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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bleeding, Threatened Abortion, and Placenta Previa

After two weeks of being away from my office PC, I feel a little relieved to be back. Although I have tons of work to complete today, I really don't mind since the 14-day bedrest was enough for me to revitalize my energy.

Now, you might wonder why I was gone for so long? The reason: I had a threatened abortion. Yes, it's true! Thursday, April 9th, I experienced vaginal bleeding which almost scared me to death. I had a miscarriage during my first pregnancy so I very well knew that the bleeding could be a sign of a more serious pregnancy problem. I immediately seek for medical advice and when I underwent a trans-vaginal ultrasound, my OB-GYNE and I found out that indeed what I was experiencing was rather serious - it was placenta previa.

Placenta previa? I've heard of such condition before but I didn't really understand what it was. So, my OB-GYNE explained to me why it caused me to bleed and what I should do to at least make the placenta move away from my cervix, so as not to endanger me and my baby. Of course, I got scared and asked my doctor how come my placenta is totally covering my cervix. Was it from stress, from strenuous activities that I've been doing for the past three months, or from traveling long distance everyday to and from work? She said it was not actually caused by any of the three. So, what I did was make a thorough research about placenta previa and here is what I found out:


Placenta previa is a complication of pregnancy in which the placenta grows in the lowest part of the womb (uterus) and covers all or part of the opening to the cervix.

The placenta is the organ that nourishes the developing fetus.


During pregnancy, the placenta moves as the uterus stretches and grows. In early pregnancy, a low-lying placenta is very common. But as the pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus should "pull" the placenta toward the top of the womb. By the third trimester, the placenta should be near the top of the uterus, leaving the opening of the cervix clear for the delivery.

Sometimes, though, the placenta remains in the lower portion of the uterus, partly or completely covering this opening. This is called a previa.

There are different forms of placenta previa:

  • Marginal: The placenta is against the cervix but does not cover the opening.
  • Partial: The placenta covers part of the cervical opening.
  • Complete: The placenta completely covers the cervical opening.
(sidenote: Mine is complete placenta previa. :(huhuhu!)


True placenta previa at term is very serious. Complications for the baby include:

  • Problems for the baby, secondary to acute blood loss
  • Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) due to poor placental perfusion
  • Increased incidence of congenital anomalies
Risks for the mother include:
  • Life-threatening hemorrhage (in short, death)
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage
  • Increased risk placenta accreta (Placenta accreta is where the placenta attaches directly to the uterine muscle.)

Here is an image of what a normal placenta and complete placenta previa look like:

Illustration from:

I got really scared upon learning about placenta previa, especially about the possible complications that it can bring to me and my baby. Now, I'm back to work, and after two weeks of bedrest, I still don't know if my condition got better or got worse. I'm off to a second trans-vaginal ultrasound in a next day or two. And oh by the way, baby is doing ok. I saw him during the ultrasound - he's so cute with those little hands and feet, and he's moving already. Though we couldn't see the gender yet, I'm still hopeful that he's a he this time.


jHeLea said...

i really thought lalaki anak mo sis kasi "he" gamit mo....sana nga sis boy....i thought din ang cause stress sis kasi when Papa Ghie was here busy-busyhan beauty mo plus the fact na nag move in kayo sa new house niyo all by yourself....

Yes, sis pareho tayo na nasa waiting stage na naman...buhay talaga ano?.....

Paula said...

Welcome back sis! I was wondering nga why you haven't updated for so long yun pala something happened. Baka na miss mo lang si hubby! :) Ingat and goodluck on your ultrasound tomorrow!

Jona said...

glad that you're fine. and also that your baby's doing okay inspite of what happened.

thanks for the visit!

FMS said...


u dnt know me, but i read your blog and i just want to share my story on this partiocular issue.

Im now on my 33rd weeks of pregnancy under Placenta Previa Totalis. Im also not aware of this at first. This is supposed to be my 3rd baby. I had my first baby on premature delivery of 33 weeks 6 years ago. The second one was miscarriage in late 2008. And now im 33weeks pregnant looking forward my due date on the end on June 2010. What i am going through now is a complete bed rest since i had heavy bleedings few weeks ago. Problem with this condition is the baby itself touches the Placenta that causes its bleeding, even if you are just lying in bed. When i read ypur blog about the complications it might cause the baby it scared me more but i hope that everything is gonna be fine. I wish you also goodluck and safe delivery. Good helath yo you and your baby. God speed!


Phoebe said...

hi jane. thanks for dropping by. actually, I already gave birth since september of last year (september 25 to be exact). and guess what, on my sept 19th ultrasound, I was cleared of placenta previa, meaning baby's placenta was no longer covering part of my cervix. that was my 35th week. unfortunately, when my OB conducted an internal exam that same day, she found out that I was already 2cm dilated, meaning I could give birth any moment.

but as hard headed as I am, I told her I wanted to go home and have bedrest coz i know some preggies who are also 2cm dilated even reach fullterm. I followed my OB's advice to be on bedrest, unfortunately afternoon of september 24 i had heavy bleeding. I was rushed to the hospital and the ff day, I gave birth to a premature baby boy, at 36weeks, weighing 2.3 kilos. he was put inside the incubator for 2 days, good thing he's now very much ok at 7 months.

so how's ur pregnancy so far? what did ur OB say, will u be scheduled for CS delivery since its totalis? just keep thinking that everything will be ok.