Posts Tagged ‘LMP’

Saint Nicholas Day, his legend, and our modern day’s prematurity, EDD calculation, gestational age, problem with LMP

December 8, 2010

Could high prevalence of prematurity be a consequence of motherhood not being the top job held by society in high esteem? A modern paradox.

December 5 is the eve of St. Nicholas Day, the patron Saint of many people, cities and countries – including the largest one [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas#Deeds_and_miracles_attributed_to_Saint_Nicholas ]. St. Nicholas is remembered and celebrated in similar ways in some countries, rewarding well-behaved children but not the misbehaving ones… Which is why St. Nicholas, known as Svaty Mikulas, visits the children at home, in certain parts of Central Europe, in the evening along with an Angel and a Devil (Cert). The Saint asks the parents about the kids’ conduct…

Josef Lada_Mikulas, andel a cert

Josef Lada - Mikulas doma

Josef Lada – Mikulas doma

I share with you a depiction of the tradition drawn by Josef Lada in the troubled 1930s, an idyllic tradition of an industrial people, which they keep to this day…

Besides numerous miracles, this most popular of Saints was and is reputed for gift-giving (hence the commercialized Santa Claus transformation morphing St. Nicholas  with a Western or Northern European Father Christmas later on in the month of December).

There are numerous legends about Saint Nicholas’ miracles and his deeds of help. Perhaps the most famous one is about the three daughters of an impoverished man who could not afford a proper dowry for them, dowry being an ancient habit, the original purpose of which “was to provide ‘seed money’ or property for the establishment of a new household” – and we are now talking about the 300s CE [Christian Era].

The saint Bishop of Myrna saved the girls from the fate of slavery and prostitution by secretly dropping “three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man’s house”, which gift made the young girls “eligible” again. It is also said that he dropped the gift down the chimney where stockings were hanging “over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into the stocking”. That’s beside the point because we are not discussing Santa of Christmas, but rather we are remembering St. Nicolas of December 6.

Jan_Steen_Het_Sint_Nicolaasfeest, The Feast of St. Nicholas

Jan_Steen_Het_Sint_Nicolaasfeest,                               The Feast of St. Nicholas

In those times many, many centuries ago, the chief purpose of young women’s life was motherhood, naturally within a marriage, hence the said dowry habit. In our times, many things have changed, including, unfortunately, young women’s attitude towards motherhood. Well, not just young women’s attitude…

Motherhood must be held in high esteem to reverse the trend reflected by an outcry in tweeter-sphere that’s a part of life nowadays: “I never felt marginalized as a woman until I became a mother”. Now this is very sad. Sad for society since the opposite should be the case.

Motherhood is the most important “job” in the world, and this is not some cute old-fashioned thought. Women bear enormous responsibility for the health of the nation, of humankind. Society should pamper them. Meaning: Society should be organized based on the recognition of Mother Nature’s design, which design – with the optimal years for motherhood in the early twenties – does not go away only because nowadays we can do all kinds of things – including octuplet pregnancies at grandmotherly age.

One consequence of the referenced changes is the currently common delays in getting married, and especially delays in bringing children into the world, starting a family. In other words, the unfortunate consequence is motherhood in later years of life than Nature intended. And then there are other consequences. Among them, prematurity.

Lou Beach, Preggers

Lou Beach, Preggers

@DrJenGunter not too long ago tweeted on prematurity, the most common cause of infant morbidity and mortality in the U.S.: “I just wrote a book on prematurity. Personal and professional experience”. See The Preemie Primer: A Complete Guide for Parents of Premature Babies–from Birth through the Toddler Years and Beyond [Paperback], Jennifer Gunter MD (Author) at http://www.amazon.com/Preemie-Primer-Complete-Premature-Babies/dp/0738213934/

Here is a citation [from http://www.preemieprimer.com/ ]:

My son Victor has dystonic cerebral palsy. He weighed 843 g at birth and had a grade 2 IVH. The bleed resolved in the NICU without hydrocephalus.

He is seven years old now. He is very stiff and is so shaky on a bicycle that we have given up trying for now. He couldn’t stand on one foot until he was 5. It took a very long time for him to get the hang of swimming and at the age of seven he is by no means a fish, but I feel if he were to fall in a pool he could keep his head above water. His digestive tract is very affected, but we have figured out ways to minimize these issues. It took countless hours of OT and thousands of hours of him practicing, but his writing is beautiful and God know where he gets his spelling ability from. He hopscotches like a pro. He is reading a grade level ahead. All without a CT scan or an MRI.

Based on his exam and his problem areas I am sure his cerebellum is a mess. In fact, I wonder if I would have pushed him so hard if I had seen a brain scan before we left the NICU?

