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

Placenta Praevia


What is placenta praevia

This may sound like the name of a disease, but it is a term used to describe a low-lying placenta. It actually refers to the position, and not the condition of the placenta. In placenta praevia, the placenta is attached to the lower half of the uterus, covering, partially covering, or touching the edge of the os (the mouth of the uterus). While this is fairly common in the early stages of pregnancy, the placenta is supposed to move upwards as the pregnancy progresses. 
 

What are the risks associated with placenta praevia

Placenta praevia can cause problems later in the pregnancy and at the time of delivery. The closer to the os the placenta is situated, the greater the chances of haemorrhage. Foetuses with low-lying placentas do not usually 'drop' into the pelvis in preparation for delivery as the placenta blocks their way. Vaginal delivery may become impossible if the placenta blocks the cervix partially or completely.
 

What are the symptoms of placenta praevia

This complication occurs in only 1% or less of full-term pregnancies. The most common sign of placenta praevia is painless bleeding that occurs prior to the onset of labour and that stops of its own accord. The bleeding occurs as a result of the cervix stretching before and during labour. The bleeding is bright red and occurs spontaneously. It may be triggered by sexual intercourse, straining or coughing. However, an estimated 7% to 30% of women with low-lying placentas do not bleed at all before delivery. In cases like this, this condition may be discovered at the time of conducting a routine ultrasound examination or even at the time of delivery.
 

How do I deal with placenta praevia

This condition does not need to be treated until the 20th week of pregnancy. Sometimes women who have been diagnosed with placenta praevia do not display any symptoms. In such cases, the doctors usually advise them to cut down on their activities and increase their hours of bed rest. If the woman is bleeding, she must be hospitalized to evaluate the condition of both the mother and the baby. She will probably be confined to her bed and closely monitored until the time of delivery. The aim is to keep the pregnancy going for at least 37 weeks. By this time, the lungs of the foetus should have developed sufficiently for the doctor to safely perform a caesarian section to prevent massive haemorrhaging. 
 

Will it be possible to have a normal delivery

Sometimes the placenta lies next to or near the cervix, but does not cover it wholly or partially. In such a case, the obstetrician can conduct a vaginal examination to determine the exact location of the placenta. He can then better calculate the risks of bleeding in a vaginal delivery. Statistics show that approximately 3 in 4 women who have been diagnosed with this condition will have to undergo a caesarian section before the commencement of labour. However, if the condition is discovered after labour has begun, the placenta is not blocking the cervix and the bleeding is mild, a normal vaginal delivery may be attempted.
 

Who are the potential candidates for developing placenta praevia

High-risk candidates include those women whose uterine walls have been scarred from previous pregnancies, caesarians, uterine surgery or D & Cs following miscarriage. Smoking, living at a high altitude or carrying more than one foetus also increases the probability of the occurrence of placenta praevia.

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13 Comments
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.1 year ago
Mine is a case of PP fully covering os
I am on bed rest and face regular water discharge . Doc suggested complete rest n few medicines n injections. Any idea whats the least week when a safe c section is possible??. My previous kid was through c section though everything was normal but my gal came on 8 months 9 days with a weight of 3.8kg.
God knows whats when this time.
 
 
 
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.1 year ago
Mine is a case of PP fully covering os
I am on bed rest and face regular water discharge . Doc suggested complete rest n few medicines n injections. Any idea whats the least week when a safe c section is possible??. My previous kid was through c section though everything was normal but my gal came on 8 months 9 days with a weight of 3.8kg.
God knows whats when this time.
 
 
 
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ABRUPTIO PLACENTA.7 years ago
it is the premature separation of the placenta from the uterus
 
 
 
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marion.7 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.

marion
 
 
 
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Fleur.7 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!!
 
 
 
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Belinda.7 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.
 
 
 
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Nsg. Student.7 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..
 
 
 
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Suraggi.7 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
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HappyMom.7 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.
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Despair.7 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.
 
 
 
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