-parous Also -parity and -para.
[Latin -parus, bearing, plus -ous.]
Most adjectives in -parous describe ways in which an organism reproduces: viviparous (Latin vivus, alive), bringing forth live young; fissiparous, reproducing by fission; oviparous (Latin ovum, egg), producing young by means of eggs which are hatched after they have been laid by the parent, as in birds; ovoviviparous, producing young by means of eggs which are hatched within the body of the parent.
Others describe a state relating to reproduction: nulliparous, of a woman or female animal that has never given birth; primiparous, one who is giving birth for the first time; multiparous, having borne more than one child, or habitually producing more than one young at a birth; iteroparous (Latin iterum, again), giving birth more than once during a lifetime.
Nouns for the concepts—less common than the adjectives—are formed in -parity (nulliparity, oviparity). The feminine form, -para, of the Latin root appears in a few nouns used in medicine to describe a woman with a given characteristic: nullipara, primipara.