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Pregnancy: Placenta Previa

One in 200 pregnancies will be affected by this conditon. Consultant obstetrician Des Holden discusses the risks and complications of placenta previa

Placenta previa is a pathology, during which placenta is located in the lower parts of the uterus. Thus, placenta partially or completely overlaps internal area of the throat, that is the path that hte child must pass during the birth.

Pregnancy: Placenta Previa

Causes of placenta previa

They are changes in the endometrium (the inner walls of the uterus) as a result of surgical interventions, inflammatory processes, multiple births with complications.

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Insufficient development of the uterus.
  • Isthmic - cervical insufficiency.
  • Multiple pregnancy.

Risk Factors

Anomaly of placental development is more common at the second or subsequent pregnancies. Other factors that slightly increase the risk of the disease development include a history of the patient's previous birth with the help of caesarean section or placenta previa and bad habits (smoking). But most of the obvious risk factors of this disease are not observed.

Symptoms of placenta previa

The only obvious symptom of placenta previa is spotting that is observed in the last three months of pregnancy. This pathology may also occur without symptoms, so you need to undergo regular ultrasound examination in order to detect deviations in a timely manner and help maintain healthy maternity and for the future of  the baby to be healthy.

Placenta previa: What to do?

If the diagnosis of placenta previa is confirmed, the next steps depend on the absence or on the presence of bleeding and the duration of pregnancy. If the bleeding does not occur, then the woman will advised to refrain from strenuous exercise and worry less.

If bleeding is strong, then the patient will be offered to go to the hospital, where the bleeding will be stopped and the pregnant women will be under medical supervision untill the childbirth.

Emergency cesarean section: indications

Regardless of the duration of pregnancy in case of placenta previa there  can be assigned emergency cesarean section if you experience the following sympthoms:

  • Continuous or recurrent bleeding.
  • Blood loss, accompanied by the development of anemia and reduction in blood pressure.
  • One-time, but profuse blood loss.
  • Complete placental previa and bleedings that have started

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