Symphysis-fundal height measurement in pregnancy

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;1998(2):CD000944. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000944.


Background: In many settings, symphysis-fundal height measurement has replaced clinical assessment of fetal size by abdominal palpation because the latter has been reported to perform poorly.

Objectives: The objective of this review was to assess the effects of routine use of symphysis-fundal height measurements (tape measurement of the distance from the pubic symphysis to the uterine fundus) during antenatal care on pregnancy outcome.

Search strategy: The Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group trials register was searched.

Selection criteria: Acceptably controlled trials comparing symphysis-fundal height measurement with assessment by abdominal palpation alone.

Data collection and analysis: One reviewer assessed trial quality and extracted data.

Main results: One trial involving 1639 women was included. No differences were detected in any of the outcomes measured.

Reviewer's conclusions: There is not enough evidence to evaluate the use of symphysis-fundal height measurements during antenatal care.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Female
  • Gastric Fundus
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pubic Symphysis