What is Placenta Previa, Symptoms and Risks

Pregnant woman

The placenta is a vital organ for pregnancy, is the connection between mother and baby and through the placenta the little one can get all the nutrients he needs to grow and develop normally. For this reason, in all the check-ups that you will undergo during your pregnancy, the status of the placenta will be checked. Pregnancy can suffer various complications, associated with different causes.

One of these complications is the so-called placenta previa, a problem that affects one in every 200 pregnancies. This complication occurs when this organ is too close to the cervix. This can cause different complications in pregnancy, and can even be the cause of a cesarean section. Let's take a closer look at what this problem is and how you can detect it if it happens to you.

What is Placenta Previa?

Placenta previa in pregnancy

The placenta is an organ that forms practically at the same time that it occurs the pregnancy. Its function is vital during pregnancy, since it is the link between mother and baby. This organ, shaped like a viscous mass, is attached to the wall of the uterus through blood vessels.

When it is too close to the cervix or on itself, the opening is obstructed. This can cause serious problems facing childbirth, like a hemorrhage. So in most cases, the pregnant woman with this complication is usually subjected to a cesarean section. Gynecological examinations will also be expanded. So it will be essential to check that everything is developing normally despite this complication.

There are three types of placenta previa, which are the following:

  • The total placenta previa, is the most dangerous type. Since in this case the organ is located on the cervix and completely obstructs it.
  • Partial placenta previaIn this case, it blocks a part of the cervix.
  • The marginal placenta previa. Which is when it is close to the cervix, but in this case it does not block it.

What are the symptoms of placenta previa?

It is possible that you present placenta previa in some of the check-ups prior to the 20th week of pregnancy, but after that period, it usually moves upwards to free the cervix. If this complication occurs, one of the main symptoms you can detect is bleeding vaginal. Bleeding can be caused by various reasons, so it is essential that you go quickly to the medical service so that they can check what the cause is.

The placenta previa is detected through an ultrasound, since if a vaginal examination is performed, significant and very dangerous bleeding can occur. In the event that the ultrasound confirms that there is a placenta previa, it is normal for new ones to be programmed Medical reviews in short periods of time. Thus, An attempt will be made to lengthen the pregnancy for as long as possible, since in many cases it is necessary to perform a cesarean section to avoid complications in childbirth.

What are the risks of placenta previa?

Medical check-up of a pregnant woman

Placenta previa can cause different complications, although the main one is the aforementioned hemorrhage. This problem usually occurs around the third trimester of pregnancy and the consequences can be significant. In addition to vaginal bleeding, it can cause other types of risks:

  • Low birth weight, this complication can cause the baby to have a delayed development. This can have serious consequences for the child's development.
  • Congenital defects, Although it occurs in a very low percentage, it is possible that the baby is born with some physical or organ function malformation.
  • Premature birth, is one of the main risks of this problem. For this reason, revisions with the gynecologist are increased and a cesarean section is usually scheduled to be prevented.

Placenta previa cannot be prevented or treated. But it is important that you are alert to any changes, to be able to discuss it with the doctor who follows your pregnancy. Take care of your body, enjoy your state and whenever you notice any significant change, go to your doctor.


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