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Methods for Accurately Estimating the Due Date

Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2017 May; Pettker, et al

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine have jointly developed a committee opinion on methods for accurately estimating the due date to improve patient outcomes. The document makes the following recommendations regarding the methods for estimating gestational age and due date:

  • Ultrasound measurement of the embryo or fetus in the first trimester is the most accurate method to establish or confirm gestational age.
  • If pregnancy resulted from assisted reproductive technology (ART), the ART-derived gestational age should be used to assign the estimated due date (EDD).
  • As soon as data from the last menstrual period (LMP), the first accurate ultrasound examination, or both are obtained, the gestational age and the EDD should be determined, discussed with the patient, and documented clearly in the medical record.
  • When determined from the methods outlined in this document for estimating the due date, gestational age at delivery represents the best obstetric estimate for the purpose of clinical care and should be recorded on the birth certificate. For the purposes of research and surveillance, the best obstetric estimate, rather than estimates based on the LMP alone, should be used as the measure for gestational age.
  • A pregnancy without an ultrasound examination that confirms or revises the EDD before 22 0/7 weeks of gestational age should be considered suboptimally dated.

Citation:

Methods for estimating the due date. Committee Opinion No. 700. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2017;129:e150–4.