ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Women's Health»
  • Pregnancy

Placenta Problems During Pregnancy

Updated on April 4, 2011

Placental Problems

Placenta accreta is a rare condition that occurs when the placenta attaches itself too firmly to the wall of the uterus and cannot be removed after birth. Heavy bleeding often occurs after the delivery of the baby, and the usual treatment is removal of the uterus (a hysterectomy) as an emergency procedure.

Placenta Praevia

Normally the placenta attaches to the front, back or side of the uterus, but if it attaches to the lower part, it may cover the opening of the uterus, through the cervix to the outside. This is placenta praevia. It is more common in women who have had several pregnancies, and it occurs in one in every 150 pregnancies.

In the later stages of pregnancy, the cervix starts to dilate to allow the head of the baby to drop, prior to labor starting. If the placenta is over the opening, it will be damaged by the dilation of the cervix and the pressure from the baby's head, and heavy bleeding may occur suddenly.

Placenta praevia may be suspected by the presence of a baby that is unusually high in the womb, and the position of the placenta can be seen accurately on an ultrasound scan. When diagnosed, the mother will be watched carefully, often in hospital, and about a month before the due date, a cesarean section will be performed to remove both baby and placenta safely.

A bleeding placenta praevia can be a medical emergency, as quite torrential bleeding can occur which may threaten the lives of both mother and baby. The only treatment is an urgent cesarean section.

Placental Abruption

Placental abruption is the term used for a partial separation of one portion of the placenta from the wall of the uterus. It usually causes some vaginal bleeding, but usually no pain. Abruption may be caused by high blood pressure in the mother, or injury to the mother, but in the vast majority of cases, no specific cause can be found. Mild cases cause no long-term problems, but if a large portion of the placenta separates from the uterus, the blood supply to the fetus may be reduced and cause reduced growth or, in severe cases, death of the fetus.

No treatment is available or necessary in most cases, but if there is significant bleeding, the mother may need a transfusion. In the rare cases where the fetus dies, an operation to remove it is necessary.

Placental Retention

After the delivery of the baby, the placenta normally separates away from the wall of the uterus and is expelled by the contractions of the uterus within a few minutes. The process may be assisted by a doctor using injections to improve the uterine contractions and maneuvers to assist the separation of the placenta. If it fails to separate from the uterus and remains retained within the uterus, it is necessary to perform a simple procedure to remove the retained placenta. Without this procedure, the mother would continue to bleed, and this could threaten her life.

Under a general anesthetic, the doctor slides his hand into the uterus, and uses his fingers to separate the placenta from the uterus and lift it away from the wall of the uterus, so that it can be drawn to the outside of the body through the vagina.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)