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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Archived User

    I wondered if you had any recomendations on calculating my due date.  The start date of my last period was Nov 19th.  I had blood work on Nov 22nd and went to see my fertility doc on Nov 24th.  I was prescribed clomid and started it that night.  On Dec 6th si gave myself a shot to release the egg (I don't remember the name of the medication).  Because of the start date of the clomid my fertility doc gave me an EDD of Sept 1st.  When I went to the OB, they just asked for the date of my last period.  When I told them about the fertility treatment, they agreed on Sept 1st (reluctantly, they wanted to do and ultrasound which I had at the fertility doc, so I declined).  Now I have just discovered that they have my due date listed as Aug 26th (when they filled out my FMLA paperwork).  They never told me about the change, and I didn't notice the date until I left the office.  

    Now, I know that the due date is certanly not accurate, however I want to know what date would be better for consideration in case I run late.  Since the due dates are almost a week off, they could see me as 42 weeks, when I still consider myself 41 weeks.  

    Also, what are the dangers of going past 42 weeks? 

    I hope that I don't have to worry about any of this, but I want to understand things.     

    Thanks in advance - Sariah

    Archived User

    Update -

    I was able to talk to my Dr's at my last appt and explained the situation again and they agreed to change the due date.  It took a little bit of discussion (the same discussion that we had on my first appt) and they agreed to make the change. 

    I am very grateful that they were willing to listen to reason

    Henci Goer

    Oh, good. I'm glad that worked out. In answer to your other question about the risks of going beyond 42 completed weeks, there is a slight increase in the risk of fetal demise in pregnancies lasting 42 wks or more. According to an analysis of U.S. national data, the probability of fetal death is 0.9 per 1000 in weeks 40 and 41 but rises to 1.7 per 1000 in week 42. That, of course, is based on all women and unborn babies of whatever health status. The odds  would undoubtedly be lower in a healthy woman carrying a healthy baby, but it would not be zero.

    If this is your first baby, the only study we have of healthy pregnancies beginning labor spontaneously--you can understand that if you look at statistics in all women, preterm births and inductions will pull the curve to the left--found that the median (half the group began labor before and half after) pregnancy length was 41 weeks 3 days. The curve isn't bell-shaped, however. By 42 weeks, a study carried out before it became usual to induce at 41 weeks found that only about 10% of women will not have begun labor.

    Here's the thing, though:  inducing labor with an unfavorable cervix doubles your odds of the labor ending in cesarean surgery compared with women having spontaneous labor onset. Research consistently finds that cervical ripening techniques and agents may do a fine job of ripening the cervix, but they don't reduce the excess likelihood of cesarean with induction. If an induction is under discussion, this risk has to be weighed against the risks of awaiting spontaneous labor.

    -- Henci 

    All Times America/New_York

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