Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you've been pregnant for more than 12 weeks and you develop vaginal bleeding, call your pregnancy health care provider. He or she may recommend immediate medical care depending on your symptoms, your personal health history and how far along you are in the pregnancy.

What you can do

Before your appointment, you may want to:

  • Ask about pre-appointment restrictions. In most cases, you'll be seen immediately. However, if your appointment will be delayed for a day or two, ask whether you should restrict your activity in the meantime.
  • Arrange to bring a family member or friend. The fear you may have about bleeding during pregnancy can make it difficult to focus on what your health care provider says. Take someone along who can help you gather the information.
  • Write down your questions. Having a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your health care provider.

Below are some basic questions to ask your health care provider about placenta previa. Don't hesitate to ask any other questions.

  • Do I have placenta previa?
  • Is there a chance it could resolve on its own?
  • What treatment do you recommend?
  • What follow-up care will I need during the rest of my pregnancy?
  • Is there anything I can do to help bring my pregnancy to term?
  • What restrictions do I need to place on activity? For how long?
  • What signs or symptoms, if they occur, should cause me to call you?
  • What signs or symptoms, if they occur, should cause me to go to the hospital?
  • Will I be able to deliver vaginally?
  • Does this condition increase the risk of complications during future pregnancies?

What to expect from your doctor

Your health care provider is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:

  • When did you first notice vaginal bleeding?
  • Did you bleed only once, or has the bleeding come and gone?
  • How heavy is the bleeding?
  • Is the bleeding accompanied by pain or contractions?
  • Have you had previous pregnancies I'm not aware of?
  • Have you had uterine surgeries, including C-section, fibroid removal, or dilation and curettage after a miscarriage or abortion?
  • Do you or did you smoke? How much?
  • How far do you live from the hospital?
  • How long would it take to get to the hospital in an emergency, including time to arrange child care and transportation?
  • Do you have someone nearby who could care for you if you need bed rest?
May. 09, 2014

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