What Is An Inconclusive Scan Result?

An inconclusive scan means that the results from your scan are difficult to interpret and it is not possible to confirm whether your pregnancy will continue.
It is understandable that it is difficult to take in information, especially at this time when you are worried or upset. This leaflet information aims to provide an explanation, and answer any questions you may have.

There are a number of reasons why it is not possible to interpret the scan results:

  • 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: ectopic pregnancy.

In order to assess what will happen, and whether your pregnancy will continue, there are some extra tests such as blood samples, to test for the pregnancy hormone level in your blood.  This hormone is called hCG: human Chorionic Gonadotrophin. This hormone is normally produced by the placenta, and should double every 2 days as a pregnancy normally continues. You may also need a blood test for a hormone called progesterone to help us make a diagnosis.

You will need to return or contact your Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) for the results and a plan of what happens next.

Contact EPAU, the emergency ward or accident and emergency immediately if you have the following symptoms:

  • Heavy bleeding.
  • Severe pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Generally feeling unwell.
  • These symptoms may suggest an ectopic pregnancy.

Bleeding should not be heavier than a normal period.

Some pain can be managed with paracetemol, but be aware of developing severe pain, which may be worse on one side.

The EPAU nurses will tell you when your blood test results will be available and what will happen next. You may need further blood tests or another scan.

We understand this is a difficult time for you, and it is hard to deal with this uncertainty.