Post 58 The lady with the 'Full Obstetrical History'.


The Consultant Obstetrician in the Lancashire hospital had given the fresh-faced medical students a tutorial. He’d taught them how to take a good and complete obstetrical history emphasising the need to enquire about the age of menarche, details of menstrual cycle, marital status, use of contraceptives and so on.

He then led them on to the antenatal ward where they arrived at the bed of a woman who had what is sometimes referred to as a ‘full obstetrical history’;   she had nine children interspersed by four miscarriages.

The consultant asked one of the group to demonstrate what he had learned so the young student, who was desperately keen to impress, asked her about the regularity of her periods.

 The 40 year old lady, ran a hand through her greying hair, gave a tired smile and sighed, before replying ‘Ee luv, I really can’t remember. I ‘aven’t had one of them for more than ten years!’


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