (when the line is busy, there is an answer phone service that is checked frequently).
Clinic attendance is by appointment only 7 days a week, with ultrasound availability Monday to Friday. Remember that the Early pregnancy clinic is for women who experience problems in early pregnancy.
Contact numbers for other pregnancy services
Midwife self referral booking service
Use this number to book in a new routine pregnancy 01592 6433355 ext 28374
This line is open Monday to Friday 10-12pm
Use this number to discuss your pregnancy options 01592 6433355 ext 25445
This line is open Monday to Friday 11am-3pm
Bleeding in the early stages of your pregnancy?
The Early Pregnancy Clinic should be your first port of call. The EPC is based within the maternity unit at Victoria hospital. The service is available to pregnant women between 6 weeks and 12 weeks +6 days since their last menstrual period with pain and/or vaginal bleeding.
By calling this advice line, you will be able to speak to a nurse experienced in early pregnancy. You can get advice on symptoms. You may be advised to monitor symptoms at home, given an appointment or attend the hospital for review. The line is manned 24 hours a day. Please call prior to attending the hospital on 01592 729706 anytime.
Scanning in the early pregnancy clinic
You will be asked to drink water prior to coming in for your scan appointment as initially the scan will be done on your abdomen. If we are unable to get a good view, we will ask for your consent to do an internal scan (transvaginal). This type of scan can often give a better picture and allow a more accurate diagnosis. You may not get a definite diagnosis on your initial early pregnancy clinic appointment as it could be that you are too early and will then require a follow up scan in 1-2 weeks to check the baby's heartbeat.
You are unlikely to be asked to come for a scan prior to 6 weeks as scanning before this time won’t tell us much about the developing pregnancy. You should be prepared that you may have to have several scans before we can know for sure what’s happening.
Pregnancy self-test kits
Bear in mind that shop bought test kits don't have to be expensive. In fact, the cheaper kits are sometimes better if you want to find out whether or not you are pregnant. Some of the more expensive kits on the market are very good a picking up minute changes in your hormone levels. This means that they can give a false positive result, particularly if taken very soon after a missed period or even before a due period. Inexpensive kits will be more likely to produce an accurate long term result and avoid the need for carrying out multiple tests.
A simple, inexpensive test kit like the one shown is all you need to confirm a pregnancy
FAQs (Frequently asked questions)
See below for a list of questions that the Early Pregnancy Team get asked frequently.
I have had a previous private scan, can you use this to advise me?
The Early pregnancy clinic cannot work with any previous scans that you may have had privately. This is because these are unregulated and not always accurate and the information from these cannot therefore be used for diagnostic purposes.
Why should I attend my scan with a full bladder?
Scans are usually abdominal initially and so you should attend with a comfortably full bladder. If sonographer does not have good views then they will ask your consent to do a transvaginal (internal) scan.
Will one appointment at the EPC be enough to reassure me?
Sometimes women may require further EPC appointments. This can be the case if you have presented too early or if you require blood tests for diagnostic purposes.
How quickly can you tell me if I am pregnant?
The fact is that it is unlikely that we will be able to see a viable pregnancy at under 6 weeks gestation. The best time to have a scan is from about 7 weeks’ gestation when it should be possible to see the baby’s heartbeat in a normal pregnancy. However, this early, it can be hard to detect a heartbeat so you must be prepared for the fact that it can sometimes take several scans before you know for sure what is happening.
What happens at my early pregnancy scan appointment?
If you have an EPC appointment (not a blood test appointment), you should expect to get a scan which will then be reviewed by a nurse and discussed with you.
Why would I need a blood test appointment?
Blood tests in pregnancy are used to measure the level of the pregnancy hormone in your bloodstream. In some cases, if there is no sign of a pregnancy in the uterus, you may be given a blood test and possibly asked to return two days later for a repeat test. In a normally developing pregnancy the hormone levels roughly double about every 48 hours. If this pattern is different for you, this can help to identify what is happening to the pregnancy.
Can I get treatment to reduce the risk of having a miscarriage?
Yes, but there are strict guidelines as to eligibility. You must have had a previous miscarriage and you must be currently experiencing pain and bleeding symptoms. If you meet the criteria, you may be eligible for the vaginal micronised progesterone treatment. This initial prescription for a 7 day supply would be provided by the hospital and can be continued by your GP for up to 12 weeks to aim to prevent further instances of miscarriage.
You may have heard of the PROMISE and PRISM progesterone treatment trials. Evidence did not support the use of progesterone treatment in preventing miscarriage in patients with a threatened miscarriage with no history of previous miscarriage. There was also no evidence to support progesterone treatment for those who are not currently displaying symptoms.
How can I get referred to the recurrent miscarriage clinic?
You can be referred to this clinic by your GP, by the Early Pregnancy Clinic or by the Infertility Service Team.
Relocation of the outpatient early pregnancy clinic
From 06 February 2023, the outpatient early pregnancy clinic relocated to a new area within the ground floor area of our Women and Children’s area. This is intended to facilitate easier access to our scanning suite and bringing the clinic closer to our specialist support teams who are essential for your safety.
We will operate a patient flow system to try to ensure that you will pass through the Women and Children's outpatient area of the department as briefly as possible so as to avoid meeting women at later stages in their pregnancies, but please be aware that this is possible. Consider coming in just in time for your appointment so that you don't have to wait around. Our staff will try to ensure that you are seen as quickly as possible by the team and will guide you to the best exit for you after you've been seen. Please be aware, however, that we cannot guarantee that you will not meet pregnant women in this area, or elsewhere in our hospital.
You can read more about this by clicking on the related item below.