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placenta previa Lock Rss

Hi there,
At my 19 week ultrasound I was diagnosed with Placenta previa...and told that if the placenta hasn't moved by my 32 week ultrasound I may need a caesar. My first pregnancy was trouble free and my labour was fantastic- just over 1 hour and virtually pain free, so I cringe at the thought of having a caesar. Is there anything I can do that could perhaps 'move' the placenta?? Plus I was told not to have intercourse until my 32 week ultrasound ( I'm 23 weeks now) In my notes it actually says 'limited' intercourse, what are the risks of intercourse and does it have to cease permanently or just limited??? Thanks

Mel, NSW, Riley , Flynn & Ethan

Hi,

Thank you for your enquiry. There are quite a high number of pregnancies that show the placenta to be low in the uterus or even covering the ‘os’ (entrance to the womb) in early ultrasounds. The good news is that in the majority of cases the placenta moves up as the uterus increases in size and so it is well clear of the os by the time the baby is ready to be born. In the cases where the placenta continues to cover the os (true placenta praevia), a caesarian needs to be performed because of the high risk of bleeding during labour and birth. There is also an increased risk of bleeding during pregnancy with placenta praevia. Sometimes when bleeding occurs the woman is on bed rest and minimal sexual activity. The blood loss is from the mother as she is supplying the blood to the placenta and the baby is not usually affected at all. The mother may need iron supplements and even blood transfusions if the condition is serious enough.

You are being advised to restrict intercourse because of the increased risk of bleeding. I would ask your health carers on the actual position of the placenta – if it is low lying/if it has an edge over the os or if it completely covers the os. This will tell you if it is more likely to move up and out of the way. You could also enquire again about being advised to avoid intercourse as if you have had no evidence of bleeding the risks are lower.

There is nothing that you can do to alter the placenta’s position except hope that in time it will be clear of the os and to be well informed of the potential risks of having a true placenta praevia.

Best wishes,
Alex.

<a href="http://www.nswmidwives.com.au/">NSW Midwives Association</a>

Note: This information is not designed to replace that of your health professional.
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