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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Placenta Previa

Wondering what to do about placenta previa and how it will affect baby? We've got the answers here.

What is placenta previa?

Placenta previa is when the placenta lies low in the uterus and covers the cervix partially or completely. It’s also often signaled by vaginal bleeding (though there’s no pain). Commonly, as the pregnancy progresses, the placenta moves toward the top of the uterus.

What are the signs of placenta previa?

If you experience vaginal bleeding near the end of the second trimester to the beginning of the third trimester, you may have placenta previa. The bleeding may stop for a while but return a few days or weeks later. You may also experience some cramping or contractions.

Are there any tests for placenta previa?

Your doctor can check for placenta previa during an ultrasound -- sometimes it may require an abdominal ultrasound and a transvaginal (internal) ultrasound.

How common is placenta previa?

According to the March of Dimes, placenta previa occurs in about 1 in 200 pregnancies.

How did I get placenta previa?

It’s been associated with scars in the lining of the uterus, a large placenta and an abnormally shaped uterus. Certain factors like cigarette smoking, cocaine use, being over the age of 35, a second or later pregnancy, previous uterine surgery and a multiples pregnancy can increase your risk.

How will placenta previa affect my baby?

Placenta previa may cause preterm labor if there’s severe bleeding. You may also need to have a c-section.

What’s the best way to treat placenta previa?

If you’re having just a small amount of bleeding, your doctor may tell you to go on bed rest. If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding, you may have to stay in the hospital on bed rest. Your doctor might plan a c-section when the baby can be safely delivered. If the bleeding is uncontrollable, you may need to have an emergency c-section.

-- American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists

 

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