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Pregnancy is certainly the most joyous phase of a woman's life. It lets you be pampered by all the loved ones around. The very fact that you are nurturing a new life in your womb makes you go ecstatic and fills your heart with tremendous joy. It sure is one phase that every woman longs to experience at some point in life. However, with endless happiness, it does bring in some major worries as well.
A pregnant woman is prone to many risk factors that can affect both her and the baby inside her womb. There can be different types of complications ranging from the minor ones to the grave, considering the fact that every pregnancy stands tad dissimilar. Of all the known complications, the one we are discussing here is, Placenta Previa. Let us get to know it in depth.
Understanding Placenta Previa
Placenta is the organ that's created during pregnancy in order to nourish the growing fetus, clear away its waste, and produce the required hormones to nurse the pregnancy. It remains attached to the uterus wall by blood vessels supplying oxygen and nutrition to the fetus. This even helps in removing the waste from the fetus and transferring it to the mother. An umbilical cord connects the fetus to the placenta. This cord helps in supplying the fetus with oxygen and nourishment from the mother.
The placenta generally stays attached to uterus' upper part, away from the cervix. The cervix is the opening through which the baby passes during the delivery. On unusual occasions, this placenta lies down low in the uterus. It can either happen partly or completely, thereby blocking the cervix. This condition is what has been named as placenta previa.
It is often observed before the 20th week of pregnancy but generally fades in most of the cases, leaving about 10% to persist later in pregnancy. With the growth of the uterus, the placenta tends to move above in the uterus, distant from the cervix. However, if it stays near the cervix with your due date approaching, you are likely to be at risk of painless vaginal bleeding. This can result in major blood loss in the pregnant woman. A placenta previa ends up in a cesarean delivery.
Types of placenta previa
Low-lying: It can be a low-lying one near the cervical opening. It won't cover the cervix. And in many cases, it moves up as the due date approaches.
Partial Placenta Previa: A partial placenta previa will cover some part of the cervical opening.
Total Placenta Previa: It covers and blocks the cervix completely.
Placenta Previa: Causes & Who it Affects
The causes leading to placenta previa generally stand unknown. However, one can state as to who can be at a risk of having a placenta previa. It is commonly seen in women:
Complications in Placenta Previa
It can be linked to abnormalities of either the placenta or the umbilical cord. A few studies have revealed that there can even be a reduction in the growth of the fetal. The bleeding caused due to it can hike up the risk of PPROM i.e. preterm premature rupture of the membranes, which results in premature labor.
Women who have had placenta previa in their last pregnancies are at risk of placenta accreta. It occurs when the placenta grows deep into the womb. It gets attached to the muscle layer, thus resulting in a difficulty of separating the placenta from uterus wall at time of delivery. It can result into life-threatening bleeding and also calls for hysterectomy at the time of a C-section delivery.
What precautions a pregnant woman can take?
As a pregnant woman, you definitely can't do anything in order to alter the placenta position nor can the doctor. All you can do and must aim at is staying healthy throughout the pregnancy period. Just take care of the following things:
Though there is nothing in particular that you can do about preventing placenta previa but you can surely take responsibility of eating healthy and staying fit so that you stand at lower risk of any pregnancy complication!