“What we know about prematurity” is reviewed by the March of Dimes Campaign at http://www.marchofdimes.com/Mission/prematurity_indepth.html .

Today more than 1,400 babies in the United States (1 in 8 [= 12.5%]) will be born prematurely. Many will be too small and too sick to go home. Instead, they face weeks or even months in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). These babies face an increased risk of serious medical complications and death; however, most, eventually, will go home. … In fact, the rate of premature birth increased by more than 20 percent between 1990 and 2006. … The rate fell to 12.3 percent in 2008 from 12.7 in 2007, a small but statistically significant decrease.

Why women deliver early? In nearly 40 percent of premature births, the cause is unknown. However, researchers have made some progress in learning the causes of prematurity. Studies suggest that there may be four main routes leading to spontaneous premature labor.”

Štyrský, Marriage

Štyrský, Marriage

Do refer to the referenced article for more about the four main causes:

  1. Infections and/or inflammation.
  2. Maternal or fetal stress.
  3. Bleeding.
  4. Stretching.

And then there is this: These four routes are not the only things to consider. Other factors, such as multiple pregnancy, inductions and cesarean sections, can also play a role. (Mostly man-made factors, we note. I say “mostly” because some multiple pregnancies happen also to women who did not get pregnant through the Artificial Reproductive Technologies… )

Prematurity is bad for infant, parents, and public health. We at bioZhena propose to contribute to the reduction of its prevalence, by making the FOLLICULOGENESIS IN VIVO™ [FIV™] technology available for routine use by women and their physicians. As a particular example, in relation to the referenced other factors, we propose to make it possible to compute the Expected Date of Delivery (EDD) based on the expectant mothers’ folliculogenesis data.

The idea is to get away from the gestation calculation popularized about 200 years ago in 1812 by a Dr. Naegele, for whom the 40 weeks or 10 lunar months rule of obstetrics is named. This rule of 280-day gestation assumes that the mother ovulates on day 14 of a 28 day menstrual cycle, which the readers of bioZhena’s Weblog know that it is an unrealistic assumption.

America in 1812, the time of Dr. Naegele’s 200 years of fame

America in 1812, the time of Dr. Naegele’s 200 years of fame

Napoleon & carabiniers_in_front_of_Moscow_1812

Napoleon & carabiniers_in_front_of_Moscow_1812

Allegedly*, it was Dr. Hermanni Boerhaave, in his time a highly respected academic physician, botanist and chemist, who read in the Bible that pregnancy should last 10 lunar months. He is said to have formulated – in the 1700s – a way of calculating the expected date of delivery (EDD).

Thus, expectant mothers get EDD today based on the myth of the baroque-era Boerhaave … Yet, already Aristotle taught that “the human fetus is expelled … at any period of pregnancy …; moreover, when the birth takes place in the eighth month, it is possible for the infant to live.”

The gist of the bioZhena hypothesis is this: The EDD can be projected quite well from ultrasonic measurements of the unborn baby’s head and body size, but for a more convenient, affordable and consequently more practical solution, we propose to seek a correlation between the Ovulona FIV™ attributes such as cycle length and the EDD/EDC. Importantly, this will be done by using the date of insemination, which will be easily – electronically – recorded by the user of the Ovulona™ as an integral part of the routine.

Trying to be fair or considerate to the women’s healthcare classics, I report an obgyn.net paper at http://www.obgyn.net/fetal-monitoring/fetal-monitoring.asp?page=cotm/9807/cotm_9807 . It is titled “’Back to the Future’ for Hermaani Boerhaave, or, ‘A rational way to generate ultrasound scan charts for estimating the date of delivery’” by Dr David J R Hutchon, Consultant Obstetrician, Memorial Hospital, Darlington, England. This is about the ultrasound approach, and he comments that: QUOTE “the approach mimics, in modern terms, the method originally formulated by Boerhaave. … If Boerhaave had had an ultrasound scanner, his paper might have read something like, ‘It is proved by numerous observations that 99 out of 100 births occur 22 weeks (at 18 weeks gestation) after the biparietal diameter of the fetus is 40mm’ (Fig 1).”

Besides his Figure 1, I also share Mr Hutchon’s (a British medical doctor, when Consultant, becomes Mr again) Fig. 2, “Regression analysis showing line fit plot. The number of days between scan and delivery has been converted to conventional gestation by subtracting from 280. The lower and upper dotted lines represent delivery at 42 and 37 weeks respectively.” QUOTE UNQUOTE.

