Determining the Accuracy of Gestational Dating among Women Presenting for an Abortion: Results from Greater Accra and Eastern Region in Ghana

Kristen M. Shellenberg, Ipas
Samuel Antobam, Ipas, Ghana
Alison Edelman, Oregon Health & Science University
Risa Griffin, Ipas
Gertrude Voetagbe, Ipas, Ghana

In Ghana, despite having a relatively liberal abortion law, evidence shows that women use misoprostol for induced abortion outside of clinical settings. The correct use of misoprostol depends on women’s ability to accurately assess the duration of their pregnancy to determine whether it is early enough to abort safely and effectively. Using data from 843 women presenting for an abortion in Ghana, this research examined the proportion of women who could accurately determine whether their pregnancy was less than 13 weeks using a gestational wheel. Preliminary findings indicate that overall agreement for gestational age between women and providers was 94%. An overwhelming majority of women were able to successfully use the wheel and 89% said it was easy (60%) or somewhat easy (29%) to use. Educating women and community members on using a gestational wheel is likely a promising strategy for improving safety of misoprostol use outside the health system.

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Presented in Poster Session 9: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health