Early pregnancy

We will carefully monitor your pregnancy during the first 12 weeks (first trimester) and are always on hand to offer advice or support. We usually advise patients to carry out a pregnancy test two weeks after IUI or egg collection following IVF/ICSI. During this time you may be offered hormonal medication in the form of pessaries or injections to help your pregnancy to progress normally. We will also arrange for you to have a routine scan around three weeks after your positive pregnancy test to check on the baby’s heart rate and overall development.

Our Medical Director, Dr Carole Gilling-Smith, has particular expertise in managing problems that can occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. We understand that for many women this can be a worrying time and, if you are concerned, we can offer advice or perform an ultrasound scan to reassure you that all is well with your baby. You will also be given an out-of-hours telephone number so you can contact us for advice at any time.

Although some discomfort is normal during early pregnancy, our team can advise you about how to stay as healthy as possible by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. You can also contact us for support or advice during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, or visit your own GP who will arrange follow-up appointments at your local surgery or hospital for the rest of your pregnancy.

Pregnancy ultrasound scan
You will be offered your first pregnancy ultrasound scan at around seven weeks, approximately three weeks after your positive pregnancy test. Having a scan enables us to check on the health and development of your baby, including whether you are carrying more than one baby. You will be able to take home a picture of your scan, and we will normally advise you to contact your own GP to arrange the rest of your antenatal care. Although in some cases we will offer you a further scan a week or two later, your routine 12-week scan will normally be carried out at the hospital where you are having your antenatal treatment.

Bleeding in early pregnancy
It is quite normal to have a little light bleeding in early pregnancy and this does not necessarily mean that something is wrong. However, it can be an early sign of a miscarriage, so if you are worried please telephone us and we will aim to see you the same day to check that all is well. If we need to carry out any tests, we will be able to give you the results of these during your appointment. We can also take blood tests over a number of days to check that the levels of the pregnancy hormone (hCG) and progesterone are normal.