Overview

The placenta is a structure that develops inside your uterus during pregnancy, providing oxygen and nutrition to and removing wastes from your baby. The placenta connects to your baby through the umbilical cord. In most pregnancies, the placenta attaches at the top or side of the uterus.

Placenta previa (pluh-SEN-tuh PREH-vee-uh) occurs when a baby's placenta partially or totally covers the mother's cervix — the outlet for the uterus. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery.

If you have placenta previa, you might bleed throughout your pregnancy and during your delivery. Your health care provider will recommend avoiding activities that might cause contractions, including having sex, douching, using tampons, or engaging in activities that can increase your risk of bleeding, such as running, squatting, and jumping.

You'll need a C-section to deliver your baby if the placenta previa doesn't resolve.

May 17, 2017
References
  1. Lockwood CJ, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis, and course of placenta previa. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  2. Frequently asked questions. Pregnancy FAQ038. Bleeding during pregnancy. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Bleeding-During-Pregnancy. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  3. Lockwood CJ, et al. Management of placenta previa. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  4. Placenta previa. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/placenta-previa.aspx. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  5. Placenta previa. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/abnormalities-of-pregnancy/placenta-previa. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  6. Butler Tobah YS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Accessed March 1, 2017.