Attitude of Expectant Mothers on the Use of Ultrasound in Pregnancy in a Tertiary Institution in South East of Nigeria

Author(s): Ikeako LC*, Ezegwui HU, Onwudiwe E and Enwereji JO

Background: With the world‑wide availability of ultrasound services even in the developing countries, routine ultrasonography in pregnancy remains a controversial issue. However, in this era of reproductive health right and evidence‑based medicine, the views of women need to be ascertained. Aims: The aim is to assess the attitude of antenatal women toward sonography in pregnancy. Subjects and Methods: A descriptive self‑administered questionnaire‑based cross‑sectional study using 208 women that booked for antenatal care from January 1, 2009 to June 30, 2009 at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. Results: The number of respondents who had ultrasonography in their previous pregnancies was 58.7% (122/208). Although many reasons were given for personal ultrasound requests, 19.7% (24/122) of the women who had obstetric scan in their previous pregnancies thought it was a normal booking test done for every pregnant woman. When compared with other booking investigations, 60.1% (125/208), mainly civil servants .expressed the views that ultrasound in pregnancy is costly, while 24.4% (59/208) felt it is cheap, 9.1% (19/208) said it is very costly, while the remaining 2.4% (5/208) thought it is not affordable. Apart from visualizing the images of their babies, 17.8% (37/208) of the cases wanted to know the sexes of their babies while 15.4% (32/208) was for determination of fetal position. Out of 110, 52.9% (110/208) were of the opinion that women can decide when to request for sonography. Conclusion: The attitude of Nigerian women to sonography is good. Majority of them request ultrasound for fetal observation and gender determination.

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