Gestation age vs. crown rump length by DJR Hutchon

Gestation age vs. crown rump length by DJR Hutchon

Gestation vs. biparietal diameter by Hutchon

Gestation vs. biparietal diameter by Hutchon

Biparietal diameter is the (outer – inner) measurement of the fetal skull echo. Crown-rump length (CRL) is the measurement of the length of human embryos and fetuses from the top of the head (crown) to the bottom of the buttocks (rump). In humans, the fetal stage of prenatal development starts at the beginning of the 11th week in gestational age, which is the 9th week after fertilization. These are the Wikipedia reported definitions. The two weeks between 9 and 11 assume the “regular” length of the menstrual cycle, which is a theoretical assumption that could very likely be incorrect in practice, in the given woman and in the given last cycle of hers (because regularity is a myth, too). Well, look at the scatter in the data points, it’s telling.

In addition to the convenience, affordability and practicality of the bioZhena approach, do not overlook the feature that the data will be personal to the given woman, and the measurement will not refer to LMP. It will not rely on the woman’s recollection of her last menstrual period (instead, it will refer to the last electronically recorded intercourse); and it will not subject the baby to unnecessary ultrasound radiation.

For more on the topic, try under Gestation in the Alphabet of bioZhena https://biozhena.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/aaee-the-alphabet-of-biozhena.pdf (or https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/the-alphabet-of-biozhena/ ). See also the discussion under Parturition, where we express the expectation that parturition management will be revolutionized by the introduction of the Ovulona into obstetric and gynecological practice.

Anderle - Pasek 06

Anderle – Pasek 06

Summary Definitions [quoted from http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Fetal_Age ]:

Gestation is the period of time between conception and birth, during which the fetus grows and develops inside the mother’s womb.

Gestational age is the time measured from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual cycle [LMP] to the current date. It is measured in weeks. A normal pregnancy can range from 38 to 42 weeks.

Infants born before 37 weeks are considered premature. Infants born after 42 weeks are considered postmature. (Note: 42 x 7 = 294).

Especially with the challenged menstrual cycles that are particularly irregular in length, referencing the LMP in the reckoning can easily introduce a significant error. Perhaps that is why the above summary definition of normalcy is 38 to 42 weeks but prematurity is “before 37 weeks”? (A week here, a week there…) Read also the earlier post https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/about-the-edd-andor-edc-issue-and-a-request-for-input-from-readers/ .

Tomáš Císarovský  - Kukátko

Tomáš Císarovský – Kukátko

280 may have been in the Bible, but it ain’t necessarily right. We’ll see whether 266 is, and whether it is a worldwide constant, which is doubtful. If for no other reason, global constancy is doubtful because it was reported from India that “Mean gestational age at the onset of labour for women native to the area of study was 272 days (standard deviation 9 days). Pregnancies beyond a duration of 280 days showed significantly increased perinatal morbidity.” (Referencing the above righthealth.com definitions, we see 294 – 280 = 14. A week here, a couple of weeks there…)

Well, 272 – 14 = 258. Not 266, and that number is of interest because per Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence, ”a gestation period of thirty-eight weeks (266 days) is calculated for women who are pregnant by a procedure such as in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination that allows them to know their exact date of conception” (article Gestation Period and Gestational Age).

And then you have the oprah.com article, which asks, “Will the labor start naturally on time, or will the baby be so late that induction or Caesarean section is necessary?”: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Is-Pregnancy-Really-40-Weeks-Long . While debating the validity of the word “necessary” is not the point here, the author there refers to data from studies that concluded greater than 280 days due dates (288 days in one study), of which one study was in Sweden.

A hypothesis can be that hot climates may lead to lower gestation periods than cold climates. This would be a hypothesis based on two data points and a common sense for “the babies taking longer when it’s cold outside”… We’ll want to compare, say, data from Inuits and Lapps on the one hand with data from equatorial Africa and Philippines and/or Indonesia on the other. Logically, we’ll control for factors known or suspected as being involved, such as those four main causes listed above – and age, parity and other factors already explored by people such as Mittendorf in the 1980s.

Kupka - Creation de l homme

Kupka – Creation de l homme

The idea is that routine use of the Ovulona will provide for an equivalent of the above-referenced 38-week (266 days) calculation, which is available to the women receiving IVF or artificial insemination. The data will be personal and the geography of the birth will be noted (as well as ethnicity), with data sooner or later coming from all corners of the world.

Capturing and working with the fertilization date should, by and of itself, be an improvement over the current way of EDD/EDC assessment. An improvement over the paradox of modern obstetrics and gynecology handling the most important aspect of reproduction by means of some biblical myth, and having become more and more interventionist probably at least in part because of that myth. Reference a recent tweet: Maternity Care In America Rife With Systematic Failures l Being #Pregnant http://su.pr/2j91wY “most people don’t know normal birth”. This refers to the medical staff.

