you asked...

Q&A: What are placenta conditions?

I've heard about some scary placenta problems like placental abruption and placenta previa. What exactly are these conditions, and how do I know if it's happening? Is there anything I can do to prevent it?

Re:

I've heard about some scary placenta problems like placental abruption and placenta previa. What exactly are these conditions, and how do I know if it's happening? Is there anything I can do to prevent it?

The Bump Expert

First, know that both these problems are pretty rare -- placental abruption occurs in about one percent of pregnancies, and placenta previa in only half a percent.

Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches from the wall, and usually happens in the last trimester or during labor. This may decrease the oxygen your fetus is able to take in and put his health in danger. Vaginal bleeding and stomach pain are both signs of abruption, so call your doctor right away if you notice either one. (Don’t start panicking, though -- these same symptoms can also be caused by many minor conditions.) If you’re over 35, have already had one or more children, have experienced a previous abruption or have sickle cell anemia,you’re at particular risk for abruption. High blood pressure, stomach injury,smoking and cocaine use have also been linked to the condition. (Addressing these issues certainly won't hurt the overall health of you and your baby, either!)

Placenta previa, which occurs when the placenta lies low in the uterus and covers the cervix partially or completely, is also often signaled by vaginal bleeding(though no pain). You’re more susceptible if you’ve already had a child, are carrying multiples, or have gone through a c-section or other uterine surgery.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.

Q&A: What are placenta conditions?

The doctor told me at my 18 week ultrasound that i have placenta previa when the placenta was so low that they couldn't get a good view of it with an abdominal ultrasound, so i';; be getting a vaginal one in a few weeks. They did say that the placenta would probably grow upward as my uterus expands, but i am 18 and have no other risks for it so they can't explain why it happened

jpearce327 |

Q&A: What are placenta conditions?

I just had my first ultra sound at 21 weeks (this is my first baby). Good News is the Baby is healthy and everything checked out great! I was told I have partial placenta previa. They said it can correct itself and they will check again at 30 weeks. No bleeding so my activity is not restricted so far.....I guess if it doesn't correct then I have to have a C-section. I'm hoping it corrects itself.

tstirb |

Q&A: What are placenta conditions?

I was in the same boat with a partial previa at 18 weeks. I just had a 30 week ultrasound and the placenta has moved up. It is now 2.5 cm from "the exit". The dr. said that was really good and that I would have another ultrasound at 36 weeks. I would avoid running or any other activity that causes alot of force in that area. You can still have sex, just be gentle. They also told me if I have any bleeding to say I have a low placenta.....very important to mention that.

ccollichio |

Q&A: What are placenta conditions?

I just found out that I have placenta previa as well. I have none of the risk factors for it - I'm a young, non-smoker, first pregnancy, no previous surgeries, etc. My doctor caught it at 19 weeks and was pretty confident that it will resolve itself but of course I'm nervous about doing too much. I am restricted as far as lifting goes and no sex, but I'm restricting myself out of concern for my baby - which I hate, but it has to be done.

dee1369 |