There is no medical or surgical treatment to cure placenta previa, but there are several options to manage the bleeding caused by placenta previa.

Management of the bleeding depends on various factors, including:

  • The amount of bleeding
  • Whether the bleeding has stopped
  • How far along your pregnancy is
  • Your health
  • Your baby's health
  • The position of the placenta and the baby

If placenta previa doesn't resolve during your pregnancy, the goal of treatment is to help you get as close to your due date as possible. Almost all women with unresolved placenta previa require a cesarean delivery.

For little or no bleeding

Your health care provider might recommend rest, which means avoiding activities that can trigger bleeding, such as sex and exercise.

Be prepared to seek emergency medical care if you begin to bleed. You'll need to be able to get to the hospital quickly if bleeding resumes or gets heavier.

If the placenta is low lying but doesn't cover the cervix, you might be able to have a vaginal delivery. Your health care provider will discuss this option with you.

For heavy bleeding

Heavy bleeding requires immediate medical attention at your nearest emergency health facility. Severe bleeding might require a blood transfusion.

Your health care provider will likely plan a C-section as soon as the baby can be delivered safely, ideally after 36 weeks of pregnancy. However, you might need to have an earlier delivery if heavy bleeding persists or if you have multiple bleeding episodes.

If your delivery is planned before 37 weeks, your doctor will offer you corticosteroids to help your baby's lungs develop.

For bleeding that won't stop

If your bleeding can't be controlled or your baby is in distress, you'll likely need an emergency C-section — even if the baby is premature.

May 17, 2017
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  2. Frequently asked questions. Pregnancy FAQ038. Bleeding during pregnancy. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  3. Lockwood CJ, et al. Management of placenta previa. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  4. Placenta previa. March of Dimes. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  5. Placenta previa. Merck Manual Professional Version. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  6. Butler Tobah YS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Accessed March 1, 2017.