That these thoughts are sensible, and that the chief problem is the LMP, is supported by ultrasound studies such as “Gestational age and induction of labour for prolonged pregnancy” by Jason Gardosi, Tracey Vanner, and Andy Francis (Perinatal Research, Audit and Monitoring, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK) in British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, July 1997, Vol. 104, pp. 792-797 – [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.1997.tb12022.x/pdf].

Citing from this study of more than 24.5 thousand pregnancies: Menstrual dates [LMP data] systematically overestimated gestational age at term when compared with scan dates… suggesting that most pregnancies which are considered ‘prolonged’ according to menstrual dates are in fact mis-dated. The median gestational age for induced labours was 286 days by last menstrual period but only 280 days by scan, and most (71.5%) inductions done post-term (> 294 days) according to menstrual dates were not post-term if scan dates alone are used to calculate the gestational age.“

This study was a retrospective analysis of computer files of 24,675 pregnancies delivered in a teaching hospital between 1988 and 1995.

Here is their graphical summary of distribution of deliveries as a function of gestational ages by ultrasound scan dates.

Deliveries vs. gestational ages by ultrasound scan dates

Deliveries vs. gestational ages by ultrasound scan dates

Their most explicit statement in support of our conviction and plan is this citation: “Even if the date of the last menstrual period is recalled with accuracy, delay in ovulation can result in over-estimation of the true gestational age, which results in an apparent prolongation of pregnancy.” The authors also cite a 1972 paper in American Journal of Obstetric and Gynecology in support of the just cited statement.

The Gardosi et al. paper concluded: Regardless of obstetric and maternal views of the advantages and disadvantages of routine induction policies, our results suggest that most post-date inductions are unwarranted on the basis of gestational age. The incidence of prolonged pregnancies can be considerably reduced by establishing dates by ultrasound alone.

Needless to say, a similar graph for deliveries in India would show the spontaneous labor peak earlier (272 days by one study in tropical Manipal) while a Scandinavian graph would be shifted in the opposite direction; both were referenced above.

I’ll be darned if the introduction of the Ovulona into the gestation arena should not bring some order and peace (as opposed to the mess and anxieties of today). As I wrote in the conclusion of the related January 11, 2008 article: It is perfectly realistic a vision that, in future, an expectant mother’s EDD and/or EDC will be assessed based on her folliculogenesis (FIV™) data.

The EDD/EDC will be computed automatically and provided by her own Ovulona Smart Sensor™. And no Saint Nicholas miraculous assistance will be required by the future users – although we will not write here the same for bioZhena.

———

* I write “allegedly” because I spent many an hour looking for evidence of truth in this allegation, only to find the Dutch man an impressive medico-scientific mind and an impressive likeable character – but no evidence of the biblical dogma ascribed to him. As I write this note, I am going once more through the tedious but interesting Dr. Boerhaave’s “Academical lectures on the theory of physic” of AD 1744. The man’s fame and authority was such that “a Chinese mandarin, seeking advice, addressed his letter to ‘Boerhaave – Europe’, and it was delivered”. See http://books.google.com/books?id=QTUVAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Hermanni+Boerhaave+1744&source=bl&ots=NCeCN4gLdd&sig=SoUA_WS6iSkh2A8WpBX7S4o54Uw&hl=en&ei=ebP-TP2WBIX2tgO12-mvCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

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About the EDD and/or EDC issue, and a request for input from readers

January 11, 2008

EDD stands for Estimated Date of Delivery, while EDC stands for Estimated Date of Confinement (the time of going to hospital for the delivery, “the lying-in of a woman in childbed“).

Seasonality of Google Searches Bears Out These Thoughts And Plans

August and July, October and/or September are the months of the season of most births in the U.S. And Mums-To-Be are rather anxious about the timing of the pregnancy-to-birthing process, gestation.

Just see how, well ahead of the upcoming birth time, the interest in the search term “gestation” peaks every year in April, give or take a month. You can see it at https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=2004-12-31%202017-01-18&geo=US&q=gestation (search terms: United States, 12/31/04 – 1/18/17, All categories, Web Search). I’ll expand on the seasonality aspect below, after I share some thoughts and plans.

The bioZhena thinking, in one brief sentence, is this: Aim to replace stochastic with deterministic, which is the purpose of our eukairosicTM diagnostic tools. Then the E in EDD and EDC will stand for EXPECTED.

‘Expected’ based on a measured data based computation, as opposed to a subjective recall based physician’s guess. Because, as I say in the very last sentence at the end of this article: Your approaching EDD and EDC are not normalized/relative like those in the statistical graph …

The medical position on the current status of obstetrics can be characterized by the following two papers.

