Pregnancy of Unknown Location (PUL)

Definition - What does Pregnancy of Unknown Location (PUL) mean?

A pregnancy of unknown location (PUL) occurs when there is a positive pregnancy test, but a transvaginal ultrasound is unable to visually locate signs of a pregnancy both within the uterus (intrauterine) and outside of the uterus (extrauterine).

A PUL should not be confused with an ectopic pregnancy, where the pregnancy is found outside of the uterus.

FertilitySmarts explains Pregnancy of Unknown Location (PUL)

A PUL occurs in around 8-31% of all early ultrasounds.

The major concern with a PUL is that the pregnancy turns out to be ectopic, which requires immediate treatment and can be life-threatening to the mother. It is possible for a PUL to become a normal intrauterine pregnancy. The most common result is a failing PUL, which is a miscarriage.

In the case of a PUL, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels will likely be monitored to help determine if it is an ectopic pregnancy and progesterone levels will be monitored to determine if the pregancy is viable.

If no other symptoms are experienced, conservative treatment of the situation is generally recommended until the site of the pregnancy is discovered.

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