Scientific English and Pregnancy

In medical and scientific terminology, 'gravid' means 'pregnant', and a 'gravida' is a pregnant woman. The term 'gravida' is often used in conjunction with 'para' or 'parous', indicating the number of successful live births. For example, a woman pregnant with her second child may be noted as 'gravida 2, para 1' - second pregnancy, one live birth. Women with more than one living child may also be referred to as 'multiparous'.

A woman who is pregnant for the first time is referred to as 'primigravida', and women who have never carried an embryo further than 20 weeks' gestation are called 'nulliparous', meaning no live births.

It should be noted, however, that these terms are not used in common speech - only in medical and scientific notes regarding pregnant patients.

Determining Gravidity

In order to verify pregnancy (or gravidity), doctors use a pregnancy test kit. This pregnancy test kit involves a qualitative or quantitative blood test and a series of brief symptomatic questions designed to determine whether or not the person in question may be pregnant.

You may think you can do the same thing yourself with less hassle using a home pregnancy test kit. While studies have shown that a home pregnancy test kit can be over 97% accurate when used exactly according to the directions, the accuracy of the home pregnancy test kit falls to about 75% thanks to users who misunderstood or ignored the instructions.

A doctor's pregnancy test kit can measure as little as 1mlU/mL of hCG in blood, whereas a store-bought pregnancy test kit has a bottom threshold of as much as 20mlU/mL. This means that a doctor's pregnancy test kit can determine your pregnancy with greater accuracy, sooner than a store-bought pregnancy test kit.

Important to Know

When you're wondering whether or not you're pregnant, getting answers right away is highly important. A store-bought pregnancy test kit is useful for just such a purpose. However, if you're more interested in accuracy than speed, a trip to the doctor will get you the right results in no time.

Becoming 'gravid' is one of life's greatest journeys, and it should be shared with the people in your life who are important to you. You shouldn't expect the results of a home pregnancy test kit to be foolproof, however; hold off on spreading the word until your 'gravidity' is determined by a doctor.


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