1) Theory of obstetrics: an epidemiologic framework for justifying medically indicated early delivery

[BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2007 Mar 28;7:4. Joseph KS, Perinatal Epidemiology Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada]

QUOTE: Modern obstetrics is faced with a serious paradox. Obstetric practice is becoming increasingly interventionist … Whereas … mortality declines exponentially with increasing gestational duration, temporal increases in medically indicated labour induction and cesarean delivery have resulted in rising rates of preterm birth and declining rates of post-term birth. … [This] provides a theoretical justification for medically indicated early delivery and reconciles the contemporary divide between obstetric theory and obstetric practice. END QUOTE.

And 2) A re-look at the duration of human pregnancy

[Singapore Med J. 2006 Dec;47(12):1044-8. Bhat RA and Kushtagi P, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India]

QUOTE: The duration of human pregnancy is arbitrarily taken as 280 days (40 weeks). Foetuses are considered to be at high risk once pregnancy goes beyond the expected date of confinement. … Conclusion: Mean gestational age at the onset of labour for women native to the area of study was 272 days (standard deviation 9 days). Pregnancies beyond a duration of 280 days showed significantly increased perinatal morbidity. It is suggested that there is a need for determining the length of gestation and to compile gestation-wise incidence of … neonatal morbidity indicators for different populations. END QUOTE.

Related medical publications are here.

I will rely on the birthing specialist, Janelle Durham, to verbalize for you the status quo in this aspect of the homo sapiens experience – below. First,

Gestation Period, Gestational Age and OvulonaTM

Per Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence, article Gestation Period and Gestational Age ,

” a gestation period of thirty-eight weeks (266 days) is calculated for women who are pregnant by a procedure such as in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination that allows them to know their exact date of conception.”

The Ovulona women’s healthcare and self-care device from bioZhena will provide to the woman user a very simple means to record the day of any intercourse as a part of her record of the menstrual cyclic profile. In every cycle, whether pregnancy is planned or not. This must become a part of the routine. The information will be electronically recorded along with the daily or almost-daily measurement data inherent in the use of the Ovulona.

With that menstrual cycling history data, this intercourse-timing information will be available for use by the woman’s physician(s). And in due course (contingent on funding) the cervical ring transformation of the Ovulona will remove the need for daily insertion…

Therefore, the routine use of the Ovulona (and of the internally worn HaloTM cervical ring) will provide for an equivalent of the above-referenced 38-week (266 days) calculation available to the women receiving IVF or artificial insemination. This alone should be an improvement on the current way of EDD/EDC assessment. In this context, an investigation should be undertaken into the question of whether any inference can be drawn from the woman’s menstrual cycle history prior to the conceptive (baby-making) intercourse.

Any comments on this would be welcome, even about anecdotal or subjective or tentative observations that may be available. However non-scientific, however tentative, however uncertain an individual answer or input from you may be…

Questions

Questions such as: What evidence is available in medical literature (or maybe in unpublished records?) about the outcomes of the IVF or artificial insemination pregnancies, i.e. about their documented gestation periods? Does the 38 weeks projection work? Always? If not always, can anything be correlated with any deviation?

Has anyone looked at whether there may be an effect of geography in terms of hot vs. cold climate on gestation periods of natives? And perhaps even at whether a gestation-period difference may arise in data at a well-selected locale between winter and summer deliveries (of course only natural, not “medically indicated early deliveries”)?

The complicating effect of first versus subsequent pregnancy has already been noted, of course… That evidence exists for gestational length variability with ethnicity (or race) has been noted, too:

“122,415 nulliparous women with singleton live fetuses at the time of spontaneous labour, giving birth in the former North West Thames Health Region, London, UK. Results: The median gestational age at delivery was 39 weeks in Blacks and Asians and 40 weeks in white Europeans.” [International Journal of Epidemiology 2004, Volume 33, Number 1, pp. 107-113 ].

I am happy to observe that this outcome is not counter-intuitive (because women with ancestors in hot climates seem to tend to shorter gestational age at delivery than those who can be presumed to originate from colder climate conditions).

Conceivably, such a preliminary info, which I am after here, is not forthcoming — and we shall have to try and gather even these preliminary data in a systematic manner when the time comes, but no question asked, nothing learned… Public or private input would be appreciated. (I wrote this request here in 2008.)

Although focused on the very serious complication in pregnancy, A Balancing Act: Ideal Delivery Timing & Chronic Hypertension by Eva Martin, MD is an example of the kind of information that we will need when setting out to start the adaptation of our technology to the challenge of assessing and managing EDD/EDC. Retweeting her piece, I tweeted in April 2017: This is why when the monitoring will better assess EDD/EDC >abandon old Naegele rule.

Dr. Martin has a few videos online on the subject of due dates, and here is one of them (~2 minutes): How to Calculate Your Due Date After A.R.T. –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4OCSwxTEIg  (in a nutshell: Fertilization + 266 days [38 weeks] as we already noted above, with reference to the Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence).

