What is a low-lying placenta? Why is it important to know about it to avoid preterm labour?

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read
What is a low-lying placenta? Why is it important to know about it to avoid preterm labour?


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What is a low-lying placenta?

During pregnancy, as the baby grows in the uterus, the placenta develops. It gets attached to the wall of the woman's uterus. The placenta is the means through which oxygen and nutrients reach the baby's blood. The placenta comes out after the birth of the baby. In women, the placenta remains attached to the bottom of the uterus. As the pregnancy progresses, the placenta also moves upwards, which is also called placentan migration. However, in 2 to 3 percent of women, instead of moving from its place, it remains at the bottom. According to doctors, if the placenta is visible at a distance of less than 200 mm from the cervix, then this condition is called low lying placenta or placenta previa.

Which women face this problem?

If a woman has previously given birth to a child through C-section, she is at risk of having a low lying placenta. Apart from this, if a woman has taken fertility treatment to conceive or she smokes, then the possibility of placenta previa always remains.

How dangerous is a low-lying placenta?

How dangerous is a low-lying placenta?

When the placenta is located low at the mouth of the uterus, bleeding begins. Some women also experience heavy bleeding, which is a big risk. In such cases, sometimes delivery has to be done before the completion of nine months. If the problem of low placenta persists even in the last stage of pregnancy, then it is quite risky.

Photo Credit: Freepik

Will the baby be normal or will it be a cesarean?

Will the baby be normal or will it be a cesarean?

In case of low lying placenta, it is important to know whether the baby will be normal or will have to undergo C-section. If the placenta is less than 20 mm away from the cervix in the last week of pregnancy, then the chances of cesarean are high. But if the placenta is more than 20 mm away from the cervix, then the chances of normal delivery increase.

Photo Credit: Freepik

Methods for preventing low-lying placenta

Methods for preventing low-lying placenta

To ensure that no woman has to face this situation during pregnancy, low lying placenta is checked through ultrasound scan in the 5th month. After that, after the completion of the ninth month, the location of the placenta has to be taken care of in the ultrasound scan. If the placenta has come down in the scan, then there is no need to be afraid. During this time, one should avoid having physical relations. Take adequate rest, avoid traveling. In case of placenta previa, one should also avoid sleeping on the stomach. Doctors believe that in case of placenta previa or low lying placenta, the pregnant woman feels the movement of the baby late. If ever this happens, then the doctor should be contacted.

Photo Credit: Freepik

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