Placenta Previa - Topic Overview
The kind of treatment you will have depends on:
- How much you are bleeding.
- How the problem is affecting your health and your baby’s health.
- How close you are to your due date.
If you have placenta previa and aren't bleeding, it is important to avoid having sex or vaginal exams and to avoid putting anything else in your vagina. (But you may have a carefully done vaginal exam at the hospital.) You should see your doctor if you have any bleeding.
If you are bleeding, you may have to stay in the hospital. When your baby is mature enough, or if too much bleeding is putting you or your baby in danger, your baby will be delivered. Doctors always do a cesarean section when there is a placenta previa. This is because the placenta can be disturbed with a vaginal delivery, and it can cause severe bleeding.
What are the possible problems from having placenta previa?
Placenta previa can cause problems for both the mother and the baby. These include:
- A condition called placenta abruptio. This means that the placenta breaks away from the wall of the uterus before the baby has been born.
- Severe bleeding in the mother before or during delivery. This can be very dangerous for both the mother and the baby. If the placenta has attached or grown into the wall of the uterus (known as placenta accreta, placenta increta, or placenta percreta), the bleeding can be heavy enough to require a hysterectomy.2
- Having to deliver the baby too early.
- Birth defects. These occur more often in pregnancies with placenta previa than in pregnancies without this problem.
Frequently Asked Questions