Several ways that pregnant women can do to calculate their gestational age that have a good level of accuracy

UMMATIMES - The knowledge of calculating gestational age is still poorly understood by pregnant women. Though this is an important thing to be able to know the gestational age that is being lived. By knowing gestational age, a pregnant woman can find out what development or growth of organs is happening in her fetus, what needs her fetus needs and what can and should not be done during that gestational age.

In addition, by knowing the gestational age, a pregnant woman can know when the schedule of examinations to be carried out both to the doctor and to the midwife, so that it is hoped that the pregnancy that is being undertaken will be healthy and produce quality babies.

So far, most people who are able to calculate gestational age still rely on experts, either doctors or midwives, indeed this is what is recommended for the sake of accurate calculation of gestational age. In addition, usually calculating gestational age is done using ultrasound, which has a higher degree of accuracy by measuring skull size, fetal length, heart size, kidney etc. However, there is nothing wrong with pregnant women knowing how to calculate gestational age that can be done by themselves.

There are several ways that pregnant women can do to calculate their gestational age that have a good level of accuracy, including based on:

1. First Day of Last Menstruation

To be able to calculate your gestational age based on last menstrual period, it can only be done by pregnant women who have normal and regular menstrual cycles (28-30 days). For the estimated gestational age based on last menstrual period you can use the Neagele formula, besides being able to calculate gestational age, this formula can also be used to calculate the expected day of birth. The use of this formula is to add 7 on the first date of the last menstrual period, then reduce the month by 3 and add 1 to the year, while for months that cannot be reduced by 3, for example January, February, and March, then the month is added by 9, but the year is still not added or subtracted.

If the first day of your last menstrual period was 16-11-2008, then:
-> 16-11-08 (Days-Month-Year)
->  +     -    +
->  7    3    1
=  23 - 8 - 09 (this is the expected date of birth)

So the estimated time of your birth is August 23, 2009, while for gestational age just count it every 23rd, so on 23 December, it means that your gestational age is one month, 23 January, 2 months of gestation ... and so on. For the Estimated Day of Birth, a grace period of plus or minus 7 days should be added.

-> Advantages
Calculating gestational age using the last menstrual period is indeed very easy for every woman who is pregnant. Even without the help of a midwife or doctor, you can calculate your own gestational age. You can calculate your gestational age every month and you can even estimate the day of your delivery in the future. However, the estimated date of delivery cannot be determined with certainty, because this calculation is only an estimate.

How to calculate gestational age using the last menstrual period also has drawbacks for a woman who experiences irregular menstruation. Of course, there are some women who forget the first day of their last menstruation. So, they cannot use the method of calculating gestational age according to this last menstrual period.

2. Height of the Top of the Womb

The method of calculating gestational age using the uterine peak height method is to feel the uterine peak protruding from the abdominal wall. The count starts from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus. For example, if the distance between the pubic bone and the top of the uterus is 18 cm, it means that your pregnancy is 18 cm. This calculation can also be done using your fingers. Each increase of 3 fingers represents an increase of 3 weeks of age. If the top of the uterus is above the belly button, the finger increase indicates a 4 week increase in age. However, calculating gestational age in this way is rarely done.

Apart from the two methods mentioned above, there are actually two more ways that can be done, namely by detecting the fetal heartbeat for the first time and detecting the fetal movement for the first time. However, for these two methods the level of accuracy is lacking, because the fetal heart rate and fetal movement for the first time are still weak, making it difficult to detect them.

-> Advantages
  • You don't have to need a special tool to calculate your gestational age.
  • Can use your fingers to calculate gestational age
-> Deficiency
  • Sometimes the calculation of gestational age is inaccurate
  • Calculation of gestational age only uses inaccurate tools

3. Perform an HCG test

HCG or short for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a peptide hormone produced during pregnancy which is produced by the embryo after the fertilization process which is then produced by part of the placenta (syncytiotrophoblast).

The HCG hormone is a luteotrophic hormone that exists in several species including mausia. Performing the HCG hormone examination is generally done to check a gestational age. The HCG hormone test is done by taking a sample of a woman's urine or urine to determine her gestational age. If on the examination there is the HCG hormone in urine, it is possible that a woman is getting about 3 to 4 weeks of gestation.

Apart from examining the urine, HCG can also be done on a blood sample. HCG blood testing is generally performed to obtain the result of an undetectable pregnancy or a disturbing ectopic pregnancy. When you experience morning sickness, it is possible that your HCG hormone has increased.

-> Advantages
Examination of the HCG hormone either through urine or blood samples has more precise advantages than other methods. This method is more to make sure a woman is really pregnant or not. However, testing HCG through a blood sample is more accurate than urine testing.

-> Deficiency
- This method cannot be done by a woman who experiences menstrual irregularities.
- This method will not work for women with hormone disorders.
- This method may not be appropriate if done in the middle of pregnancy.
- This method cannot be done by a woman who uses contraception

4. Ultrasound examination

A way that might be considered more accurate than other methods is to do an ultrasound examination. This method is generally performed by obstetricians who are already experts in this field. examination using the ultrasound method, usually done when gestational age enters the age of 4-5 weeks after the menstrual period.

An ultrasound examination can also be done by a woman who wants to know her gestational age when she reaches 8-18 weeks of age. The method of calculating gestational age using this method is indeed more accurate because we can see whether pregnancy has occurred or not. An ultrasound examination is also done to find out whether the pregnancy occurred in the uterus or outside the uterus. This is to prevent ectopic pregnancy. The ultrasound method can be performed by a woman who does not know or forgets the first day of her last menstrual period.

-> Advantages
  • The method of examination by ultrasound is indeed more accurate than other methods.
  • This method can be done by a woman who experiences menstrual irregularities.
  • Can know the exact position of the pregnancy.
-> Deficiency
  • The method of ultrasound examination sometimes still has to remember the first day of the last menstruation.
  • How to calculate gestational age is not accurate if it is done in the middle of pregnancy.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to do if a woman is using contraception