What Does “gravida 2, Para 3” Mean?

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“Gravida 2, para 3” is a way of indicating that a woman has had two pregnancies and three live births, using the gravida/para/abortus (GPA) system of recording a woman’s obstetric history. Given the numbers, this record indicates that the woman had one set of twins. However, this is an unusual way to note that fact, as typically twins are counted as one birth.

Normally a woman who had experienced two pregnancies and two live births, one of which produced twins, would be labeled as “Gravida 2, para 2.” In the United Kingdom, however, as of 2007, 80 percent of British obstetricians and midwives considered that delivery of twins represented a double parous event, resulting in the labeling of such a woman as “Gravida 2, para 3.”

In the GPA terminology system, gravida refers to the number of a woman’s pregnancies. A woman who has never been pregnant is referred to as a “nulligravida,” a woman with one pregnancy is a “primagravida” and a woman who has been pregnant multiple times is a “multigravida.” Para is the term used to count pregnancies carried to viability, which in the United States is considered to occur at the 23rd week of pregnancy. Similar to the terms used to express gravidity, women can be referred to as nulliparous, primaparous and multiparous.