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Placenta Previa - A Possible Reason for Miscarriage During Pregnancy
A placenta is an organ, which nourishes the baby during his/her development. Placenta is attached to uterus. During early stages of pregnancy, placenta is low lying, but as the baby and uterus grows, it comes in an upward and superior position, but sometimes this does not happens and the placenta lies below the baby, partially or totally blocking the opening of cervix. This condition is known as placenta previa or placental abruption or in simple words low-lying placenta during pregnancy. This complication happens once in every 100 pregnancies and is one of many possible reasons for miscarriage during pregnancy or an aborted pregnancy. According to the science of pregnancy, there are 3 positions that are considered as placenta previa:
Marginal Placenta Previa
First one is marginal where the placenta is low lying but is not covering opening of cervix.
Partial Placenta Previa
In the second position, the placenta covers up to half part of the opening of cervix.
Complete Placenta Previa
In this position, which is the most dangerous one, the placenta completely covers the opening of cervix and can become a possible reason for miscarriage or an unwanted abortion during pregnancy.
Who are at risk of developing placenta previa?
- The risk of placenta previa increases in women who have had multiple previous pregnancies having abnormally developed uterus-causing scarring of uterine wall.
- Also women who have had endometriosis during their previous pregnancies are at risk of developing placenta previa.
- Also, women who smoke or are caretakers or old patients are at risk of placenta previa.
- Also possible causes for low-lying placenta may be an abnormal development of placenta itself or because of some uterine abnormality of unknown etiology.
How placenta previa is detected?
A gynecologist detects placenta previa with ultrasound. It will come on the ultrasound as obstructing the opening of cervix either marginally, partially, or completely. If your problem is marginal or partial, your gynecologist will take necessary precautions for placenta previa in the early stages of pregnancy. The only symptom of placenta previa is that mother will experience painless bleeding, which will occur towards the end of second quarter or starting of third . When a gynecologist diagnoses placenta previa, she will usually recommend complete bedrest . Also, you cannot have sex or insert anything into vagina during that time period.
Though cases of placenta previa are rare at the time of delivery and most of the times placenta moves away on its own from opening of cervix before delivery but if you experience any vaginal bleeding during that time period, it is very important to consult your gynecologist immediately because there is a risk of preterm delivery, especially when there is vaginal bleeding. Most cases of placenta previa are treated by providing complete bedrest to the mother and also hospitalizing mother before the time of delivery and doing a cesarean section in a timely manner , but it is very very important to call your GYN if you experience any type of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy and before delivery because if it is caused by placenta previa, there could be a serious risk to the mother and baby if not treated in a timely manner. So at last I would say that placenta previa is a possible reason for miscarriage during pregnancy and should be avoided at any cost.