There in any case does seem to be some, perhaps fairly good, basis for this attempt at a preparation for an introduction of a tool for definitive assessment of EDD and EDC.

Due Dates Paper by Ms. Durham

According to the due dates paper by Janelle Durham, written for Certification with Birth Education in January, 2002 , QUOTE: “some women are aware of when they ovulate, either based on formal methods and record-keeping such as daily temperature checks, or on physical symptoms such as mild pain upon ovulation, or observation of changes in vaginal mucus. Many women know the dates when conception was possible, because they know the dates when they had intercourse during their most recent menstrual cycle.

Due dates can be calculated based on these dates, but many physicians prefer to calculate it from date of last menstrual period. They may only calculate from conception date if conception was medically managed and supervised through techniques such as artificial insemination.

Based on date of last normal menstrual period.

Due dates are typically calculated based upon the date the last menstrual period began, according to the mother’s report. Naegele’s rule assumes that ovulation occurred 14 days after LMP, which is only the case for women with 28 day cycles. Some caregivers will ask their patients for a history of menstrual cycles so that they can adjust this number, as appropriate, for cycles of different lengths or irregular cycles.

It’s also important to consider: recent use of oral contraceptives, and their possible effect on ovulation date; inaccurate memory about when the last period occurred, the possibility of interpreting post-conception ‘spotting’ as a light period, and unrecognized pregnancy losses. These issues all complicate due date prediction, and it’s estimated that nearly 25% of infants who would be classified as preterm birth on the basis of the last normal menstrual period are not preterm. (Cited in Health Canada)” END QUOTE.

At this point, let me translate the one brief sentence I wrote at the top into a less specialist language. Ms. Durham shows a statistical distribution of gestation periods applicable to any woman, and that is the approach I labeled stochastic, because of its statistical nature. I admit, the word is harking back to the days of my postgrad phys chem endeavors, which were mostly endeavours at the time. 🙂 We could also say, probabilistic – two syllables longer, though!

Gestational Age at Birth vs. Weeks since LMP

http://transitiontoparenthood.com/ttp/birthed/duedatespaper.htm

Janelle Durham, for Certification with Birth Education NW. January, 2002.

.

Our Goal – Your Comments

With our eurokairosicTM diagnostic tools, we generally aim to determine the right time, and in the case at hand we propose to provide for a much less fuzzy assessment of the EDD and EDC. After all, precedent exists in the A.R.T. arena, and prerequisites, too, to some extent at least.

In a nutshell: Let’s replace the LMP/Naegele-based approach with a hard data-based technique, applied to each and by each Mom individually.

Again, your comments on and/or answers to the questions above would be useful. Public or private input would be appreciated. [Private to: vaclav@biozhena.com please.]

In any case, for more on this topic see a related post published on December 8, 2010: Saint Nicholas Day, his legend, and our modern day’s prematurity, EDD calculation, gestational age, problem with LMP. We show there data from a study of more than 24.5 thousand pregnancies demonstrating that “most (71.5%) inductions done post-term (> 294 days) according to LMP dates were not post-term if ultrasound scan dates alone are used to calculate the gestational age.”

Vision

It is perfectly reasonable a vision that, in future, an expectant mother’s EDD and/or EDC will be assessed based on her folliculogenesis in vivo (FIV™) data which will include the electronic record of every sexual intercourse. The EDD/EDC will be computed automatically and provided by her own Ovulona Smart Sensor™.

So that, for example, a woman in and native to (or perhaps with ancestry from) a hot climate region might automatically obtain her EDD of 39 weeks when she electronically registers her day of intercourse on her Ovulona. Versus 40 weeks for a white European, consistent with the knowledge base noted above and assuming its validation.

No more uncertainties as in the LMP-based estimation. The bell-shape curve of distribution (such as the Janelle Durham graph above) will be replaced by personalized specifics.

Seasonality of EDC Searches on Google

On June 1, 2015 (at about the time of the year when, statistically, most American expectant mothers are about the last trimester away from their Estimated Date of Delivery and of Confinement) I add the following illustration. It appears to suggest why in May and June each year for the last 6 years there is always a noticeable increase in the viewing statistic of this blog post that you are reading. The interest in the subject of the due dates is up.

Seasonality of Search Google Trends for search term “EDC” 2009 - 2015

See the image better as Single slide – Google Trends for EDC Search 2009 – 2015 e

Check the trend for yourself by moving from the screen shot image to the actual graph online via the link http://v.gd/c2MOyR i.e. http://www.google.com/trends/explore#cat=0-45&q=edc&geo=US&date=1%2F2009%2078m&cmpt=q&tz= . Once online, the Google graph shows (with cursor put on data for different months) the counts of US searches for EDC in the different months. You can change the range of the time period via the Time button, and the country of interest via the Country button. The numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart. At the time of writing this, it was the number of searches in June 2014 (assigned the maximal relative value of 100).

