DIAGNOSIS OF PREGNANCY
Many changes occur in a woman's body during pregnancy. These changes,
although most apparent in the reproductive organs, involve other body systems as well.
Weeks may pass before the female realizes she has become pregnant or she may learn
upon a visit to a doctor for other reasons. Confirmation of her pregnancy is most
important for both the mother and the fetus. It is then when she can begin receiving
medical care for the health and welfare of herself and the baby. In this lesson, we will
cover key definitions and present presumptive, probable, and positive signs of
pregnancy along with tests used to determine pregnancy.
a. Gravida. A pregnant woman. This refers to any pregnancy regardless of
b. Para. A woman who has delivered a viable young (not necessarily living at
birth). Para is used with numerals to designate the number of pregnancies that have
resulted in the birth of a viable offspring (see para 3-3).
c. Nulligravida. A woman who has never been pregnant.
d. Nullipara. A woman who has not delivered a child who reached viability.
e. Primigravida. A woman pregnant for the first time.
f. Primipara. A woman who has delivered one child after the age of viability.
g. Multigravida. A woman who has been pregnant more than once.
h. Multipara. A woman who has delivered two or more fetuses past the age of
viability. It does not matter whether they are born dead or alive.
i. Grandmultipara. A woman who has had six or more births past the age of
j. Viability. Refers to the capability of a fetus to survive outside the uterus after
the earliest gestational age (approximately 22 to 23 weeks gestation).
k. In utero. Refers to within the uterus.