A Guide towards Obstetrical Words

Obstetrics deals with pregnancy, childbirth and the post-natal period. In order to have the knowledge to understand and practice obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN), familiarity with terminologies in the industry is a must.
Like other medical terminologies, words used in OB-GYN are heavily coded and may be confusing at times. To serve as a supplement to the selected training course, Meditec has rounded up the most common obstetrics words used in the industry for reference.

Meditec.com aims to facilitate in the learning process of all its students by providing reference information in its resource tools. A partial listing of obstetrics word abbreviations, acronyms and values are provided for easy look up and guide in the definitions and meanings. Bear in mind that the information provided is not intended to replace actual training.

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Obstetric and Gynecology Words

TPAL terminology= A system used to describe obstetrical history.

  • T=term births
  • P=preterm births (prior to 37 weeks gestation)
  • A=abortions
  • L=living children

Example: A woman who has 2 living children born as preterm twins in her first pregnancy would be designated as: TPAL 0-1-0-2 – 0 term births, 1 delivery prior to 37 weeks gestation (preterm), 0 pregnancies ending in spontaneous or induced abortions, and 2 living children

  • Separate TPAL numbers by hyphens. Obstetric history: 4-2-2-4
  • Alternatively, spell out the terms as follows:
    • Obstetric history: 4 term infants, 2 premature infants, 2 abortions, 4 living children
  • Sometimes, GPA terminology is combined with TPAL terminology.

The patient is gravida 3, 3-0-0-3.
GPA terminology with GPA as the abbreviation for gravida, para, abortus. Accompanied by arabic numbers, G, P, and A (or Ab) describe the patient’s obstetric history. Roman numerals are not used.

  • G gravida (number of pregnancies)
  • P para (number of births of viable offspring)
  • A or Ab abortus (abortions)
  • nulligravida gravida 0 no pregnancies
  • primigravida gravida 1, G1 1 pregnancy
  • secundigravida gravida 2, G2 2 pregnancies
  • nullipara para 0 offspring
  • Separate GPA sections by commas. Alternatively, spell out the terms, using lower case.
  • Obstetric history: G4, P3, A1
    or Obstetric history: gravida 4, para 3, abortus 1.
  • When one or more of the numbers is 0, the preferred form is to write out the terms.
  • gravida 2, para 0, abortus 2