Gestational Week Assessment and Pregnancy Outcome

Foetal intrauterine growth and development are determined by a number of factors. Monitoring of the developing foetus is necessary in order to ensure the health of both the mother and the neonate. Currently, health care professionals have a number of options for accurate assessment of the gestational week of birth. In daily clinical practice and according to the current international literature, there are four possible methods of assessing the gestational week, based on: the date of the last monthly period, the ultrasound (US) based gestational week, the Leopold clinical examination and the neonatal clinical examination after birth. Of these, the date of the last period and the US based gestational week assessment are considered the most precise. The majority of epidemiological studies have also demonstrated the precision and accuracy of the US based gestational week assessment. The use of the most precise method for assessing the gestational week is considered an important factor of pregnancy monitoring and outcome. Specifically, pregnancy outcome is defined as all the clinical aspects of birth which characterize an infant as healthy or not, including low birth weight, preterm delivery and intrauterine growth restriction. Through assessment of pregnancy outcome, infants are classified into categories by which the role of possible exposures during pregnancy can be examined. The intrauterine conditions and their duration during foetal development have implications for pregnancy outcome and are crucial for the future health of the child. The continuing education of health care professionals and health education interventions for informing future parents of the importance of comprehensive prenatal monitoring provide the basis for the health of future generations.

Category: Volume 49, N 3
Hits: 798 Hits
Created Date: 15-09-2010
Authors: Evridiki Patelarou , Victoria Vivilaki