How accurate are pregnancy dating scans

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  1. Wrong due date from ultrasound scan - why it happens | MadeForMums
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  3. How is a dating scan performed?
  4. how accurate is a dating scan?

The aim of this study was to determine the perception and acceptability of menstrual dating EDD derived from LMP for timing of labor induction for postdatism by pregnant women who have a late pregnancy ultrasound scan. Enugu State is one of the five states in the southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria, and its capital city is Enugu. It has an average annual temperature of The state covers a land area of approximately 8, The Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, is a state-owned teaching hospital located in the center of the Enugu metropolis.

Both centers provide antenatal and postnatal care services to pregnant women in Enugu State. The commonest indication for induction of labor in the two hospitals and in our environment is prolonged pregnancy. This was a cross-sectional study of consecutive pregnant women attending for antenatal care at the antenatal clinics of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, and the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, from January 1, to March 31, Every singleton pregnant woman due for a routine delivery planning discussion at a gestational age of 36 weeks and beyond was eligible for the study.

Exclusion criteria included uncertainty of date, presence of contraindications to vaginal delivery, irregular menstrual cycle prepregnancy, use of hormonal contraceptives prior to pregnancy, or bleeding during pregnancy. After individual counseling of eligible participants, pretested structured questionnaires were administered to consecutive consenting women by trained medical interns. Ethical clearance for the study was obtained from the institutional review board of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu.

Data collected included the sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents age, marital status, tribe, level of education, occupation, parity , opinions and preferences regarding LMP and ultrasound scan dates, and their attitudes toward postdatism and induction of labor in relation to estimated dates.


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The primary outcome measure was willingness to accept induction of labor at an LMP-derived gestational age of 40 weeks plus 10 days when late pregnancy ultrasound scan-derived gestational age was less than 40 weeks plus 10 days. The first trimester was defined as a gestational age of 1—13 weeks, the second trimester as 14—27 weeks, and the third trimester as 28—42 weeks. Further, the early second trimester was defined as a gestational age of 15—22 weeks and the late second trimester as 23—27 weeks.

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Wrong due date from ultrasound scan - why it happens | MadeForMums

Frequency tables were generated for relevant variables. A P -value of less than 0. A total of questionnaires were administered, but only were completed correctly, giving a response rate of The mean age of the respondents was Most of the women Four hundred and thirty-one respondents The majority of respondents were multiparous Further details of the sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents are shown in Table 1.

The mean gestational age at recruitment and antenatal booking for respondents was One hundred and sixty-seven One hundred and ninety-one The remaining eight women 1.

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On the other hand, All the women who responded positively Likewise, all the women who responded negatively Characteristics of respondents versus acceptance of labor induction for postdatism using menstrual dating. OR, odds ratio; CI, confidence interval. This study demonstrates that pregnant women in Enugu, Nigeria, have poor knowledge of the limits of accuracy of late pregnancy ultrasound scan in estimating the delivery date. This poor knowledge invariably translated into the observed perception of respondents toward induction of labor for postdatism, as more than half of the women This attitude poses a great challenge to perinatal care in our environment because an ultrasound scan is usually carried out in the third trimester when the margin of error is up to 3 weeks.

How is a dating scan performed?

Late booking for antenatal care might have strongly contributed to the poor uptake 7. The recent proliferation of ultrasound scan services in our environment came with a wave of optimism that ultrasound scanning could accurately determine all aspects of fetal well-being, hence only the well-educated or informed could question or resist its results.

Why would I have a dating scan?

This misconception is further worsened by uncontrolled purchasing and use of ultrasound scanning machines by poorly trained personnel who advertise themselves as sonologists or sonographers. What is even more worrisome is the increasing number of self-referrals for ultrasound by our pregnant women merely to know the EDD which they usually hold on to. Legislation to regulate the acquisition and use of ultrasound by health professionals in the country may help to keep this problem in check.

Such legislation should also discourage self-referral by pregnant women for ultrasound. This will further help to prevent our women from visiting poorly trained sonologists and guard against the possible effects of unreliable ultrasound scan results on maternal and neonatal health. Tertiary education was identified in this report as a strong determinant of acceptance of induction of labor for postdatism using the last menstrual date.

This may be explained by the expected impact of education on uptake of maternal and neonatal health services, as observed by previous authors. Also, the lesser educated are more likely to rely more on the impression created outside about a procedure like ultrasound, whether right or wrong. As pointed out by Olusanya et al, 12 the higher the educational status of the woman, the higher the social class, and this no doubt may explain the higher acceptance rate among women of higher social class than among women of lower social class. This will help to reduce the incidence of prolonged pregnancy and its complications in our environment.

The limitation of this study is that the willingness to accept labor induction was assumed to mean acceptance of induction of labor. It is likely that some of the respondents might have responded differently if their pregnancies were actually prolonged. However, the effect of this limitation on the study estimates is likely to be minimal.

Selection of respondents for this study was consecutive considering the short study period, and selection bias cannot be ruled out; a longer study period and use of probability sampling would have been more appropriate.

The strength of the study is that it is a novel effort toward stimulating the interest of physicians involved in maternal care regarding the increasing wave of self-referral for ultrasound scan in pregnancy in our environment, and the strong value mothers attach to ultrasound scan dating. In conclusion, this study shows that in cases where late pregnancy ultrasound scan-derived EDD is further on than the menstrual dating, most women seen in the antenatal clinics at the teaching hospitals in Enugu would not be willing to accept labor induction for postdatism based on their menstrual dating.

This worrisome attachment to ultrasound scan dating is a challenge to the prevention of prolonged pregnancy and its complications in our environment. Predictors of this attitude in our study were low educational status, low social class, and poor knowledge of the limitations of late pregnancy ultrasound scan dating. Antenatal health education should discourage self-referral for ultrasound scanning and emphasize the limitations of late ultrasound scan dating as well as the perinatal effects of prolonged pregnancy. Educational campaigns are also encouraged regarding the need for early antenatal booking and accurate determination of EDD and gestational age during pregnancy.

Well, you'd think so, wouldn't you. At around 12 weeks you can get more accurate measurements. By talking to the health care professionals you should get a clearer picture as to what is happening. Thanks so much for your post — we always welcome feedback, positive or negative, as we always aim to make our articles as accurate and as helpful as possible. We spent a lot of time talking to sonographers before writing this article, so we're surprised that you think what they're saying is not in line with what you have studied.

how accurate is a dating scan?

We'd be really keen to know more about your studies — and what you have learned. You're right that we did include 'anecdotal stories' in our article. We used them to illustrate the key points we were making in the articles but the quotes we used were all centred on the real experiences of pregnant women posting in our forum. We are confident that we are not using these quotes to 'misinform women', as the key points in our article were all sourced from expert monographers.

It's interesting that you say that ultrasounds between 8 and 10 weeks are the most accurate. In the UK, most pregnant women don't have an ultrasound until they are at least 12 weeks pregnant. Perhaps you are based in the US, or another country, where ultrasound practice is a bit different? We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Skip to main content. Find us on YouTube Twitter Pinterest. Can your pregnancy scan give the wrong due date? Some of the information in this article disagrees with everything we have studied so far regarding dating pregnancies and ultrasound accuracy.


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An ultrasound between weeks is the most accurate, not Please do not misinform women on anectodal stories. Do drop us a line a bout your studies, please. We'd be really interested to hear more. You need to be logged in to do this Sign In Sign Up. Meghan Markle's pregnancy style - her best maternity looks. Olivia Colman, Ed Sinclair and children - family facts. Enter Now View All Competitions. Britax B Lite Pushchair.