Placenta previa is an obstetric complication where the placenta is inserted partially or wholly in the lower portion of the uterus. Essentially, the placenta blocks the path of the fetus through the cervix (shown below, source). This is the leading cause of antepartum hemorrhage.
WHAT MAKES US SUSPECT IT?
Prior placenta previa, prior cesarean section/uterine surgery, multiparty, advanced maternal age
- Antepartum bleeding (typically 3rd trimester)
- Absence of pain/uterine tenderness
HOW DO WE MANAGE IT?
No intercourse which can potentially traumatize the placenta and cause a massive hemorrhage
Digital examination is also contraindicated for similar reasons
Cesarean delivery is recommended at 36-37 weeks gestation.
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Page Updated: 10.10.2016