Placenta previa is a clinical term for a low-lying placenta that sometimes causes complications during a pregnancy. The condition is not fatal and the medical fraternity is well-equipped for the safe delivery of the baby despite this condition.
With the excitement that surrounds a pregnancy, there also comes the need to address certain risks that the anatomy of a female is exposed to. During pregnancy, the body goes through a lot of ‘accommodating’ changes that not only tip the balance of the hormones, but also cause stress on certain organs. Placenta Previa is one such condition. It is a condition, in which, the placenta lies unusually low in the uterus. The placenta, in this condition, lies adjacent to or covers the cervix. It is a problem that needs to be addressed and taken care of, during the early pregnancy stages, once diagnosed.
The placenta is an organ located above the uterus. The function of this organ is to supply the fetus with required nutrients in course of the pregnancy. This functionality is facilitated through the umbilical cord that acts like the connecting tube. Placenta Previa is not a problem during the early pregnancy stages, as the one it becomes later. However, if the condition is allowed to persist into the later pregnancy stages, then it can result in bleeding and premature delivery and other related complications. If the condition is diagnosed just prior to delivery, the baby has to be delivered via cesarean.
In this condition, where the placenta covers the cervix completely, it is medically referred to as complete or total placenta previa. If it is diagnosed on the border of the cervix, then it is clinically referred to as Marginal previa. In case of partial previa, the organ covers a part of the cervical opening on dilating. Another condition is when the edge of the organ is within two centimeters of the cervix, not yet bordering it. This is referred to as low-lying previa. The condition and location of the placenta is usually checked mid-term, through the ultrasound examination conducted.
Depending on the term during the pregnancy, as the pregnancy progresses, the placenta usually moves away from the cervix. On account of the location of the organ it’s being implanted in the uterus, it simply relocates further from the cervix as the uterus expands. It is important to note, before striking the panic button, that only about 10% women diagnosed with the condition mid pregnancy, have it when delivering the baby. Complete previa is more likely to stay through the term than marginal or low-lying previa. It is very important, if clinically diagnosed with the condition, to understand the condition and follow the advice given by your gynecologist.
When the complication is discovered at a later stage in the pregnancy, the placenta is still likely to move away from the cervix. However, the ‘moving away’ may not be as fast as it could have been otherwise. For this, you need to keep to your in-term prescribed medication, gynecologist visits, and ultrasound and other tests. In the likeliness of the condition in question, you would have to indulge in a follow-up ultrasound test at the beginning of the third trimester. This is done to get a clear picture of the location of the placenta and movement, if any. In case of vaginal bleeding, in-term, it is necessary to first consult your gynecologist and subsequently have an ultrasound conducted to find out the present condition that could have resulted in the bleeding. It is very important to educate yourself on the condition and its implications. You should be aware of the fact that, the medical fraternity does have an option for ‘normal’ delivery in case of such a condition. The cesarean or the C-section subsequently performed, is done, keeping yours and your baby’s health and well-being in mind. However, being well-informed and regular with medical check-ups helps keep complications at bay.