Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU)
The Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit/Aislinn Suite in CUMH is a specialized unit where trained ultra-sonographers provide scans for women in early pregnancy. This unit is appointment based, and your GP or the Emergency Room will organize the scan appointment for you.
Blood tests will sometimes be used to give doctors more information about your pregnancy. The pregnancy hormone or HCG is a blood test that can be performed in early pregnancy.
This is done when:
an ultrasound scan is inconclusive
the gestation of a pregnancy is unknown
there is a query that the pregnancy is not in the right location i.e. in a suspected ectopic pregnancy
Two or more results are needed, usually 48 hours apart, in order to accurately interpret the test. If the HCG increases by more than 60% in 48 hours this is reassuring and is likely to be associated with a healthy viable pregnancy. If the HCG decreases by more than 15%, this suggests a likely miscarriage. It is important that blood results are interpreted in conjunction with a detailed history, a clinical exam and if medically indicated, an ultrasound scan.
In all cases, the blood HCG test is performed to help the medical team to plan the appropriate care for you.