Dr. Beena Jeysingh, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood hospital, Bangalore India, explains the term placenta previa in layman’s language to help us understand this common pregnancy condition in detail.
The placenta is an organ that nurtures and sustains the pregnancy. It is an organ of support through which the growing foetus receives oxygenated blood and nutrients from the mother and excretes out its wastes. Typically, the placenta is attached to the upper portion of the uterus. If it is attached to the lower part of the uterus, it is termed as placenta previa. Placenta previa is a commonly occurring condition in expecting women, also referred to as low-lying placenta.
It is usually detected in the 18-20 weeks of pregnancy through an ultrasonography. The placenta might be too close to the cervix and may partially or totally cover it. Few women might experience vaginal bleeding for this very reason.
The cause of placenta previa is still unknown. Women who are aged above 35 years, smoke or use drugs, have had a previous delivery, are carrying multiples, had a surgery of the uterus are at risk of placenta previa.
“There is absolutely no need to worry if you have been diagnosed with placenta previa. At the most, your doctor will advise you to be cautious with physical exertion or bed rest for sometimes. Most of the cases of placenta previa resolve with time when the uterus stretches up as the baby grows. By default, the placenta moves away from the cervix and condition is corrected”, says Dr Beena Jeysingh.
In very rare cases, the condition might not improve with time. Your doctor would then take a call on the mode of delivery based on your wellbeing and the risk associated with it.
Follow your doctor’s advice on placenta previa. It does no harm in being a little bit more careful.