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Low-lying placenta: How will it affect my birth?

What is a low lying placenta and how will if affect my birth?

A placenta that lies lower in the womb is commonly seen on ultrasound performed before 20 weeks gestation. As the pregnancy advances, and the womb stretches, the placenta is normally carried upwards. If the placenta continues to lie low in the later months of the pregnancy, the condition is known as placenta praevia.

Placenta praevia is a serious condition as the risk of severe bleeding during pregnancy and at delivery is high. If the placenta is less than 2cm from the entrance to the womb on a repeat scan at 32-36 weeks, you will require a caesarean section for delivery.

As there is a higher chance of bleeding, blood transfusion at delivery may be required. Removal of the womb (hysterectomy) is very rarely required unless there is life threatening bleeding.

Sexual intercourse should be avoided during pregnancy, especially if there has been bleeding during pregnancy. You should take a diet rich in iron, to optimise your iron stores, preventing anaemia during pregnancy.

It is recommended that you consult your doctor to further discuss your condition.