Placenta Previa: what are the symptoms and what to do if the diagnosis is made

Placenta Previa: what are the symptoms and what to do if the diagnosis is made

May 10, 2019 Blog 0

Every OB appointment during pregnancy is a mixture of excitement and expectation. Most of the time women return home with good news and sometimes a small echo photo. But for 1 in 200 pregnancies, a diagnosis of Placenta Previa can make a routine appointment in an anxious nightmare. This week we are talking about exactly what Placenta Previa is, and ways to cope with a diagnosis.

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What is Placenta Previa?

We all know that the placenta is the structure in your womb that provides oxygen, nutrition and waste disposal for your baby. The baby is connected via the umbilical cord and in most pregnancies the placenta is attached to the top or side of the uterus. Placenta Previa is diagnosed when the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix.

There are four degrees of Placenta Previa:

  • Grade 1: Small. The placenta is primarily located in the upper part of the uterus, but some may extend to the lower part.
  • Grade 2: marginal. The placenta reaches the cervix but does not cover it.
  • Grade 3: Major. The placenta partially covers the cervix.
  • Grade 4: Major. The placenta completely covers the cervix and is the most serious form of Placenta Previa.

PP causes serious bleeding during pregnancy and delivery. Some Previa placenta dissolve themselves, but if that is not the case, you must deliver your baby via caesarean section.

What are the symptoms and who is at risk?

Bleeding occurs in 70-80% of women with Placenta Previa and is the primary symptom. Most bleeding starts after the twentieth week of pregnancy. The bleeding can range from mild to severe, and is usually painless, although it can be associated with uterine contractions and abdominal pain.

The general risk factors include:

  • I already had a baby
  • Scars on the womb from a previous operation, including caesarean sections, removal of uterine flesh cells and dilation and curettage.
  • Previously Placenta Previa
  • Pregnancy with more than one fetus
  • You are a smoker or a cocaine user
  • Are 35 years or older

Which treatment options are available?

Unfortunately, there are no full treatment options for Placenta Previa, only management options. Your treatment options depend on various factors including the well-being of the mother and fetus, the amount of blood loss, the prevalence of the placenta and the duration of pregnancy. The goal of every supplier to postpone delivery for as long as possible without increasing the risk for the fetus. During this time, your healthcare provider may ask you to do some of the following:

  • For little or no blood loss: avoid activities that can cause bleeding such as sex and excessive exercise. And get a LOT of rest. The chance of being able to give vaginally is greater, but you must discuss your options with your healthcare provider.
  • For heavy bleeding: heavy bleeding requires immediate medical attention. A blood transfusion may be required in severe cases. Your healthcare provider is probably planning a c-section as close as possible to 36 weeks as possible, but you may have to deliver earlier if heavy bleeding persists.
  • Bleeding that does not stop: If you can no longer control your bleeding, you probably need an emergency section, even if the baby is early.

What to do after a diagnosis?

If you are diagnosed with Placenta Previa, it is good to feel worried, scared or confused. But there are strategies to be able to diagnose.

  • Learn everything about Placenta Previa. Talk to your healthcare provider and do additional research on the condition. Also contact other women who have had the condition and find support groups online or in person.
  • Prepare for caesarean section. Although you may not have the birth you always had in mind, keep in mind that your baby’s health and health are the most important.
  • R & R is your friend. Even if you are not on a strict bed rest, remember to take it easy. Read about newborn care, plan for the arrival of the baby and use the time for other non-taxing tasks that you can take over before birth.
  • Self-care is important. Allow yourself to enjoy things that make you feel good. A warm bath, your favorite movie – everything that lowers your stress level and makes you feel better.

The medical professionals at OBGY Diagnostics of Excellence are here to answer any questions or concerns about Placenta Previa or other pregnancy issues. Contact us by telephone or online.


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