Definition - What does Nulligravida mean?

Nulligravida is a term that refers to a woman who has never been pregnant. She becomes a primigravida the first time she becomes pregnant. A woman who has been pregnant more than once is a multigravida or secundigravida.

These terms are used to describe a woman’s pregnancy history. A woman who has not conceived, or is nulligravida, for some time without using contraception is considered infertile (one year for women under the age of 35, 6 months for women over the age of 35).

FertilitySmarts explains Nulligravida

Women who haven’t been pregnant before (nulligravida) are likely to experience vastly different labor as compared to women who have had children before, as the uterus is physically inexperienced. In addition, risk factors are quite different so obstetricians keep a detailed history of all pregnancies.

Obstetricians record patient histories that note parity (the number of pregnancies a woman has carried to 20 weeks), gravidity, and the results of all pregnancies. Two shorthand systems are used to record patient histories.

The GPA system notes the:

  • Gravida (pregnancies),
  • Para (pregnancies to 20 weeks)
  • Abortus (number of miscarriages before 20 weeks)

The TPAL system counts:

  • Term births
  • Premature births
  • Abortions (miscarriages)
  • Living children

This information is particularly important as each prior pregnancy gives some hints about the risk level and likely result of current or future pregnancies.

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