Move the cursor along the graph to see the values for other months within the examined period. You’ll see the EDC value of 100 in June 2014; in June 2013 the US peak was at 72 counts. The worldwide trend is much like the US trend because the statistics are driven by the overwhelming majority of American searches. E.g. the May 2015 count worldwide is only higher by 7 more searches than the US value of 48; in June 2014 the worldwide count was the same 100 as the US while in June 2013 the worldwide count was 20 counts higher than the US count of 65.

That’s as of June 3, 2015. Might this change later? Well, click http://www.google.com/trends/explore#cat=0-45&q=edc&geo=US&date=1%2F2009%2082m&cmpt=q&tz=Etc%2FGMT%2B6 and see the graph as of September 12, 2015, which does show the June 2015 peak indubitably.

The worldwide count can be obtained via the Country button on the Explore bar in Google Trends (USA was selected here). The data are normalized, relative numbers – you can read up on it… It’s a Google algorithm.

And here now is a January 6, 2017 update of the Google Trends EDC results, showing that the June peak (in search activity for EDC) continues to be there; in June 2016 it stood at 88 while in June 2015 it was 89, as found by placing the cursor on the peak in the online graph (only one data point can be screen-printed as in the image here) – the URL is below the image:

google-trends-edc-12-31-08-to-12-31-16

https://www.google.com/trends/explore?cat=45&date=2008-12-31%202016-12-31&geo=US&q=edc

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Dear Reader,

Your approaching EDD and EDC – if indeed their coming up is the reason why you are reading this – are not normalized or relative values like those in the statistical graph

— and good luck, all the best from bioZhena!

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Parturition means birthing (birth) and dystocia a difficult one

January 9, 2008

And what is a parturition alarm?

For these and other entries, see the Alphabet of bioZhena at

https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/the-alphabet-of-biozhena/

Parturition alarm:

This is a concept that has to do with the need to know when labor or delivery is beginning, because the birthing female may be in need of help.

At the time of writing the first Alphabet draft more than five years ago, an Internet search produced only one such technology, a pressure-sensing girth, suitable for the horse breeder only, because it utilizes the fact that the horse mare lies on her side only in the process of parturition. To illustrate, we borrow a nice picture from a more recent publication found in today’s search on parturition alarm, which search still shows a preponderance of equine innovations:

Equine birth alarm

In the originally noted publication, reference was made to some other method that would detect the emergence of the amniotic sac or of the foal from the vulva (vaginal orifice) but that was not a satisfactory solution. In the horse-breeding arena, about 5-6% of births require help. Various approaches to the birth alarm solution have been attempted.

These days, there are quite a few patents etc. found in the parturition alarm search. And even 5 years ago, a patent from New Mexico University should have been found because their intra-vaginal parturition alarm patent (basically for cows) was published in 1987.

In human obstetrics, where most births take place in hospitals, determining the right time of confinement would be very beneficial. bioZhena (and/or its sister company, bioPecus) will investigate our vaginal sensor technology – suitably modified – with a view to developing a parturition alarm applicable to any mammal.

Also relevant in this context is the implication of the Ovulona making available the menstrual cycle (folliculogenesis) data over many months or cycles before conception. This will enable a more accurate anticipation of the EDD, Expected Date of Delivery. You will understand this better below, under Parturition. I highly recommend that you check out Figuring Your Due Date, too – from the Midwife Archives.

Let us put it this way: Since this is the bioZhena blog (and not bioPecus, for veterinary tools), the EDD issue must be addressed first, before any parturition alarm developments. Because we are primarily concerned with the Rerum Naturare Feminina.

And it would still be of great interest to hear from an expert Latinist about the correct way of saying this in plural, the Natural Thing of Women, the Women’s Natural Thing…

This being a reference to /2007/12/16/cervix-uteri-and-seven-or-eight-related-things/ .

Parturition:

The process of giving birth; childbirth. [From Late Latin parturitio, from Latin parturitus, past participle of parturire, to be in labor.]

Parturition is illustrated at http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/esp/2001_saladin/folder_structure/re/m2/s5/ .

The illustration’s legend indicates that physicians usually calculate the gestation period (length of the pregnancy) as 280 days: 40 weeks or 10 lunar months from the last menstrual period (LMP) to the date of confinement, which is the estimated date of delivery of the infant [EDD].

