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Visda, Bebe B.

Ms.Evelyn Celestino
Clinical Instructor

Placenta previa Placenta previa is a complication of pregnancy in which the placenta grows in the lowest part of the womb (uterus) and covers all or part of the opening to the cervix. The placenta grows during pregnancy and feeds the developing baby. The cervix is the opening to the birth canal. Causes, incidence, and risk factors During pregnancy, the placenta moves as the womb stretches and grows. It is very common for the placenta to be low in the womb in early pregnancy. But as the pregnancy continues, the placenta moves to the top of the womb. By the third trimester, the placenta should be near the top of the womb, so the cervix is open for delivery. Sometimes, the placenta partly or completely covers the cervix. This is called a previa. There are different forms of placenta previa: Marginal: The placenta is next to cervix but does not cover the opening. Partial: The placenta covers part of the cervical opening. Complete: The placenta covers all of the cervical opening. Abnormally developed uterus Large or abnormal placenta Many previous pregnancies Multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc.) Scarring on the lining of the uterus, due to surgery, c-section, previous pregnancy, or abortion

Placenta previa occurs in 1 out of 200 pregnancies. It is more common in women who have:

Women who smoke or have their children at an older age may also have an increased risk. Symptoms The main symptom of placenta previa is sudden bleeding from the vagina. Some women have cramps, too. The bleeding often starts near the end of the second trimester or beginning of the third trimester. Bleeding may be severe. It may stop on its own but can start again days or weeks later. Labor sometimes starts within several days of heavy bleeding. Sometimes, bleeding may not occur until after labor starts. Expectations (prognosis) Women with placenta previa need to be carefully monitored by a health care provider. Careful monitoring and delivery by c-section help prevent most complications. The biggest risk is severe bleeding that can be life threatening to the mother and baby. If you have severe bleeding, you baby may need to be delivered early, before major organs, such as the lungs, have developed. Complications Risks to the mother include: Major bleeding (hemorrhage) Shock Death

Other risks include: Blood clots Infection Need for blood transfusions Blood loss in the baby Death

Risks to the baby include:

If the placenta covers the cervix completely, it's called a complete or total previa. If it's right on the border of the cervix, it's called a marginal previa. (You may also hear the term "partial previa," which refers to a placenta that covers part of the cervical opening once the cervix starts to dilate.) If the edge of the placenta is within two centimeters of the cervix but not bordering it, it's called a low-lying placenta. The location of your placenta will be checked during your mid-pregnancy ultrasound exam (usually done between 16 to 20 weeks) and again later if necessary.