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Placenta Previa in Pregnancy (cont.)

Placenta Previa Symptoms and Signs

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

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

  • Placenta accreta occurs when the placenta actually grows into the wall of the uterus, attaching to the muscle layer and resulting in difficulty separating the placenta from the wall of the uterus at delivery. This complication can cause life-threatening bleeding and commonly requires hysterectomy at the same time as the Cesarean section. Placenta accrete occurs in 5% to 10% of women with placenta previa.
  • Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) can result from the bleeding associated with 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 inability of the fetal head to enter the lower part of the uterus.
  • Possible decreased fetal growth rate (intrauterine fetal growth restriction).
  • Emotional disturbances related to anxiety created by the patient herself knowing that she has placenta previa.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/16/2015

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