The placenta is an organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy. Its purpose is to nourish the baby. Oxygen and nutrients pass through the placenta to the baby. Waste products pass back out to the mother’s blood stream.
Placenta previa occurs when the placenta becomes implanted near or over the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. With this condition, the placenta may cover part or all of the cervix. This condition is only diagnosed after 20 weeks of gestation.
Placenta previa can cause problems in pregnancy and birth. These include:
- Abnormal bleeding, sometimes heavy
- Premature separation of the placenta from the uterus
- Premature birth
- Emergency cesarean (c-section) delivery
- Problems with penetration of the placenta into the uterine muscle or through the entire uterine wall
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Andrea Chisholm
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.