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Obstetrics and Gynecology Words

TPAL Terminology
TPAL terminology is 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: 4 term
infants, 2 premature infants, 2 abortions, 4 living children.

GPA Terminology
Sometimes, GPA terminology is combined with TPAL terminology. GPA is the abbreviation for gravida, para, abortus.
The patient is gravida 3, 3-0-0-3.

Accompanied by Arabic numbers, G, P, and A (or Ab) describe the patient’s obstetric history. Roman numerals are
not used. Separate GPA sections by commas. Alternatively, spell out the terms in lower case.

Obstetric history: G4, P3, A1 or 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.

 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
Other Obstetrical Terms
 Amniotic fluid: Fluid in a sac surrounding the fetus.
 Apgar scoring: Rating system measuring newborn babies’ general condition on a scale from 1 to 10.
 Cephalic delivery: Normal childbirth when the head comes first. When the head doesn’t appear first, it’s called
“breech position.”
 Contractions: Muscles of the uterus contracting before birth, described by their intensity, duration, and frequency.
 Braxton Hicks contractions: a.k.a. false labor. Contractions felt in the abdomen after the 28th week of
pregnancy.
 Embryo: Baby during the first trimester; after the first trimester, it’s called a “fetus.”
 Episiotomy: Incision to enlarge the vaginal opening for childbirth.
 Prolapsed cord: Umbilical cord appears before the infant’s head .
 Trimester: Three calendar months. There are three trimesters during gestation.