Pregnant Women Must Know About Placenta Previa Condition, Read All About It Here

If you are pregnant, you should know there exist a condition called placenta previa that is caused in a lot of women.

Written by: Chanchal Sengar Updated at: 2021-12-27 13:07

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.

Symptoms of placenta previa

  • Women usually suffer from light to heavy bleeding from the vagina.
  • During the second half of pregnancy (or after 20 weeks), women can suffer from bright red vaginal bleeding without pain, which indicates placenta previa.

Some other secondary symptoms include:

  • Contractions during bleeding (tightening and cramping with pressure)
  • Bleeding may start and stop and then begin again within a few days/weeks
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse

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.

What Causes Placenta Previa?

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.

Risk factors for placenta previa

Although the exact causes of placenta previa are unknown, there are a few possible reasons behind it:

  • If the baby is in a breech or traverse position
  • Prior miscarriage
  • Fibroids
  • Multiple babies
  • The unusual shape of the uterus
  • Multiple pregnancies (6 or more deliveries)
  • Large placenta
  • Surgeries related to the uterus in the past like C-section
  • Scarring of endometrium
  • Women aged over 35
  • Smoking and use of cocaine
Also Read:  Self Care Tips For Pregnant Women And Things To Know For A Healthy Child

Complications of placenta previa

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.

Treatment of placenta previa

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.

Image credits- freepik


All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.

Related News