Recommendation ID

How does the timing and frequency of ultrasound examination affect diagnosis and outcomes of early pregnancy complications, including women's experience and cost effectiveness?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

The rationale behind the frequency of ultrasound to improve diagnosis and outcomes of early pregnancy complications addresses the problems associated with pregnancy of unknown location and intrauterine pregnancy of uncertain viability. The evidence base for the timing and frequency of scanning in early pregnancy is limited, and the number of scans is organised by individual units according to capacity and demand. Some healthcare professionals choose to wait 5 days between scans whereas others will wait 10 to 14 days. These decisions are driven by resource availability as well as clinical considerations, but in particular, the effect of different strategies on cost and women's experience is not clear. The literature suggests that there is no clear consensus, but there is general agreement that by 14 days a diagnosis will be clear. To establish the most appropriate time for scans, the efficacy of scans taken after 14 days could be compared with scans taken after 7 days for diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy or viability.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage: diagnosis and initial management
Date issued
April 2019

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 17/04/2019