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Placenta Previa

General Information

Placenta Previa (sometimes spelt Praevia) occurs when the placenta implants low in the uterus and covers, either partially or fully the os (or opening to the cervix). Partial previas early in pregnancy often "move" away from the os as the pregnancy progresses and the uterus expands. Placenta previa can lead to second and third trimester bleeding. If the bleeding is severe, delivery of the baby is often necessary. In almost all cases, a caesarean section is required because the placenta is covering the opening to the cervix (occasionally the placenta is low lying and on the edge of the os, in which case a vaginal delivery may be possible). There is no treatment for placenta previa as such, although bed rest is often prescribed, especially if there have been any bleeding episodes. The biggest risk is a haemorrhage, and for the baby a premature birth, the baby may also be on the smaller side if the placenta isn't functioning well.

Internet Links

High Risk Pregnancy - Bleeding in Pregnancy / Placenta Previa / Placental Abruption
Placenta Previa
Medline Plus Health Information - Placenta Previa
eMedicine - Placenta Previa

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This information is intended as general background information only. Please check with your doctor or other health care provider for further and more specific information on how any condition affects you and/or your baby's health and before acting on any information presented here.

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