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Definition of Para

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Para: Any woman who has given birth once or more is termed a "para."

Note that, for a pregnancy to count as a "birth," it must go to at least 20 weeks' gestation (the mid-point of a full-term pregnancy) or yield an infant that weighs at least 500 grams, irrespective of whether the infant is live born or not.

A woman who is para I (a primipara) has given birth once; a woman who is para II has given birth twice; and so on.

The term "para" comes from the Latin "pario," to bring forth or bear.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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