Can We Communicate Gravidity and Parity Better?

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Communication of gravidity and parity is a typical part of any written or oral presentation related to an obstetric or gynecologic patient. The ostensible purpose of including this information at the beginning of a discussion of a woman’s care is to provide a quick context of the patient from a reproductive standpoint. Unfortunately, the systems in use for describing gravidity, parity, and reproductive outcomes are without clear epidemiologic, biologic, or clinical basis. In description of parous events, births and abortions easily can be confused in the gray zone of 20 to 24 weeks, and terminology used often fails to take into account the clinical context. In this article, we discuss the pitfalls of current systems used for describing a woman’s reproductive history and recommend new and simple nomenclature to enhance our ability to communicate properly.

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