Pregnancy of Unknown Location (PUL)

What is a Pregnancy of Unknown Location & what happens next?

A pregnancy of unknown location (PUL) is defined when you have had a positive pregnancy test result but there is no sign of a pregnancy in/outside the uterus following a transvaginal scan.
It is not always possible to determine the location of the pregnancy following an ultrasound scan and therefore a referral to your local NHS trust should have been made following your scan for a follow up and ongoing care.

There are several reasons as to why a pregnancy unfortunately cannot be detected:

  • You may have a very early developing pregnancy in the womb but it is too small to be seen at the time of your scan.
  • Your pregnancy may be growing in your womb but at a slower rate meaning a miscarriage could occur.
  • You may have an ectopic pregnancy where the pregnancy is growing outside of the womb.
  • Unfortunately, a miscarriage may have already occured prior to your appointment. This may have happened during a bleed and the pregnancy has already been passed. This cannot be confirmed at your 1st scan, so even if you have had heavy bleeding you will be referred to the hospital for confirmation, usually with a blood test.

If you experience and miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy this can be extremely distressing time for yourself and partner.
It is important to know that whatever you may be feeling is normal, there are no right or wrong emotions and every family will feel differently.

At firstScan @ Window to the Womb our sonographers and chaperones will work together to explain the scan report to you and ensure you understand what the next steps are in order make sure you receive the most appropriate ongoing care.

In the event of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, there are organisations that can help and support you during this time. You find out more about The Miscarriage Association and how they may able to help you here.