Abstract
AN INVESTIGATION OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LENGTH OF PREGNANCY WITH THE FIRST DAY OF THE LAST NORMAL MENSTRUAL CYCLE

*Josiah S. Hart, Joy E. Olotu, Tarimobo M. Otobo and Boma Philips-Aaron

ABSTRACT

Background: Fertilization is a process of union (after mating) of the sperm with a mature ovum. It begins with Sperm-ova collision and ends with the formation of life called Zygote (single mononucleated cell). Pregnancy results from fertilization. Aim: The study investigated the relationship between length of pregnancy with the first day of the last normal menstrual cycle. Materials and Methods: The duration of pregnancy in 500 women living in Port Harcourt was studied and volunteer subjects were randomly recruited for this study. Consenting women who had their ante-natal care at the various hospitals: University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Braithwaite Memorial Specialist. Results: The mean duration was found to be 275.38 days, which was one week shorter than in Caucasians. This duration corresponds with the Negros studies elsewhere. The lengths of menstrual cycles were also studied and a mean of 28.01 days observed. This was compared with the conventionally accepted 28 days. Women with shorter menstrual cycle lengths showed longer duration of pregnancy and longer menstrual cycle lengths shorter duration of pregnancy. Conclusion: The mean age of menarche in those studied was 14 years. However, length of menstrual cycle correlates with gestational duration, though many factors such as irregularities and duration variations of menstrual cycle at different stages of a woman‘s reproductive life affect it greatly, making the relationship inconsistent.

Keywords: Ovulation, Menstruation, Fertilization, Pregnancy, menstrual cycle.


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