Pregnancy of Uncertain Viability (PUV)

Definition - What does Pregnancy of Uncertain Viability (PUV) mean?

A pregnancy of uncertain viability refers to a confirmed pregnancy that can be seen inside the uterus on an ultrasound scan in the form of the gestational sac but does not give sufficient information to determine if the fetus is live or it is an unsuccessful pregnancy. It is often the result of scanning too early after conception and therefore repeat testing is needed to confirm the viability. A pregnancy of uncertain viability carries the risk of becoming an unsuccessful pregnancy.

FertilitySmarts explains Pregnancy of Uncertain Viability (PUV)

The gestational sac is the earliest sign of pregnancy that can be detected by an ultrasound scan. It is a fluid-filled cavity that surrounds the developing embryo and can be seen after 3-5 weeks of conception. A pregnancy is considered viable or successful when a fetus is seen inside the uterus with a visible normal fetal heartbeat.

On an ultrasound scan, a pregnancy may be categorized as a pregnancy of uncertain viability if either the gestational sac has a diameter of <25 mm with no visible embryo or if an embryo is seen that is less than 7 millimeters with no visible heartbeat.

Pregnancy of uncertain viability can result from early ultrasound scanning of the uterus so to confirm pregnancy failure the woman should undergo a repeat scan in 7-14 days by a skilled radiologist. If the repeat scan also shows an empty gestational sac or a non-viable fetus, it is likely to result in a miscarriage.

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