Pregnancy Complications: What is Placenta Previa?
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Pregnancy Complications: What is Placenta Previa?

"Placenta previa (also known as low lying placenta) is a complication of pregnancy, when the placenta is in the lower segment of the uterus and covers part or all of the cervix (http://www.babycenter.ca/pregnancy/complications/placentapraevia/)." This condition is uncommon but does not pose a serious risk unless it goes unidentified. When a woman has placenta previa it is easier for the placenta to become separated from the wall of the uterus. If the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus interal bleeding will occur. This can lead to the death of both the mother and the unborn child. It is extremely important to go to regular checkups while pregnant to make sure pregnancy complications are identified because day to day precautions need to be taken. If you are diagnosed with plecenta previa than you should not do any strenuous activities. Exercise should be limited to walking and sex is not permitted. Sex is dangerous because of the location of the placenta. Because it is covering, or partially covering the cervix sex may cause the placenta to become detached from the wall of the womb. Depending on the severity of the condition, a woman may be put on permanent bedrest. This is because if the placenta does become detached the baby must be born regardless of their term. If the condition is not monitored and behavior is not modified appropriately the baby can easily be lost. If all precautions are taken, than the risk of the placenta becoming detached are extremely low. When a woman has placenta previa, depending on the severity, the baby may have to be delivered with a secerian section because the placenta is blocking the cervix. It is best to be aware of the condition so that the cesarian section can be planned in advance. "Placenta previa affects about 1 in 200 pregnant women in the third trimester of pregnancy (http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/placentaprevia.html)."
  • Complete previa: the cervical opening is completely covered
  • Partial previa: a portion of the cervix is covered by the placenta
  • Marginal previa: extends just to the edge of the cervix

"Signs and symptoms of placenta previa vary, but the most common symptom is painless bleeding during the third trimester(http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/placentaprevia.html)."

Conditions like placenta previa are only dangerous if they go undiagnosed.

Placenta previa is generally more common in women who are age 35 or older, and/or have had multiple pregnancies, and/or have had uterine surgery or a previous cesarian section.

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