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Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage: diagnosis and initial management

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Last updated:16th Apr 2019

Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage have an adverse effect on the quality of life of many women. Approximately 20% of pregnancies miscarry, and miscarriages can cause considerable distress. Early pregnancy loss accounts for over 50,000 admissions in the UK annually. The rate of ectopic pregnancy is 11 per 1,000 pregnancies, with a maternal mortality of 0.2 per 1,000 estimated ectopic pregnancies. About two-thirds of these deaths are associated with substandard care.

This guideline covers diagnosing and managing ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage in women with complications, such as pain and bleeding, in early pregnancy (that is, up to 13 completed weeks of pregnancy). It aims to improve how early pregnancy loss is diagnosed, and the support women are given, to limit the psychological impact of their loss.

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