Symptoms and Signs of Placenta Previa Symptoms, Types, Treatments, and Management

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Placenta Previa Symptoms, Types, Treatments, and Management

Placenta previa is a complication of pregnancy when the placenta is planted near, partially covering or completely covering the uterus outlet. The primary signs and symptoms of placenta previa is vaginal bleeding after the 20th week of fetal growth. In many patients, there is no pain associated with the bleeding; however, some patients develop uterine contractions and abdominal pain. Unfortunately, bleeding can range from light to severely heavy (heavy bleeding can be life – threatening to the mother and fetus). Bleeding after the 20th week of pregnancy is a sign the woman should immediately seek medical care.

The cause of placenta previa is due to the location of the placenta in the uterus. Some factors predispose a woman to develop placenta previa during her pregnancy. Such factors are as follows: scar tissue in the upper areas of the uterus, prior cesarean deliveries, prior D&C procedures for miscarriages or induced abortions and in any prior surgery or instrumentation on the uterine cavity.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.