Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"How does can placenta previa complicate pregnancy?"
The doctor is worried about my placenta. I am a 20 year old woman. What should I know?
Placenta Previa is a significant medical complication of pregnancy. This, while being somewhat common, can cause serious problems for you and your baby. I would recommend a thorough discussion with you and your OB/GYN. In some communities, OB/GYN's who specialize in high risk deliveries are available -- talk to your primary OB / GYN if this specialist would be able to help you. Placenta previa is fundamentally a simple problem. As you know, the fetus grows inside the mother by using the mother's blood for food, oxygen and waste elimination. The placenta is attached to the inner uterus and is the baby's direct connection to the mother where these blood vessels lie. In placenta previa, instead of the placenta being attached to the wall of the uterus, the placenta attaches to the bottom opening -- the cervix. This is a problem because eventually, the baby must pass out of the cervix and into the vagina to be delivered. Therefore, the placenta block the baby's exit -- making normal spontaneous vaginal delivery difficult. That being said, a caesarian section can easily remedy this problem. However some people do not require a c-section as the placenta can "migrate" during the pregnancy and look close to the cervix initially -- but eventually end up far enough away. Depending on how far you are along, this may mean you will need follow up ultrasounds, of may mean you need a c-section on the day. Please schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN to discuss this further.
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