Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Gynecology and Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist

With over 15 years of professional experience, dozens of national and international research articles, and most importantly, his smiling face, Gynecology and Perinatology Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ is with you.

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Placenta Previa

What is Placenta Previa?

Placenta previa means that the placenta, that is, the baby’s partner, blocks the cervix and birth path. Placenta previa makes normal vaginal birth impossible and is associated with a very serious risk of bleeding. According to research, placenta previa occurs in 4 out of 1000 births. Placenta previa is suspected in all expectant mothers who consult a doctor with vaginal bleeding, especially over 20 weeks. For this reason, necessary evaluations are made.

Vaginal examination should not be performed on risky mothers without determining the location of the placenta through ultrasound evaluation. Placenta previa is also known colloquially as “the baby’s partner being down”. In this article, we have compiled what you need to know about placenta previa.

How Many Types of Placenta Previa Are There?

Placenta previa is divided into 4 different groups according to the relationship between the placenta and the cervix. We can list these groups as follows:

• Total Placenta Previa: It is the situation where the placenta completely covers the cervix.

• Partial Placenta Previa: It is the situation where the placenta covers a part of the cervix.

• Marginal Placenta Previa: It is the situation where the placenta is close to the cervix but does not cover it.

• Placenta Located in the Lower Segment: It refers to the situation where the edge of the placenta is closer than 2 centimeters to the cervix but is not in contact.

This classification is decided by perinatology specialists during their examination.

What are the Symptoms of Placenta Previa?

The condition of placenta previa manifests itself with various symptoms. The first of these symptoms is bleeding from the vaginal area. In the case of placenta previa, painless bleeding from the vagina may occur in the second half of the pregnancy. If you experience heavy bleeding in the second or third month of pregnancy, you should consult a doctor. These bleedings can sometimes occur quite severely. Some expectant mothers experience uterine contraction as well as bleeding.

What Causes Placenta Previa?

Risk factors are more important than the causes of placenta previa. We can list these risk factors as follows:

• Having placenta previa in the expectant mother’s previous pregnancy is an important risk factor. The main reason for this is that placenta previa recurs in 4 to 8% of pregnancies.

• Having had a previous cesarean section also increases the risk of placenta previa. Moreover, increasing the number of cesarean births also increases the likelihood of placenta previa.

• Multiple pregnancy is also seen as a risk factor for placenta previa. In pregnancies with twins or more babies, the risk of placenta previa increases significantly.

• The older age of the expectant mother also increases the risk of placenta previa.

• If the expectant mother has had a miscarriage or abortion before, it also increases the risk of placenta previa.

• Smoking is considered a risk for placenta previa.

How is Placenta Previa Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of placenta previa is made with the help of ultrasound. After listening to the anamnesis of the expectant mother, the diagnosis of placenta previa is made by confirming on ultrasound that the placenta is blocking the birth path, that is, the internal cervical os.

If an expectant mother has placenta previa, it means that the risk of placenta accreta will increase. Placenta accreta is the term that describes the anomaly of the baby’s placenta adhesion to the uterus. There are also definitions such as PAS (placenta acreta spectrum) and placental adhesion anomaly that describe the same condition. A tighter and deeper adhesion also causes an increased risk of bleeding. Sometimes it may not be enough to diagnose this condition with abdominal ultrasound. In such a case, transvaginal ultrasound is applied. It is a condition that can be detected during routine examinations or when investigating complaints of vaginal bleeding. Early diagnosis is also important to prevent danger.

How is Placenta Previa Treated?

For expectant mothers diagnosed with placenta previa, birth is performed by cesarean section. Vaginal examination should not be performed during this process. Before 37 weeks of pregnancy, the risk of premature birth increases approximately 5 times.

In 15% of expectant mothers with placenta previa, premature birth occurs before the 34th week. Additionally, pregnant women diagnosed with placenta previa have a risk of serious bleeding. This increases the chance of receiving a blood transfusion. In cases requiring birth before the 34th week, a prepartum steroid injection is required to contribute to the baby’s lung development. The danger to the life of the mother and baby increases in this case. For this reason, cesarean delivery should be performed in a hospital with a blood bank. The blood bank should be informed before the cesarean section and it should be stated that additional requests will be made during the surgery as needed.

The most important point here is that the surgery is performed by an experienced specialist. This surgeon may also be a Perinatologist or Gynecological oncologist.


You can make your appointment with Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali Ekiz via the WhatsApp button.

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