Monday, 3 March 2014

Placenta Praevia

I decided to do a bit of research into placenta praevia and low lying placentas and what they mean after I was told at my 20 week scan that mine was reaching my os (which I've now learnt means cervix opening).

They usually move up and as a protocol most hospitals book you in for another scan at 36 weeks to check. Mine was booked for March but because I got admitted at 28 weeks in January with a bad bleed, I got a scan then which showed it had moved up a few mm which apparently was good news!

They cancelled my scan at 36 weeks because apparently once it's moved out of the 'danger zone' it will only keep moving away so it's ok to proceed with a normal delivery etc.

Low Lying Placenta:
- Where the placenta is lying over the lower part of the uterus near to, or over the cervix
- If the placenta is in this position at the end of pregnancy, it is called Placenta Praevia and the baby would have to be born by caesarean section

Mine was reaching my cervix but not covering it...


Why it's a problem:
- The baby moves down into the vagina to be born and if the placenta is overlapping the cervix, when the baby starts coming down, it can cause extensive bleeding from the mother

This is why I got such a scare at 28 weeks when I had my bleed but apparently it could have just been my uterus stretching and the placenta moving up that caused it.

Who is at higher risk:
- Women who have had a caesarean
- Women expecting twins
- Women who smoke
- Women who've used cocaine
- Women who've had a miscarriage
- Older women
- Women who've previously had placenta praevia

I don't fall into any of these categories so not sure why mine was low lying before!

Does the position often move and why does it happen:
- The majority of women who show a low lying placenta at 20 weeks will not have placenta praevia at birth. In one study of 6,428 women only 1 in 600 had placenta praevia at birth
- As baby grows, the uterus expands and ends up 'pulling' the placenta upwards and out of the way

Hope this provides some quick, simple info for anyone who was also told their placenta was low lying at their 20 week scan.

There is so much info out there on the internet - just have a google!


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