Indubitably, due dates are a little-understood concept:

“Truth is, even if you know the exact date when you ovulated, you still can only estimate the baby’s unique gestational cycle to about plus or minus two weeks” [ http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/dueDates.html ]. Why should that be? Because of the variability of your menstrual cycle lengths? (They vary even if you do not think so).

Statistically, the gestation time for human babies has a mean of 278 days and a standard deviation of 12 days, an uncomfortably large spread. The old Naegele Rule of a 40-week pregnancy was invented by a Bible-inspired botanist Harmanni Boerhaave in 1744 and later promoted by Franz Naegele in 1812. It is still believed to work fairly well as a rule of thumb for many pregnancies. However, the rule of thumb also suggests: “If your menstrual cycles are about 28 days, quite regular, and this is not your first child, your physician’s dating is probably fine. If your cycles are longer or irregular, or if this is your first child, the due date your physician has given you may be off, setting you up for all kinds of problems” (induction, interventions, C-section among them).

This is where the bioZhena technology can be expected to provide help, making it possible to reckon the EDD with recorded menstrual cycle (folliculogenesis history) data rather than merely with the LMP + 280 days. This, once properly researched, may be expected to have a significant impact on obstetric management. — Any comments?

It is ironic that, in this age of technological medicine, American women worry about their birthing process not being allowed to take its own natural course on account of an ancient method of predicting the EDD.

Ironically, the 40 week dogma – which is the gestational counterpart of the unacceptable calendar method of birth control (the so-called “Vatican roulette”) – does not reconcile the 295+ days of the 10 lunar months; and yet, at the same time, the U.S. has an unusually high perinatal death rate, resulting from high statistics of too early (preterm) labor. Quid agitur? See also under Gestation.

Dystocia or birthing difficulty:

Dystocia is difficult delivery, difficult parturition. From Latin dys-, bad, from Greek dus-, ill, hard + Greek tokos, delivery. Calf losses at birth result in a major reduction in the net calf crop. Data show that 60% of these losses are due to dystocia (defined as delayed and difficult birth) and at least 50% of these calf deaths could be prevented by timely obstetrical assistance. The USDA web site http://larrl.ars.usda.gov/physiology_history.htm is apparently no longer there but when it was it indicated that an electronic calving monitor was being developed to determine maternal and fetal stress during calving. These studies are important since they are leading the way for developing methods to reduce the $800 million calf and cow loss that occurs each year at calving in the USA’s beef herds.

In analogy with the superiority of in vivo monitoring of folliculogenesis versus tracking behavioral estrus (heat), in vivo monitoring of the progress towards parturition must be a priori a more promising approach.

The telemetric version of the BioMeter – the animal version of the Ovulona technology – will hopefully provide a tool for these efforts. Once tested on animals, human use will be a logical extension of the endeavor. (Or endeavour, should it take place in Europe! Smiley…)

Comment about the EDD and/or EDC issue, and request for input:

Again, EDD stands for Estimated Day of Delivery, while EDC stands for Estimated Day of Confinement.

Per Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence, article Gestation Period and Gestational Age [ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2602/is_0002/ai_2602000272 ], ” a gestation period of thirty-eight weeks (266 days) is calculated for women who are pregnant by a procedure such as in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination that allows them to know their exact date of conception.”

The Ovulona device from bioZhena will provide to the woman user a very simple means to record the day of any intercourse. In every cycle, whether pregnancy is planned or not. This must become a part of the routine. The information will be electronically recorded along with the daily or almost-daily measurement data inherent in the use of the Ovulona. With that menstrual cycling history data, this intercourse-timing information will be available for optional use by the woman’s physician(s).

Therefore, the routine use of the Ovulona will provide for an equivalent of the above-referenced 38-week (266 days) calculation available to the women receiving IVF or artificial insemination.

This alone should be an improvement on the current way of EDD/EDC assessment.

In addition, an investigation should be undertaken into the question of whether any inference can be drawn from the woman’s menstrual cycle history prior to the conceptive intercourse. Any comments on this would be welcome, even about anecdotal or subjective or tentative observations that may be available already. However non-scientific, however tentative, however uncertain an individual answer or input from you may be…

E.g., do women with more or less regular cycles tend to exhibit a regular gestation period, and vice versa?

And, certainly, what evidence is available in medical literature (or maybe in unpublished records?) about the outcomes of the IVF and/or artificial insemination pregnancies, i.e., about their documented gestation periods? Does the 38 weeks projection work? Always? If not always, can anything be correlated with any deviation?

Do women with distinctly irregular menstrual cycles tend to have non-regular gestation periods?

The complicating effect of first versus subsequent pregnancy has already been noted, of course…

Conceivably, there is no such preliminary info available, and we shall have to try and gather even these preliminary data in a systematic manner, but – no question asked, nothing learned… Public or private input would be appreciated.


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