Placenta previa in pregnancy

Placenta previa in pregnancy

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The placenta previa in pregnancy can jeopardize the natural delivery at the birth of the baby, if the placenta obstructs the cervix and plugs the birth canal. During pregnancy, the placenta is the organ that connects the mother with her baby. Through the placenta, the baby receives the nutrients it needs for growth and development. The placenta is attached to the walls of the uterus and connected to the baby through the umbilical cord. Generally, the placenta is placed high in the uterus. This is the best position because it leaves room for the baby to move inside the womb.

Placenta previa in pregnancy occurs when, after the 20th week of pregnancy, the placenta is positioned just above the cervix and totally or partially obstructs the natural delivery of the baby in labor. Placenta previa in pregnancy does not always give symptoms. It is detected by ultrasound and, generally, the hope that it will change position at the end of pregnancy is contemplated, since with the growth of the uterus the placenta tends to rise, releasing the cervix.

Despite the fact that the placenta implants in a specific area of ​​the uterus at the beginning of gestation, the placenta shifts as the uterus increases in size and grows. The placenta is usually located low in the uterus in early pregnancy, but as the pregnancy progresses, the placenta moves upward. So in the third trimester, the placenta is usually near the top of the uterus, so that the cervix is ​​clear for delivery. Depending on its position relative to the cervix, the placenta previa can be classified into different types:

1. Complete or total:the placenta obstructs and completely covers the uterine cervical os.
2. Partial: the placenta covers part of the cervix.
3. Marginal: the edge of the placenta is in contact with the cervical os, but does not cover it.
4. Low insert: it is close to the cervix, but not in contact with it.

Generally, the placenta previa does not give symptoms in the form of pain or discomfort to the pregnant woman. Its most characteristic sign is painless vaginal bleeding, that is, the appearance of bright red blood at the end of the second trimester and in the third trimester of pregnancy. In the presence of vaginal bleeding, you should go to the emergency department of your referral hospital.

Some women have colic too. Unlike premature detachment of the placenta, the placenta previa does not cause uterine contractions.

Vaginal bleeding can be heavy and stop on its own, but it can start again days or weeks later. Sometimes labor can start after several days of heavy bleeding. Other times, bleeding doesn't appear until after labor has started.

Placenta previa occurs in 1 in 200 pregnancies, and risk factors that may predispose a pregnant woman to a placenta previa include:

- Being a smoker
- Be of an advanced age, over 35 years old
- Having scars on the uterus due to previous cesarean sections, surgeries or abortions
- Being multiparous or having had many previous pregnancies
- Being pregnant with twins or twins

The diagnosis of placenta previa is made with an ultrasound. Depending on the intensity of the bleeding and the degree of occlusion of the cervix, the obstetrician will decide the most appropriate treatment. Bleeding always poses a risk of premature delivery for the baby. When you are past 36 weeks of pregnancy, giving birth to the baby may be the best treatment.

In the meantime, and to prevent a premature birth, it is usually recommended to the pregnant woman in hospital admission and absolute rest, seeking as a goal to end the pregnancy. At the end of it, the delivery is usually performed by cesarean section, because if the placenta covers all or part of the cervix, a vaginal delivery can cause heavy bleeding, which can be fatal for the mother and the baby.

When the placenta is close to the cervix or is covering part of it, the doctor usually recommends that the pregnant woman reduce her daily activities, go to bed rest and rest the pelvis, that is, abstain from sexual intercourse, not use tampons or perform vaginal douches.

Marisol New.

You can read more articles similar to Placenta previa in pregnancy, in the category of Diseases - annoyances on site.

Video: What is placenta previa? (July 2022).


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