Determining the accuracy of pregnancy-length dating among women presenting for induced abortions in Ghana

Kristen M. Shellenberg, Samuel K. Antobam, Risa Griffin, Alison Edelman, Gertrude Voetagbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the proportion of women presenting for an induced abortion in Ghana who could use a gestational wheel to determine if they had reached at least 13 weeks or fewer than 13 weeks of pregnancy accurately. Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted at four facilities in Ghana between February 1, and July 31, 2014. Women aged at least 18 years seeking induced abortions who had not previously been informed of the length of their pregnancy by a clinician were enrolled. Women self-assessed pregnancy duration using a gestational wheel before a clinician assessed the length via clinical assessment and bimanual exam for use as a respective reference point. The proportion of participants who used the wheel successfully was calculated. Results: The study enrolled 780 participants, 770 of whom used the gestational wheel. Of these, 221 (28.7%) could use the wheel without verbal instructions, and 465 (60.4%) described it as easy to use. Agreement in pregnancy-length assessments was recorded for 728 (94.5%) patients. There were 10 (1.3%) and 28 (3.6%) participants who made evaluations with “low-risk disagreement” and “high-risk disagreement” with the clinician assessment, respectively. Conclusion: Almost all participants could use the gestational wheel to date their pregnancies correctly. This tool could help women perform medical abortions safely in the community, reducing morbidity and mortality from unsafe abortions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Abortion
  • Gestational dating
  • Ghana
  • Medical abortion
  • Misoprostol
  • Reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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