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Accuracy of pregnancy dating

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As long as the timings are right, you can have the NT scan and blood test at the same appointment as your dating scan. That's because the screening test needs an accurate due date to be reliable.

Hormones in your blood vary according to your stage of pregnancy.

If you do know the conception date, this is counted as day 14, not day one.

If your cycle is irregular or you've recently been on the pill, working out the date from your LMP probably won't work. If the scan date differs from your period dates, the scan date will be used.

For example, the NT scan for Down's syndrome has a false-positive rate of five per cent.

This means that, out of 20 women who have the scan, one woman will be wrongly told she has a high chance of having a baby with Down's syndrome.

As well as the combined test, most private healthcare clinics offer non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), which is the most accurate (up to 99 per cent) screening test for Down's Syndrome. It may also help you to avoid feeling disappointed towards the end of your pregnancy if you think your baby is late when he's not. The scan can check that your baby's heart is beating nicely and that he's developing normally. The scan will usually show that your pregnancy is less far along than suggested by your LMP. This means that accurate dating reduces your chance of having your labour induced because your baby is thought to be overdue. A blood test at what you thought was 13 weeks wouldn't be helpful if you were actually 16 weeks pregnant. It may lead to you being given a high chance for Down's syndrome, when your baby is actually developing normally (false-positive result). Addition of non-invasive test to improve screening for pregnant women. How big your baby will be depends on when you have the scan: After 13 weeks, your baby can curl up and stretch out, so measuring the length becomes less accurate. Therefore, from 13 weeks, or if your baby is longer than 84mm, the circumference of the head becomes the best way to measure your baby. Evaluation of gestation emedicine.[Accessed July 2017] Newson L. It shouldn't be uncomfortable, and you don't need a full bladder Your sonographer will give you a report of the scan, which will tell you exactly how many weeks pregnant you are. Keep it with your maternity notes so your midwife and anyone else involved in your care can see it. This measurement, known as the crown rump length (CRL), is very accurate in the first trimester.