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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Complications during Pregnancy > Placenta Abruptio

Placenta Abruption

Placenta abruption during pregnancy can be life threatening. Read on to learn more about the signs and symptoms of placenta abruption and complications related to it.

Worried what placenta abruption is all about? Well, here we have attempted to familiarise you with this complication in pregnancy. Read along for more information.

What is Placental Abruption?

Placenta abruption is a major cause for bleeding in late pregnancy. It happens when the placenta peels away from the uterus with associated bleeding between the separated placenta and the uterus. Either the blood may accumulate in the uterus or there may be vaginal bleeding. Other signs include spasms of the uterus, variations in the foetal heartbeat or disappearance of the foetal heart tones.

The mother may also display symptoms of shock due to blood loss like sweating, pallor, light-headedness, clammy skin, etc. In extreme cases, the foetus might die and the mother may go into deep shock because of the blood loss. On the other hand, there may be no vaginal bleeding, the foetal heart rate may remain normal, and the only symptom will be uterine pains. There is no known cause for this condition.  It occurs in less than 1% of all pregnancies.

Placenta abruption includes series of complications that actually deprives the unborn baby in the uterus from oxygen and necessary nutrients. This results in heavy bleeding in the pregnant mother.

Placental abruption generally happens suddenly and can be life threatening for the mother as well as the baby.

Symptoms of Placenta Abruption

Complications like placental abruption generally are more common in the last trimester. Here are some of the signs and symptoms associated with it.
  • Tenderness of the uterine
  • Pain in back
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bleeding from the vagina
  • Uterine contractions
While generally placenta abruption starts suddenly, in some cases the whole process may be slow. In such cases, you shall be able to notice intermittent vaginal bleeding, you may have low amniotic content and your baby might develop too fast.

Causes behind the Complications

While no certain cause can be specified for placenta abruption, the possible causes stated by doctors are injury or trauma to the stomach such as falling from a vehicle. Experts suggest plenty of risk factors that increase chances of placenta abruption. Here are some of them.
  • If you have a previous history of placenta abruption. In this case, your chances of experiencing another one follow.
  • If you have high blood pressure, you are at high risk.
  • If you take cocaine or smoke regularly, you at exposed to the risks of placenta abruption.
  • Premature membrane ruptures also increase your chances of an abruption.
  • Your baby is cushioned with a membrane filled with fluid. This is the amniotic sac. The chances of a placenta abruption increase, when your sac breaks before you get into labour.
  • If your body is impaired of the normal blood clotting ability, you are again exposed to an increased risk.
  • Multiple pregnancies include plenty of complications and one such is the placental abruption.
  • Chances of an abruption increase when you are pregnant after 40.

Complications Related Placenta Abruption

Placenta abruption can result in life threatening complications for the mother as well as the baby. Here are some complications generally linked with it. Please take a look below:

Complications for the Mother:
  • Kidney failure or malfunctioning of other vital organs.
  • Shock resulting from loss of blood.
  • Requirement for transfusion of blood.
  • Problems linked with blood clotting.
Complications for the Baby:
  • Lack of necessary nutrients and oxygen.
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature delivery
Bleeding from the placental attachment is common in this case after the baby is born. The uterus may have to be removed if bleeding cannot be arrested anyway.

Coping with Placenta Abruption

Placenta abruption calls for medical emergencies. You will be left with very little time to prepare. However, when you visit your doctor for the regular checkups, he or she shall be able to diagnose you for the early signs. You may be closely monitored or suggested a hospital admission depending on the severity of your complications.

In case you are hospitalised, here are some of the things that you can be prepared for:
  • You must pay close attention to your bodily changes. Let your doctor know about any complication or new symptoms that you experience.
  • Keeps a list of all medicines including the health supplements that you have taking handy.
In emergency cases, it might get difficult for you to collect all the vital preparations. The chances of you forgetting or missing out on vital information reduce, when you take a planned approach. In order to avoid such complications during pregnancy it is very necessary to take right precautions and follow a healthy lifestyle through the pregnancy period.

What are the causes of placenta abruption? How to prevent the abruption of placenta? What are the complications related to placenta abruption? Discuss here.

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it is the premature separation of the placenta from the uterus
marion.8 years ago
i had grade 4 at 30 weeks, but the placenta has moved a bit which makes me a grade 3, i had no bleeding. i have had 2 previous c- sections. also been getting some pressure now 31 weeks what are the chances of going into labour early.

Fleur.8 years ago
i have two children, the last one was delivered c-section due to low lying placenta. my doctor was adamant about the dangers of having a third child but i read everywhere now that recurrence is in less than 10% of the cases!!
Belinda.8 years ago
i'm about 29 or more weeks into my pregnancy. i was told that my placenta was in a low lying position when my first ultrasound was done. i didn't know that much about the cause of it, but i've been doing some research and it relaxes me a bit to hear that the placenta may move in an upward position later into the pregnancy. i just hope and pray that it does because i'm scared to go in hemmorrage and have a c-section done. also i hope in the near future that there will be some type of medication to move the placenta into the position it's suppose to be.
Nsg. Student.8 years ago
yes, right, this condition is rare but very hazardous for both mother and baby, there are no preventions but there are treatments,,we had a patient who experienced this condition, but unfortunately, her baby died inside the womb bec. of the premature separation of the placenta, that was 8 months of her gestation, it doesn't even cross her mind that this condition will be experienced by her bec. she had a normal delivery before. she undegone tubal ligation, and she can never had a baby anymore..
Suraggi.8 years ago
i am just asking a professional opinion . if i am on a steroid treatment for occular pressure , am i at risk of developing this condition?

please advice
HappyMom.8 years ago
i was detected with low lying placenta in the 12th week when a nt scan was done. i had a bleeding the next day after nt scan so i was asked to be on complete bed rest till 22nd week with a hope that placenta would move up. i had another episode of bleeding again in the 23rd week when i was given a little freedom to move around inside house. i decided to remain on bed all 24 hrs without any movement. however i gave birth to a premature baby in the 34th week because of water break. it was quite a tough experience for me as i had to be on bed for full 5 months withtou any movements. i could not even sit and have my breakfast or lunchs or dinners. i only hope no one ever gets to experience such tough pregnancies. now that i see my baby growing, i am able to erase away all tough times i had before.
Despair.8 years ago
i have been through this trauma of losing my baby to palacental abruptio in my first pregnancy. initially i did have a low lying placenta but it had moved to anterior position which i think is normal. my blood pressure and all other things were normal and i was all set for a normal delivery.i had prolonged labour pains so doc decided to break my water bag and found baby had passed meconeium. somehow from nowhere a lobe of the placenta got detatched and came out before the c section could be performed. because of this 70% of the oxygen and blood supply to the brain stopped which choked the baby. she was immediately taken to the nicu and put on life support but did not respond to any stimuli even after supplying blood. my baby girl survived for just 14 hours after delivery. i hope and pray that no women has to go through this terrible experience. im just praying that it does not happen again in my second pregnancy.
i have 24 month pregnancy. mt placenta founded at low laying and from 5th to 6th month starting till now i am suffering from severe stomach ache at lower and right upper part of stomach.i want to know y its happening i am a working woman so i cant go for any bed rest how can i save my baby in these conditions?
Harsha.8 years ago
am 14 week pregant my placenta is covering my entire internal os.
the doctor said the chances of it moving up are very minimal.

any stats on that.... also what are these grades
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