GTPAL System: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 What is GTPAL?
  • 1:30 GTPAL Examples
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sarah Lawson

Sarah has taught nursing courses and has a master's degree in nursing education.

GTPAL is an acronym used by doctors and nurses to understand more detail about a woman's obstetrical history. Learn about what GTPAL means and practice with examples in this lesson.

What Is GTPAL?

GTPAL looks like a very confusing term. What do those letters stand for, and how is it helpful to medical professionals who work in obstetrics? Here is the breakdown of what each letter stands for:

  • G - Gravida. This is the number of times a woman has conceived, including any current pregnancy.
  • T - Term births. This is the number of times a woman has carried a pregnancy to at least 37 weeks gestation and delivered.
  • P - Preterm births. This is the number of times a woman has delivered before 37 weeks gestation, but after 20 weeks gestation.
  • A - Abortions. This is the number of times a woman has lost a pregnancy, whether it was elective or spontaneous (miscarriage), before 20 weeks gestation.
  • L - Living children. This term states 'living children,' but what it really is referring to is live births.

This information is extremely helpful for doctors and nurses working with female patients. It provides a great deal of information about a woman's reproductive history at a quick glance. This also helps health care professionals care for pregnant patients, and lets them know what complications a patient may be at risk for during or after delivery. For example, a woman who has two or more term births is at a greater risk of postpartum hemorrhage than a woman having her first term birth.

GTPAL Examples

Let's look at a few scenarios, so you can see how GTPAL is used:

  • Susie is 38 weeks pregnant. This is her second pregnancy. She delivered a healthy baby boy at 39 weeks with her first pregnancy. What is this woman's GTPAL?
    • Right now, her GTPAL is G2, T1, P0, A0, L1 because she has not yet delivered her second baby. Once she does, she will be at G2, T2, P0, A0, L2.
  • Lucy has just delivered her fourth living baby. She has had five pregnancies. Her second pregnancy ended in a spontaneous loss at 24 weeks. All her pregnancies have been singletons (one baby), two born living at 38 weeks and two born living at 40 weeks. What is her GTPAL?
    • Lucy has been pregnant five times. She has had a total of four term births. She had a spontaneous loss at 24 weeks, which counts as a preterm birth because the pregnancy lasted more than 20 weeks. She has no abortions because all five of her pregnancies lasted more than 20 weeks. She has four living children.

Let's look at a more difficult situation:

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