Terminology

In obstetrics, gravidity denotes the total number of pregnancies regardless of duration and outcome. Parity denotes the number of pregnancies completed to delivery during the viable period. Parity is not increased for a pregnancy resulting in multiple births or decreased for a stillborn fetus. Notation of obstetric history typically lists the gravidity, abbreviated G and followed by the appropriate number, and then the parity, abbreviated P and followed by the appropriate number. After the gravidity and parity there may be a listing of the number of term deliveries, preterm deliveries, abortions, and living children. The latter four numbers are separated by hyphens and listed in parentheses. For example, the obstetric history of a woman during her seventh pregnancy who has had 4 term deliveries, 1 preterm delivery, and 1 abortion and has 5 living children is abbreviated G7 P5 (4-1-1-5).

The duration of pregnancy is approximately 40 weeks. By convention, gestational age (or menstrual age) is calculated from the first day of the last normal menstrual period. Pregnancy is typically divided into three trimesters of approximately equal length. The first trimester is from conception to 14 weeks; the second trimester is from 14 to 28 weeks; the third trimester is from 28 to 42 weeks. A term pregnancy requires completion of at least 37 weeks of gestation.

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