The only characteristic symptom of placenta previa is vaginal bleeding, which begins in the second half of pregnancy. Of course, other signs of pathology (pain, uterine contractions) may appear, but, unlike vaginal bleeding, they are in the minority and are episodic in nature.
Symptoms of placenta previa
Loss of blood during placenta previa is usually intense and painless. Blood is a bright red color. Bleeding begins suddenly, after 28 weeks of pregnancy. The amount of blood lost is variable, sometimes significant, sometimes quite modest.
Painful feelings in a pregnant woman occur when the previa is associated with placental abruption. A similar combination occurs in 10% of cases. Pain is a characteristic sign of placental abruption. In this case, differential diagnosis is necessary.
In 25% of cases of placenta previa, uterine contractions are noted, in 15% - an unsuccessful position of the fetus (oblique or transverse). As long as the conditions are stable, there are no special problems for the fetus.
Complications of placenta previa
The onset of complications is fetal distress. What is fetal distress? Fetal distress is a rather vague term that defines a number of different intrauterine pathologies, including:
- heart abnormalities;
- decreased intrauterine growth;
Pregnant women with placenta previa should be monitored, as there is a possibility that blood loss can increase to a point of serious danger. An increase in excess bleeding can occur during childbirth, or several hours after the birth of the baby.
Medical staff should be prepared to deal with a patient at high risk of developing hemorrhagic shock, and an immediate blood transfusion may be required. Significant blood loss can occur when the pregnancy is not yet completed. The consequences in this case also affect the health of the fetus and mother. This, in essence, creates the conditions for fetal distress and cesarean section.
Diagnosis of placenta previa
ultrasound results are erroneous. For example, the first ultrasound scan (performed in the first half of pregnancy) may show that the placenta is located in the area of the internal mouth of womb. In fact, this conclusion is not final, since both the fetus and the uterus grow, and the placenta will move accordingly.
Therapeutic measures for placenta previa
When it comes to the treatment of placenta previa, then if the bleeding is minimal or absent, there is no need for in-patient treatment or even hospitalization. The only recommendation in this case is to remain at rest, to avoid physical exertion and sexual intercourse.
When faced with significant blood loss, you have to act urgently and consider the possibility of premature birth, as well as hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). It should be noted that a child born to a woman with placenta previa is more likely to develop:
- neurological pathologies;
- growth retardation;
Preventive measures for placenta previa do not exist.