Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU)
The CUMH Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) is a specialised 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 organise the scan appointment for you.
The CUMH Early Pregnancy Unit is located at the CUMH Kinsale Road Clinic. It runs every Monday to Friday from 8am to 1pm.
*Please note: The EPU moved from the Aislinn Suite in CUMH on 28 August 2023.*
Blood tests will sometimes be used to give doctors more information about your pregnancy. The pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) can be measured using serum beta-hCG (β-hCG), a blood test that can be performed in early pregnancy. This test may be done by your GP or in the Emergency Room.
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 β-hCG level increases by more than 66% in 48 hours, this is reassuring and is likely to be associated with a healthy viable pregnancy. If the β-hCG level decreases by more than 15%, this suggests a likely miscarriage. It is important that blood results are interpreted in conjunction with your detailed history, a clinical examination and, if medically indicated, an ultrasound scan.