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What is Placenta previa?

About


Placenta is an organ that grows on the inside lining of the uterus during pregnancy and provides nutrition to the fetus through the umbilical cord.



Placenta previa affects approximately 1 in 200 pregnant women in the third trimester of pregnancy [1]



- Diagnosis includes abdominal and transvaginal ultrasound
- A C-section may be needed for delivery
- Complications include severe bleeding and preterm birth


It occurs when a baby's placenta partially or totally covers the mother's cervix and can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery.


Patients might bleed throughout her pregnancy and during the delivery. Activities that might cause contractions, including having sex, douching, using tampons, or engaging in activities that can increase the risk of bleeding should be avoided.


Symptoms


- Bright red vaginal bleeding without pain during the second half of pregnancy
- Premature contractions
- Baby is in breech or transverse position
- Uterus is larger than average


Treatment


Self-care: Bed rest and avoidance activities that can trigger bleeding, such as sex and exercise. Traveling should be avoided.


Emergency medical care should be sought in case of bleeding. Vaginal delivery is possible if the placenta is low lying but does not cover the cervix. Severe bleeding might require a blood transfusion. Pelvic exams should be avoided.


Medication: Steroid shots may be given to the patient to help mature the baby’s lungs.


Specialists: Approach a gynecologist immediately. Options can be discussed with a gynecologist at mfine for the most suitable one.

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