Placenta Previa: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Placenta Previa: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment


By Dr. Kaberi Banerjee, IVF Speciality

Placenta Previa is a condition in pregnancy in which the placenta grows in the lowest part of the uterus and in result covers the whole opening to the cervix (the opening that leads to vagina). This obstruction causes abnormalities in the baby at the time of delivery. Placenta are actually the cluster of cells that are formed inside the womb (uterus) during pregnancy.

Types of Placenta Previa-

There three types of Placenta Previa…

  1. Marginal: In this type the placenta is present at the edge of the cervix but not covers it.
  2. Partial: The placenta covers some part of the cervix opening.
  3. Complete: Placenta covers all the cervix opening.

What are the symptoms of Placenta Previa?

It is estimated that it occurs in 1 of 200 pregnant women. The common symptoms include:

  1. Slight bleeding during the first and second trimester of pregnancy.
  2. Uterine cramping may occur at the time of bleeding.
  3. Constant bleeding after several days or even weeks.
  4. Excessive bleeding in third trimester of pregnancy.
  5. Thinning of uterine walls.
  6. Heavy bleeding during labor days.


  • Implantation of the fertilized egg very low in the uterus, causing the placenta to come near to the cervix.
  • Abnormalities in the uterus lining e.g. having fibroids or scarring etc.
  • Abnormal formation of placenta.
  • Smoking and huge intake of alcohol can lead to placenta Previa.
  • Expecting duplets or triplets doubles the chance of getting placenta Previa.
  • Being pregnant in older ages.
  • Assisted reproduction e.g. in case of in-vitro fertilization.
  • Having previous pregnancies.


The treatment depends upon the severity of the symptoms. But before getting it treated it should be kept in mind that pregnancy has completed 36 weeks.

  • Near all women go through C-section having Placenta Previa.
  • Reduce your activities.
  • Complete bed rest is recommended.
  • Pelvic rest that means no sex or douching.

Other treatments may include:

  • Blood transfusions.
  • Medications for mild symptoms.
  • Steroid shots to help baby lungs get mature.