The Early Pregnancy Unit is a consultant-led service and is delivered by a team of specialist nurse sonographers who provide consultation, assessment, scans and treatment plans for women with complications of pregnancy from 5 to 20 weeks. If you are over 20 weeks of pregnancy please contact Maternity Triage.

The Early Pregnancy Unit assesses women with complications such as pain, bleeding and excessive vomiting. The dedicated staff are sensitive and committed to supporting the emotional needs of women and couples requiring this service.

Please do not contact the Early Pregnancy Unit to arrange an appointment with the midwife. You can do this by calling the Central Booking Line on 01282 804512 (available 9am - 12pm, Monday - Friday).

Are you worried about symptoms in your pregnancy?

Whilst the majority of pregnancies will progress without complications, many women experience problems that they feel they would like support or further information for. If you develop worrying symptoms during pregnancy or you need to discuss any underlying medical conditions in pregnancy, there are several places that you can turn to for advice:

Services to support you with symptoms in your pregnancy

Midwife
You should contact your midwife if you require advice on non-urgent symptoms or conditions in pregnancy. Please contact  your midwife or maternity triage urgently if your symptoms relate to fetal movement. See below link for maternity web page if need more information needed regarding these concerns.

General Practitioner (GP)
Your GP can be accessed for a range of non-urgent services. If you have a non-urgent concern not related to your pregnancy such as chest/urine/ear infections, skin complaints, viral infections, exposure to infections i.e chickenpox, you should see your GP for advice as they are better placed to help with these problems. If you are unable to book an appointment, or need to see a GP out of hours, call your surgery and follow the advice provided. You may also consider visiting a walk-in centre if your GP is closed, or you cannot get an appointment.

Walk-in Centres
Walk-in centres can be accessed by anyone and have more flexible opening hours. You can visit a walk in centre for any general illness or concern for which you may have visited your GP. You can find your nearest walk-in centre at www.nhs.uk.

Accident and Emergency Department/999
Your local Accident and Emergency department can still be used if you have an emergency or accident not related to your pregnancy (chest pain, difficulty breathing, collapse, etc). Always inform the staff in the department you are pregnant. If your condition may affect your pregnancy, you will be referred to the appropriate department

When should I contact the Early Pregnancy Unit?

You should contact the Early Pregnancy Unit if you have a positive urine pregnancy test, and are experiencing pain and or bleeding from 5 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. If you are under 5 weeks of pregnancy it may be more suitable to contact your GP for further advice and support.

What does bleeding and pain mean in Early Pregnancy?

Bleeding and pain during early pregnancy are relatively common symptoms and do not always mean there is a problem. Therefore many women may prefer to monitor mild painless bleeding in early pregnancy (below 12 weeks and 6 days) and you may want to explore our information about bleeding and pain in pregnancy prior to contacting the unit, here.

If you would prefer to contact the Early Pregnancy Unit for information and support, you can contact the Specialist Nursing Team for a consultation between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday. If you feel your symptoms require urgent assessment outside of these hours the wider medical team are here to support you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You should still contact the Early Pregnancy Unit on the phone number below, which will inform you of where to call in the event of an emergency.

You may require emergency care if:

  • you are in significant pain despite simple pain killers such as Paracetamol
  • experiencing moderate to severe vaginal bleeding

Click here for a guide to help you assess your bleeding.

What do I do if I am vomiting in early pregnancy?

Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy affects up to 80% of pregnant women. The severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which affects about 0.3–3.6% of pregnant women.

Women with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy should contact their GP for an assessment of their symptoms to exclude other causes for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy such as urinary tract infections. If your GP is closed you can access the out of hours GP services. Your health professional will assess to see if you require a referral to the Early Pregnancy Unit.

We do not accept self-referral to the Early Pregnancy Unit for vomiting in pregnancy unless you are currently under our care or have been diagnosed with hyperemesis in a previous pregnancy.

You can find some more helpful advice regarding nausea and vomiting in pregnancy on the Pregnancy Sickness Support website, here.

What else do I need to know?

The Early Pregnancy Unit is classified as an Emergency Service and you may be invited to attend the unit for an appointment. Women are seen in order of clinical priority, which means that you may be in the department for longer than anticipated.

You must telephone the unit before attending we do not run a walk-in clinic or service. This is to ensure you have a consultation with the specialist nursing team who can call you back and advise the best management going forward. This is because women with an early pregnancy complication may not necessarily need to attend in-person or may be more suited for an assessment in different clinical or maternity service. Some women may also be advised to monitor their symptoms at home

Coping with problems in early pregnancy can be difficult, however unfortunately due to COVID 19 restrictions we are limited to the number of people who can be allowed into the department. When you attend an early pregnancy appointment you can bring one adult support partner with you however no children are currently able to attend with you. If you have concerns with regards to this please speak to the nurse in charge.

How to access the service

Assessment is by appointment only following a consultation with a healthcare professional or telephone consultation with EPAU.

  • If the outcome of your consultation is that you require an ultrasound then our ultrasound scanning appointment times are from 9:30am – 4.00pm on weekdays.
    You will be offered the next available appointment time. Please be aware ultrasound scan appointments are not routinely available outside of these times.
  • If you require an ultrasound we aim to offer this within 72 hours of referral.
  • If you do not require an ultrasound but other investigations are indicated, the team will facilitate you into a suitable appointment.
  • Access to appointments in EPAU are via:
    Self-referral by telephone assessment on 01282 804268
    Clinical assessment by GP, midwife, Urgent Care or A&E

     

EPAU is located on Level 2, Area 7, Burnley General Teaching Hospital.