To think this is a bit of a ridiculous limit.(11 Posts)
Before I start I've only got my own experiences to go off and it could be local to me and my hospital so don't go after me, I honestly think it's very hit and miss what can set people off here sometimes and this is quite an emotional subject.
I suffered an ectopic in Jan at 5 weeks, I'm as sure as I can be of that date because I charted everything and had calendars and i peed on things etc etc my GP agreed. He was fabulous and sent me straight to A&E when I had an appointment about my symptoms (aggressive intermittent cramping, no bleeding)
Before I went however he made a comment that ordinarily he would send me to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic but that I wasn't far enough along.
After all the drama had taken place and I was due to be discharged I was given some leaflets about the EPAC and told that should I become pregnant again to inform them straight away so they could monitor me.
I mentioned what my GP had said about not being far enough along and they said that they only deal with 6 weeks +.
Given that I was only just 5 weeks when the ectopic symptoms started and it was touch and go for a bit with my tube (surgeons remarked that they had only been able to save it because my GP was so on it with taking me seriously and sending me to A&E at the weekend instead of waiting till Monday) I don't see how this EPAC will help me this time around if it should happen again as it could happen too early for them to be any use.
I appreciate fully they are not only there for ectopic pregnacies and many women don't know they are pregnant till a bit further along but what is the point of calling it an 'Early' pregnancy unit when you can't even be eligible to be seen until 6 weeks, surely that defeats the point.
Surely if you are pregnant and go to see your doctor they should be able to refer you from that time to deserve the name 'Early'.
I will know the moment I am pregnant, I'm currently in the TWW (our bathroom looks like I've robbed boots pregnancy test section and I can now pee totally on command with devestating aim...quite proud of this) but I could have an agonising 2 week wait after a BFP to even be seen, in which time I could be dealing with another ectopic.
I know I'm probably a bit more sensitive about it given recent events, but AIBU to think that Early pregnancy should be defined as from whenever you get that first positive test and see your doctor. If I'm pregnant this month I will go immediately to my GP but he won't be able to refer me until 6 weeks, I have no idea what he will do in the mean time, blood tests I guess to monitor my HCG?? Not to sound ruthless but if it's another ectopic I want to know as soon as possible to try and preserve my tubes.
Ooooh im a crazy ranty lady tonight, I think the hormones and lack of sleep are getting to me.
YANBU of course the early pregnancy unit should be for all in early pregnancy.
If you are concerned I would write to the NHS and find out more about this and also find out what you can do to help yourself in relation to the possibility of another eptopic.
I am so sorry this happened to you and I really hope you will get pregnant again soon.
I am sure you have heard of this charity, I email them and read up and get all the help and advice you can, just in case.
I agree and would ask PALS to clarify. An ectopic pregnancy, at any stage, needs medical attention.
I just went through this, went to the EPAC, they monitored my HCG until it was high enough (over 1000/1500) I think which is the earliest they will be able to see anything.
The danger of ectopic is the burst tubes, if it's too small to see they will just keep monitoring.
Beingsunny, I don't disagree that I think they should be monitoring my HCG and I have no doubt they (or my GP) will in my next pregnancy, I just don't know how that unit would be much use to me when last time by 6 weeks I'd already had my ectopic.
I know that probably wouldn't have helped last time as it was my first pregnancy and I had no cause for concern, but this time I'm more paranoid and I could really do with seeing them sooner rather than waiting until 6 weeks, even if it's a healthy pregnancy, just for my peace of mind.
My poor GP will have me rocking up to the surgery the morning of my BFP waving it at him!!😂😂
And thank you guys, I'm due to test soon so I'll be giving them a ring for some clarification before then.
If it happens again then it happens and it will be no less devastating but my focus needs to be on preserving my tubes etc and the earlier you catch it the better I'm told.
I'm being all doom and gloom but I'm planning for the worst and hoping for the best so I'm not so blindsided this time
Hi Frosty, I previously had an ectopic which resulted in a tube removal.
The next time I got a bfp I went to the GP as I thought I needed a GP referal to the EPAC and was told I wasn't bleeding so it wasn't likely to be an ectopic so she refused to refer me! That pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage discover at the first, private, 10 week scan. I spoke to the EPAC who were appalled that the GP hadn't refered me for monitoring as soon as I had my bfp.
The next time I had a bfp I went direct to the EPAC and received ultrasounds at 5 and 7 weeks to check everything was in place. They could see it was in the right location at 5 weeks. I completely agree that you should be seen before 6 weeks!
I'm now trying to settle 13 week old DD back to sleep (haha) after feeding! Hope it all works out for you soon .
My first pregnancy was an ectopic, I have been pregnant three times since. With each pregnancy I just ring epau as soon as I find out and book in for a 'reassurance scan' the time limit they give is so that they can see something on the scan, on two of three pregnancies I had the reassurance scan very early as I said I was unsure on dates, they were fine about it and when they couldn't see anything just brought me back for blood tests and a follow up scans. In my experience they are more guidelines than rules and epau are very good at determining what you need.
I'm now the mum of two lovely energetic boys and 38 weeks pregnant. No other problems in any of my further pregnancies so don't panic too much (although I know I would never have been able to take that advice after my first ectopic)
I know sometime they can/can't see things on scans very early so the limit makes sense with regards to the, I'm just hoping that my Gp will refer me early because I was told they only do it on referral, i suppose it makes sense so your GP stays in the loop etc.
Everyone was very lovely to me at the maternity hospital when I was in with my ectopic (bit of a downer when I went for a scan and you have to sit with the expectant mums in for routine scan, you would think they would be a bit more sensitive) so I have no worries once I'm 'in' I'm just thinking it might be too late by the time they will see me, therefore defeating the point of it being an 'early' pregnancy unit.
In a way if they won't see me till 6 weeks it would have been easier to be in the main hospital, my scans would have been done with the other medical ultrasounds instead of the maternity ones and I wouldn't have had to hear babies all over the place.
You should be able to self refer to your local the epau if you have already had an ectopic, no need to see GP at all just ring & explain and they will automatically book you in
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