Unfortunately, this can’t always happen. There are a number of reasons why you might not find out straight away if you are still pregnant.
There may be practical issues, such as the scan department being closed at the time of day that you are there. Or it may simply be too early in the pregnancy or in your condition to give you a definite answer. For example, they may be able to see a pregnancy on a scan, but it might be too early to see a heartbeat.
They may advise you to return home and come back to the hospital in a week or two. They may then be able to repeat blood tests looking for an increase in the pregnancy hormones or to repeat the scan.
Before you leave hospital do make sure you know exactly when and where you should return, and ask under what circumstances you should return early, such as if bleeding or pain increases.
Going home without knowing whether your pregnancy is continuing can be very difficult. You are likely to feel very anxious and distressed and will need good support from a friend, partner or family.
If you haven’t told anyone about your pregnancy, this may be a good time to confide in someone close who can support you and come back to hospital with you if that is what you would like. Tommy's PregnancyLine offers advice and support.
- NICE (2012) Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage: diagnosis and initial management in early pregnancy of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage, clinical guideline CG154, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
- Stillbirth (Definition) Act 1992, Definition of stillborn child, Section 1(1), London The Stationery Office, 1992
- RCOG (2008) Early miscarriage: information for you, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, , 2008
- RCOG (2008) Bleeding and Pain in early pregnancy: information for you, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2008
- RCOG (2012) Recurrent and late miscarriage: tests and treatment of couples, information for you, London Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
ℹLast reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.