Pain and bleeding in early pregnancy can cause mental stress, but are pregnant women receiving proper follow-up care after diagnostic intervention for these symptoms during pregnancy? According to researchers from Oxford University, less than 10% of women receiving an ultrasound for pain or bleeding prior to the 16th week of pregnancy were scheduled for a follow-up appointment with their general practitioner.

A total of 57 women were recruited for the study. None of the women had been seen at the emergency clinic where the ultrasound was ordered for pain or bleeding in early pregnancy. Of the patients seen, less than 10% were given immediate follow-up appointments yet 33% reported feelings of distress, including anxiety among viable and non-viable pregnancies.

General practitioners are advised to offer follow-up appointments to address mental and physical health status in women with pain and bleeding in early pregnancy. Appointments could be beneficial for women with both viable and non-viable pregnancies.

Source: Moscrop A, Harrison S, Heppell V, Heneghan C, Ward A. Primary care follow-up and measured mental health outcomes among women referred for ultrasound assessment of pain and/or bleeding in early pregnancy: a quantitative questionnaire study. BMJ Open. 2013 Apr 11;3(4). pii: e002595. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002595. Print 2013.