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In medicine, parity is a technical term that refers to the number of times a woman or female animal has given birth. A woman who has given birth a particular number of times is referred to as para 0, para 1, para 2, para 3 and so on.

  • A woman who has never completed a pregnancy beyond 20 weeks is referred to as being nulliparous, a nullipara or para 0. [1]
  • A woman in her first pregnancy can also be referred to as being primipara which can be shortened to primip.
  • Biparous or bipara are sometimes used as synonyms for para 2.
  • A woman who has given birth two or more times is referred to as multiparous or just as a multip. The term multiparous can also describe a birth of more than one offspring at once, in contrast to a uniparous birth of one offspring.
  • Grand multipara refers to a (grand multiparous) woman who has given birth five or more times.

Parity is recorded in the format, T-P-A-L:

is the number of term births
is the number preterm births
is the number of abortions (spontaneous or induced)
is the number of living children.

For example, parity of a woman who has given birth at term once and has had one miscarriage would be recorded as P 1-0-1-1. This notation is not standardized and can lead to misinterpretations. [1]

Term births are those occurring at 37 weeks or beyond. Preterm births are those that occur before 37 weeks.

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 F. Gary Cunningham, 2005. Williams Obstetrics, 22nd Edition, McGraw-Hill Companies.