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RCOG statement on the new NICE guidelines for the diagnosis and management of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage

News 12 December 2012

Today the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) publishes new guidelines, Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage: Diagnosis and initial management in early pregnancy of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage.

The guidelines cover management of miscarriage, signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy and emotional support.

They call for dedicated services for pregnant women who may have an ectopic pregnancy or experience miscarriage in their first trimester.

Recommendations include ensuring an early pregnancy assessment service is available seven days a week for women with early pregnancy complications, where scanning can be carried out and decisions made about how their pregnancy should be managed.

The new guidelines also cover training general practitioners to identify symptoms, placing greater emphasis on the early detection processes for ectopic pregnancy, which is identified as the key to preventing later maternal complications and reducing mortality rates.

Dr Tony Falconer, RCOG President, says:

“We welcome the new NICE guidelines launched today. The RCOG agrees that early diagnosis and treatment needs to be streamlined with information sharing so that pregnant women receive the best care possible.

“With rates of miscarriage throughout the UK estimated to be 20% of all pregnancies, it is important that women have immediate access to the right care and support at a traumatic time in their lives.

“While diagnosis of and mortality rates for ectopic pregnancies are low, there is still much that can be done to improve early detection methods in women of child-bearing age, reducing the risk of complications and raising awareness of the symptoms is essential.

“The role of timely and accurate information is a key message in these guidelines and in order to provide patient-centred care, the needs of pregnant women should be foremost in decisions on the design and provision of healthcare facilities.”


For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email

Click HERE to view the RCOG’s Green-top Guideline on the management of early pregnancy loss.

Click HERE to view the RCOG’s patient information on ectopic pregnancy.

To view the NICE press release click HERE.