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What is the low placenta?
The low placenta (placenta previa) is the condition in which the organ moves and is attached covering the cervix. This displacement may end up covering the cervix (cervix) partially (partial placenta previa) or completely (placenta previa complet).
In the vast majority of pregnancies, the placenta is attached to the side or top of the uterus. But, due to some risk factors, the woman may present the low placenta as a complication.
In the case of pregnant women diagnosed with partial placenta previa, the condition often resolves itself. However, in the total placenta previa, the entire cervix is covered, which makes spontaneous resolution difficult before delivery.
In all cases, monitoring by the doctor is mandatory, as the low placenta can cause bleeding and bleeding during pregnancy and childbirth.
This condition is usually diagnosed in the second trimester of pregnancy. Even at this stage, it is possible for the placenta to return to the top, releasing the opening of the cervix for delivery.
In rare cases, the condition persists until the end of pregnancy, which can be confirmed in ultrasound exams, at around 32 weeks.
In these cases, the exam done to diagnose the low placenta is transvaginal ultrasound (in which the device is inserted through the vaginal canal), because with advanced pregnancy it is more difficult to visualize the uterine wall through abdominal ultrasound.
If there is bleeding during pregnancy, the doctor should instruct the pregnant woman to remain at rest. The pregnant woman should take a break from work or any physical activity that requires a lot of effort.
Vaginal delivery can be an unviable option when the placenta does not return to the normal location, especially in the total placenta previa. Therefore, it is important that the pregnant woman knows that cesarean delivery can be considered.
The low placenta is a condition that does not show many signs. The main one, which may indicate this abnormal positioning of the organ, is painless bleeding through the vaginal canal (like menstruation).
Typically, these bleeds occur with the most advanced pregnancy, during the second trimester. They can also occur shortly after sexual intercourse.
A woman in this condition can also suffer from menstrual-like cramps.
In the face of any signs like these, the pregnant woman should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
What causes the low placenta?
When fertilization of the egg occurs, the development of fundamental structures such as the embryo and the placenta also begins. The placenta is usually near the bottom of the uterine cavity or in the body region, but always away from the internal cavity of the cervix.
It is possible that the placenta will be implanted in the lower region of the uterine cavity and this favors posterior displacement, but it is not possible to say that it is the cause in all cases of placenta previa.
Therefore, the exact cause of the low placenta, whether partial or total, is not yet known.
However, there are some risk factors that are related to the persistence of the condition. The main ones are related to physical conditions and habits of the pregnant woman:
- Use of drugs;
- Pregnancy of twins or more;
- Older pregnant women;
- Abortion history;
- Women who have had other normal or cesarean deliveries;
- Women who have already undergone a surgical procedure in the uterine region (curettage, for example);
- History of placenta previa in other pregnancies.
Treatments: is it necessary to take rest?
Not all cases of low placenta require specific treatment, as the condition can be normalized by the end of pregnancy. Therefore, the woman may only have to reduce the pace of her routine activities and remain at rest.
Upon receiving the diagnosis, the most important thing is that she seeks to be calm, get plenty of rest and avoid activities that can trigger bleeding.
Depending on the case, the doctor may also advise the pregnant woman to avoid intercourse with penetration, as the practice can trigger bleeding.
It is also essential that the woman be aware of other symptoms, such as strong cramps or contractions. If you experience anything abnormal, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.
Monitoring the baby and the pregnant woman throughout pregnancy is essential, since the low placenta can mean a greater risk of bleeding and even premature birth .
In rare cases, if there is heavy bleeding, the woman may need to be hospitalized, have a blood transfusion, medication and even have an early delivery.
In cases of total placenta previa, in which the entire cervix is covered, cesarean delivery is also recommended to prevent complications to the health of the pregnant woman and the fetus.