If you are pregnant, you should know there exist a condition called placenta previa that is caused in a lot of women.
In women, the placenta, a sac-like organ, develops inside the uterus to provide oxygen and supply nutrition to the baby in the womb. Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta covers or blocks the opening of the cervix through which the baby is born. If you suffer from placenta previa, there are high chances of excessive bleeding throughout pregnancy, especially during labour. If you are pregnant, you must be aware of everything about this condition. Read on as Dr. Archana Dubey, Consultant Gynecologist, Infertility and Laparoscopy, Motherhood Hospital, Indore shares details on the same.
Some other secondary symptoms include:
If you notice any of these symptoms during your pregnancy, the issue requires investigation by a physician. Sometimes, too much bleeding can even cause anaemia among women. Signs and symptoms like pale skin, rapid or weak heart rate, breathlessness and low blood pressure can appear in such cases. Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy can have some other reasons as well. However, it is best to take advice from a physician on any kind of bleeding.
During pregnancy, the placenta is on the lower side of the uterus. As the baby grows in the later stages of pregnancy, the uterus also grows and stretches to accommodate the baby. During the third trimester, the placenta generally moves and attaches to the top of the womb, making a clear path for the cervix for delivery. However, the placenta may attach itself to the lower side of the uterus, covering the cervical opening. The uterus thins and separates the placenta, which leads to bleeding.
Also Read: Check Out These Causes Of Placental Abruption And Its Treatment
During vaginal deliveries, as the cervix dilates, it tears the placenta, which leads to more bleeding. Under normal circumstances, this dilation helps the baby to exit the womb.
Although the exact causes of placenta previa are unknown, there are a few possible reasons behind it:
Placenta previa can increase internal bleeding during labour, which may require an emergency C-section. It can also result in premature births to save the pregnant woman from losing too much blood. Excessive bleeding can even cause death. Vaginal birth becomes risky as it can lead to haemorrhage during labour or within a few hours of childbirth.
Premature births pose several risks for the baby and can also cause foetal distress due to lack of oxygen.
As soon as you notice vaginal bleeding, you must go for a check-up. The doctor will decide on a suitable treatment for you, based on several factors - the month of pregnancy, amount of bleeding, the position of the baby and placenta and the baby’s health status.
If you are suffering from minimal bleeding, your physician will advise pelvic rest. You will be asked to avoid sex and exercise to prevent medical complications. You will also have to avoid doing strenuous activities or lifting heavy objects. If the bleeding is heavy, you may have to schedule a C-section after 36 weeks. However, if the bleeding goes beyond control, the doctors will perform an emergency C-section.
If you are diagnosed with placenta previa, the best way to cope with the stress is to pamper yourself and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Meet other people who have been through placenta previa births and educate yourself. Also, prepare yourself for a c-section as vaginal birth will not be possible in such cases.
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