Placenta previa or casually known as low lying placenta is a medical condition suffered by many pregnant females. The actual cause of low lying placenta is unknown but the condition can be managed until the gestation period is completed.
Read here to know in detail what is placenta previa and what are the important points to keep in mind while having low lying placenta.
What is placenta Previa?
Placenta previa is the medical term used to describe the condition in which placenta covers the opening area of uterus partially or completely. The exit way of baby, uterus opening (cervix) is completely blocked.
Some other complications arises with this condition like vaginal bleeding , even can lead to pre mature birth of the baby.
Placenta is basically a connection between mother and fetus to serve the purpose of fetus development. This organ grows gradually on the uterus wall and connects with the baby through a cord called umbilical cord.
Umbilical cord has vessels from placenta to the developing baby. Its function is to get nutrition and oxygen from the mother and supply it to baby. All the wastes are also exchanges with this connection.
Position of the placenta varies in the uterus. The problematic condition is that when the placenta grows in low lying position.
It covers the neck of the uterus from where baby has to be delivered. Low lying placenta can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy.
Low lying placenta makes the pregnancy risky, female has to care a lot to complete her 9 month duration.
Here are the 5 important things you must know if you are diagnosed with placenta previa.
1- Causes of placenta Previa
It can not certainly be defined that what has caused low lying placenta to develop instead of the typical upper position. However, there are some females who are diagnosed more with placenta previa.
Pregnancy at higher age like 35 years above may lead to the risk of this condition. Specially when the female is also involved in poor health habits or consuming alcohols and cigarettes.
There is also a great risk for females who already have delivered a baby with C section. It is because a scar develops at the lower position, may initiate the development there.
In case of artificial fertilization treatments, when the embryo is injected in the uterus, it may lead to develop with low lying placenta.
Minimal percentage of about 2 to 3% females can develop placenta in lower position if they had suffered this condition in previous pregnancy.
May be you are the victim of this condition due to any above reason or may not. It can happen randomly to any one along with those who are at higher risk.
There is no surgical treatment or any medicines to avoid placenta growth above the cervix (uterus opening).
2- Low lying placenta do not cause harm to the baby
will it harm my baby? It is the concern of all future mothers suffering from this condition.
Usually when we consider the harms for the growing baby, low lying placenta is not reportedly involved to cause birth defects.
Though it is a risky pregnancy as it can lead to preterm birth and if this happens, surely the growth is affected. Weight of the baby will not be normally healthy, may he have breathing issues too. Early delivery can lead to other complications too. Some congenital diseases have also been reported in few cases.
Moreover, not only the baby health is counted, female herself can have health issues too. Excessive bleeding while delivery can also be life threatening for her.
With the labor pain, cervix dilates and ruptures the blood vessels in low lying placenta, so the blleding becomes risky for the female.
Bleeding can occur through out the pregnancy but if uncontrolled, then can be dangerous. You must approach your doctor if you feel any issue like this, he will do a scan or measure the heart beat of the baby to check the safety.
3- What you must avoid with placenta previa?
If placenta previa has been diagnosed, then it must be managed in a good way to complete the pregnancy duration because the condition cannot be reversed.
It is advised to stay away from intercourse during the pregnancy, also do not use any kind of tampons inside vagina.
Gynecologists suggests to avoid strenuous exercise as it can lead to have serious vaginal bleeding or cramps in lower belly due to baby weight specially in last trimester. In early months too, it is advised to take bed rest for more time and walk with care.
Weight lifting is strictly not allowed with low lying placenta so avoid turning your back and lifting heavy objects.
Do not stand for longer times, instead divide your activity in short frames. Proper pelvic rest will make your pregnancy safe from early labor.
If you experience any severe pain or bleeding, you must visit your doctor for checkup. Doctor can prescribe some medicines to avoid early labor contractions.
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4- You may not deliver baby by normal delivery
Sometimes this happens that a patient is diagnosed with placenta previa in early pregnancy, but with the passage of time, placental growth changes the position.
It does not cover the whole uterus opening inside a very little portion remains on it, all other part moves to the side. In this case, normal delivery becomes possible with manageable risk.
But the if the cervix is completely covered with placenta, c section is the best choice to proceed for both baby and mother.
Early delivery mostly happens with placenta previa due to early arise of labor contractions. Sometime, more vaginal bleeding also leads to early c section by the doctor’s decision. Seroids are prescribed in this case for growth of baby specially for lungs development.
Premature deaths are also reported but it can be avoided with proper care and medical guidance.
Normally if the duration is completed, the doctors suggest to have a C section at 36th week before the labor pain starts.
5- Try to reduce pregnancy complications with low lying placenta
There is no doubt that pregnancy with low lying placenta is full of risks. Miscarriages also happens before 20 weeks of gestation.
Also preterm delivery is a risk for baby’s health. There is no any planned birth plan for placenta previa pregnancy because any time heavy bleeding can lead your doctor to take action.
Keep in mind that this is not going to affect you fertility in future not the early C section. Only way to reduce complications is to keep in touch with a medical specialist.
Go for regular checkups, also if you feel any discomfort or sharpening pains in lower belly. Take medicines regularly.
Ask your doctor for do’s and don’s, if you have any confusion.
It is advised that avoid hard exercise through out the period. Also some suggest that try to lay down in left sleeping position to reduce pressure on cervix.
In third trimester, do not even stand for more duration and avoid all activities which can generate pressure on cervix.
Many women around the world delivers healthy baby while suffering from low lying placenta. If you are being diagnosed, do not get worry. Instead follow your doctor guidelines and check for all precautionary measures.