Dr Beena Jeysingh, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood hospital, Bangalore India, explains the complications related to placenta previa and what are the options available to the doctors.
The placenta previa or the low-lying placenta is not a major cause of worry for a pregnant lady, as most of the cases resolve themselves with time, posing no threat to the developing baby or the mother.
However, sometimes there can be certain cases wherein the low lying placenta does not move upwards and continues to cover a partial or total of the uterine opening (internal OS). If a woman is presented with either of these cases, the doctors typically recommend caution and bed rest to them.
Few of the pregnant women with placenta praevia may have vaginal bleeding ranging from light to medium flow. A heavy vaginal bleeding is uncommon but requires a blood transfusion to the mother. Such condition is associated with the cases wherein the placenta is partially or completely covering the internal OS of the uterus and the cervix.
Most of the women are advised a Caesarian section delivery with persisting placenta previa. Other complications of the low-lying placenta, if it persists towards the end of the gestation period are, need to deliver the baby preterm and hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) due to non-expulsion of the placenta after delivery.
A placenta is normally expelled after the delivery. But placenta accreta, placenta increta and placenta percreta are the conditions wherein the placenta remains attached to the uterus, which poses a serious health concern to the mother. The only treatment of these conditions is by removing the uterus.
Placenta accreta: The placenta remains attached firmly in the uterus.
Placenta increta: The placenta grows into the walls of the uterus.
Placenta percreta: The placenta crosses the walls of the uterus and grows beyond.
” Only placenta accreta, increta and perceta are the major causes of concern when it comes to low lying placenta. But then, it is a very rare occurrence. Unfortunately, the last option left for treatment is hysterectomy, i.e. the removal of the uterus”, says Dr Beena Jeysingh.
It is advisable to take proper bed rest, avoid physical exertion or exercises, refrain from sexual intercourse, avoid constipation and get treated for cough if any. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience vaginal bleeding accompanied with uterine contraction, or abdominal pain.