Placenta is the organ that provides the necessary nutrients and oxygen to developing foetus through umbilical cord. The placenta is attached to the uterine wall on one side and umbilical cord on the other. In an ideal case of pregnancy the placenta attaches itself to mid to upper portion of uterine wall. But in case of placenta previa, it is placed in the lower portion.
If placenta is low then there is a chance of it covering the cervical opening. Cervix is located at the lower end of the uterus and is pathway to vaginal tract through which baby is delivered. There are various types of low placenta; one is where the placenta is low but does not cover the cervical opening, second where the placenta blocks the cervical opening partially and third is when it completely blocks the cervix.
In most of the cases of partial and no blockage of cervix corrects itself with the advancing pregnancy. Complete previa is less likely to correct itself with time. This can lead to delivery possible only by C section. The pregnant lady is also prescribed complete bed rest especially in cases of bleeding and spotting. The various possible causes have been discussed as follows.
Causes Of Placenta Previa
Where a woman has had an episode of low placenta in her earlier pregnancies, the chances of having it again increases. Frequent and multiple births can cause the scarring of the reproductive organs which can again lead to placenta previa. It is said that chances double in case you have had more than four pregnancies.
Earlier Caesarean Section
Better known as C section, this method of delivery is surgical. When in case of a woman, vaginal delivery of baby is not possible due to host of reasons, C section is opted for. Since this is a surgical method, there is possibility of tissue rupture and organ scarring. As discussed earlier too, this damage can lead to placenta previa in subsequent pregnancies.
In many cases, the fertilised ovum settles and attaches itself very low in the uterus. In such cases too, the placenta will be located in the lower segment of the uterus to nourish the foetus which is already low lying.
Abortion is a method of terminating pregnancies. If a pregnancy is not viable or is unplanned, doctors and the parents may opt for terminating the pregnancy.
There are various means of effecting an abortion– with pills or surgery. But pills are recommended only in very early stages of pregnancy. In case of surgery, just like the C section there are chances of organ damage in the reproductive system. If the damage takes place then there are higher chances of having a low placenta in later pregnancies.
Where a woman is not able to conceive naturally, the fertility treatments like IVF can be sought. In these cases the chances of multiple as well as pregnancies with low placenta increases. This happens as the ovum is placed in uterus through cervix artificially and is often placed low. There is nothing to worry about it as it is very common with the fertility treatments.
Placenta previa is a condition to manage and not worry. With the help of your doctor and following all his or her instructions to the last word, you can give birth to a full term healthy baby with a healthy you.
Photo Credit: http://www.glamcheck.com/health/2011/09/16/placenta-previa-pregnancy-complication/