-METHODS OF DATING PREGNANCY
From the previous topic, which is DATING YOUR PREGNANCY: THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURATE DATING, we learnt that
The EDD of a woman, corresponds to the 40th completed week of pregnancy and not necessarily the exact day of delivery of a pregnant woman.
Only about 4% of all pregnancies are delivered on their “Due date”, rather, the normal delivery of a baby is expected anytime at “term” which is the time frame starting from the 37th completed weeks of pregnancy to the 42nd week of pregnancy.
The EDD on the other hand serves as a reference point necessary for proper timing of the pregnancy, with which we are able to perform the following:
1) Ensure that the delivery of a normal pregnancy does not occur anytime before or after term.
2) Ensure that preterm labour is prevented and managed actively
3) Monitor the growth of an unborn baby and intervene promptly in instances of abnormal growth pattern before irreversible complications set in.
4) Prevent prolonged pregnancy
5) Ensure than the right things such as interventions, investigations and screening are done at the right time in pregnancy.
So having established beyond reasonable doubt the need to accurately date pregnancy, what are the various methods of dating pregnancy and which of them is the best approach to date pregnancy?
METHODS OF DATING PREGNANCY
Pregnancy dating can be done using the following methods:
1) Dating from the last menstrual period (LMP)
2) Dating from the ovulation date
3) Dating by the use of ultrasound scan
4) Dating from the symphysio-fundal height.
Next Article: DATING OF PREGNANCY FROM THE LAST MENSTRUAL PERIOD (LMP)
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