Committee Opinion No 700: Methods for Estimating the Due Date

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Abstract

Accurate dating of pregnancy is important to improve outcomes and is a research and public health imperative. As soon as data from the last menstrual period, the first accurate ultrasound examination, or both are obtained, the gestational age and the estimated due date (EDD) should be determined, discussed with the patient, and documented clearly in the medical record. Subsequent changes to the EDD should be reserved for rare circumstances, discussed with the patient, and documented clearly in the medical record. 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. 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 last menstrual period alone, should be used as the measure for gestational age.

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