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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Early Pregnancy Unit

What we do

The Early Pregnancy Unit is a dedicated service providing care  for women with complications in early  pregnancy  up to 16 weeks and 6 days gestation.

The most common reasons why women are referred to our EPU are:

  • Vaginal bleeding and / or central lower abdominal pain with a positive pregnancy test
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy
  • Previous molar pregnancy
  • For specialist care if a problem is detected following an ultrasound scan in another setting

Routine investigation

Most women will need an abdominal or trans-vaginal ultrasound scan in EPU to investigate their problem.  The scan allows a closer examination of the womb, tubes and ovaries.

We have a dedicated ultrasound service that runs every weekday morning and afternoon. You will be seen by a nurse or a doctor if necessary prior to your Ultrasound scan. Following your ultrasound scan further investigations may be required such a s blood tests.

There are a number of reasons why it may not be possible to interpret the scan results on your first visit. You may hear the term pregnancy of unknown location or PUL for short used in this situation.

  • It is too early in the pregnancy to see the baby on ultrasound scan
  • The pregnancy is not growing as it should
  • The pregnancy may be growing outside of the womb
  • This is known as an ectopic pregnancy

You may require more than one scan and a series of blood tests in order to confirm what is happening with the pregnancy. The frequency and timing of the scans will depend upon how far pregnant you are and what the initial scan shows. Understandably you will be anxious about your pregnancy but more scans or changing the frequency of the scans will not help the diagnosis to be reached sooner. Be guided by the staff caring for you as to how many scans are required.


Assessment is by appointment only.  Patients need to be referred by their GP or other Health Professional e.g Accident & Emergency, Walk-in Centre, Midwife, Consultant or from the Gynaecology Ward. We aim to provide an ultrasound scan within 72 hours.

EPAU opening times

EPU is open to talk to or be seen by a nurse from 7.30am to 8pm.  Scans appointments are every weekday morning and afternoon. The Early Pregnancy Unit runs in parallel with the Gynaecology Assessment Unit (GAU) and provides services for women with complications of pregnancy such as pain or bleeding up to 16+6 weeks gestation. GAU is a 24 hour service and can offer advice and support out of hours.

Where are we based?

1st floor Wirral Women & Children’s Hospital in the Gynaecology Treatment Centre (GTC).

How to contact us

For advice or appointments please contact the nurses on 0151 604 7450 weekdays 7.30am – 8.00pm.

Out of hours helpline - 0151 604 7450.