Kathy wrote this for me at my request a while back, and I forgot to cross-link to it! It's an incredibly informative post, and I recommend checking it out. Here it is!
"Primigravida, Multiparous, Multigravida..."
The post is in reference to the common notations used for indicating a woman's gravidity (number of pregnancies) and parity (number of births). The three main methods are:
(1) G_P_ (gravida, para)
I am a G3P1 = three pregnancies, one birth
(2) G_P_A_ (gravida, para, abortus)
With this system, I am a G3P1A1 = three pregnancies, one birth, one abortus (in my case, a miscarriage, though it refers to either miscarriages or induced abortions)
(3) G_P(T_P_A_L_) (gravida, para (term births, preterm births, abortus, living children))
With this system, I am a G3P1011 = three pregnancies, one term birth, no preterm births, one abortus (miscarriage) and one live child
It's simple until you start getting into the nuances. For example....
- When does a preterm birth become a term birth? (it's rather an arbitrary distinction)
- When does a miscarriage become a "birth"? (also arbitrary)
- Why are abortions and miscarriages (which are completely different things, both psychologically and physically) classed together?
Anyhow, Kathy does a great job of untangling this knotty mess in her wonderful and detailed post. Check it out! I need to go read it again to brush up on the subject.
Happy Canada Day!