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Placenta Previa in Pregnancy (cont.)

Placenta Previa Symptoms

Vaginal bleeding after the 20th week of gestation is the primary symptom of placenta previa. Although the bleeding is typically painless, in some cases it can be associated with uterine contractions and abdominal pain. Bleeding occurs in most women with placenta previa. Bleeding may range in severity from light to severe.

Placenta previa symptoms can be associated with other complications of pregnancy including:

  • Placenta accreta occurs when the placental tissues grows too deeply into the womb, attaching to the muscle layer, resulting in difficulty separating from the wall of the uterus at delivery. This complication can cause life-threatening bleeding and commonly requires hysterectomy at the time of Cesarean delivery. Placenta accrete occurs in 5% to 10% of women with placenta previa.
  • Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) can result from the bleeding of placenta previa.
  • Other abnormalities of the placenta or umbilical cord can be associated with placenta previa
  • Breech or abnormal presentation of the fetus can be associated with placenta previa due to the presence of the placenta in the lower part of the uterus.
  • Some studies have shown a reduction in fetal growth associated with placenta previa.
  • Finally, placenta previa, like other complications of pregnancy, can have a significant emotional impact on the mother after it has been diagnosed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/31/2014

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