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Seeking Emergency Services

  • If you have bleeding that becomes very heavy (soaking more than one maternity-sized pad in an hour), or you feel unwell or faint, and are unable to cope with the bleeding. This means you are losing too much blood.
  • You have one-sided pain or tenderness in your tummy, pelvis or in your shoulder tip, feel dizzy, have a fast heartbeat, or have pain when you go to the toilet. These may be signs of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy needs urgent treatment to protect your health.
  • You feel feverish and generally unwell, as if you have flu, have pain in your tummy which is getting worse, or your vaginal discharge smells bad. These may be symptoms of an infection.

Attendance at the emergency service
When you attend the emergency service your symptoms will be assessed and the appropriate treatment given. Unfortunately attendance at the emergency department will not stop you from having a miscarriage. However it means that you can be treated quickly if you are bleeding heavily. It also means that you can be given surgery quickly if you have complications of an ectopic pregnancy. Alternatively if you have developed a severe infection you can be given intravenous antibiotics immediately.

If the bleeding is not heavy and the pain is not severe, you may stay at home. You should wear a sanitary pad and keep a watch on how much you are bleeding. If you have cramp like pain you may wish to take some simple pain- relief tablets. You can contact your GP or NHS 24 for advice or call maternity triage. In most cases it will be safe to await an appointment at the early pregnancy assessment service and be fully assessed and investigated.