What is Placenta Previa? It is a medical condition where the placenta ends up lying low in the uterus and ends up creating a covering over the cervix. This may cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall when the cervix begins to dilate when a woman enters labor. There are three types of Placenta Previa that may occur. A complete previa will completely cover the cervix. A partial will only cover a portion of the cervix, while a marginal will extend just to the edge of the cervix.
Placenta Previa Statistics
1. Women who are over the age of 35 and have had more than four pregnancies are at the greatest risk of developing Placenta Previa.
2. Women who have had a history of uterine surgery, no matter what the incision type was, have a higher risk as well.
3. Placenta previa affects about 1 out of every 200 pregnant women in the third trimester of pregnancy.
4. The rates of Placenta previa occurring are rising in correspondence with the rise in caesarean sections for delivery.
5. Multiple abortions are another risk factor for the development of Placenta previa.
6. Instances of Placenta previa that occur during the first trimester typically right themselves before the due date.
7. Smoking increases the risks of placental previa occurring in every demographic.
8. The frequency of placental previa is 4 in 1,000 patients.
9. Having a male child increases the risk of a placental previa as well.
10. In a recent study among 35,030 deliveries, the amount of placenta previa cases was 560, which came to just 1.5% of the total count.
11. Massive hemorrhaging occurs in as few a 3.5% of the total placental previa cases that are diagnosed.
12. For first-time mothers, the incident rate of Placenta previa is just 1 in 1,500 births.
13. At 20 weeks, if a complete Placenta previa is located, then it is unlikely to resolve and will require treatment.
14. Cocaine use can increase the chances of a placental previa developing in all population demographics.
15. Only 1 in 10 women will reach full term without bleeding when a placental previa is present in any form.
16. The average gestational age at the start of bleeding is 32 weeks, although a complete onset may happen sooner.
17. 20% of women who have Placenta previa will experience symptoms that mimic premature labor.
18. The initial bleeding that occurs with this issue will usually resolve itself. All of the bleeding is typically pain-free.
19. The mortality rate for a complete placental previa fetus is about 10%, although 6 out of 10 infants in this condition end up passing away because of the conditions of premature birth.
20. 67% of pregnancies that involve Placenta previa will result in a premature delivery.
21. Having a placental previa will triple the risks of a neonatal death occurring.
22. Women that come from minority races tend to have a slightly greater risk of developing this condition, especially African American women who have had multiple pregnancies already.
The one statistic that can’t be denied: when painless bleeding occurs during a pregnancy, 100% of expectant mothers will be concerned about what is going on. The next step is usually a call to their OB-GYN and rightly so. Unknown bleeding is scary and should be addressed immediately.
Common Symptoms and Treatment
Knowing that this condition is happening varies from woman to woman. The most common symptom that is noticed, however, is bleeding that is painless which happens during the third trimester. Placenta Previa may also cause premature contractions, be an indicator that the fetus is in the breech position, and it commonly occurs when the uterus measures larger than it should be based on the age of the pregnancy.
Treating Placenta Previa is usually pretty basic and includes bed rest with regular, frequent visits to the doctor or the hospital. Steroid shots might also be given to the fetus to encourage faster lung development so that the body can be saved through an early cesarean surgery if necessary. The only exception would be with a marginal previa, where some women are still able to deliver in a natural way.
Other proactive measures to stop bleeding with Placenta Previa are to avoid having sex after the diagnosis is made. Limiting the amount of travel that is required is necessary and pelvic exams should be avoided if at all necessary. What else can the information about Placenta Previa tell us about this unique medical condition?
More Important Facts To Know
The issue with Placenta previa is that there isn’t anything that can be done to move the placenta out of the way of the cervix. Even if a hemorrhage does occur, it can typically be treated with fluids and transfusions. For mothers, the risk are usually quite small unless the bleeding cannot be managed immediately at the hospital for some reason. For babies, however, there are a number of issues that can threaten the child’s survivability.
All of this sounds like bad news. The reality is that with modern medical science, it doesn’t have to be bad news. With careful treatment, bed rest, and planning that happens after the diagnosis takes place, there is still a good chance to deliver a happy child that will live a long, fulfilling life. Preparing for the bad news means making sure to get all screenings and tests that happen during the gestational period. Ultrasounds can typically locate the low lying placenta and if it happens early on, then placental migration is more likely to happen then a placental previa.
If you suspect a Placenta previa or your doctor has diagnosed you with one after the 20th week, it is important to follow every instruction as closely as possible. By doing so, you may be able to control the bleeding effectively and have a delivery through a C-section that is as painless as it possibly can. With high success rates in care, this diagnosis could just be part of the story you tell.