When vaginal bleeding occurs or at a regular prenatal visit, placenta previa is identified via ultrasound. The majority of placenta previa cases are identified during a second-trimester ultrasound examination.
- Abdominal ultrasound: This uses a device called a transducer, it will be place on the lower abdomen to produce a sound wave and creates an imaging which helps to determine the position of the baby, the placenta and cervix.
- Transvaginal ultrasound: A tool known as a transducer is used to produce imaging and it will be guided through the vagina to evaluate the position of the baby, the placenta and cervix.
If you have placenta previa, you may need more frequent ultrasounds to track the placenta’s movement during pregnancy.
Many women who have been diagnosed with placenta previa in their early antenatal care may see improvement of the condition on its own during late trimester pregnancy since the space between the cervix and the placenta may widen as the uterus expands. The borders of the placental tissue close to the cervix may also contract and the placenta’s growth direction may be higher in the uterus.
You might be able to prepare for a vaginal delivery if placenta previa resolves. You will make plans for a C-section delivery if it does not get better.
Treatment of bleeding
After 20 weeks, vaginal bleeding is handled as a medical emergency. The hospital’s labor and delivery unit might require the patient to admit for close monitoring. You will be observed together with your unborn child, and you might require a blood transfusion to replace lost blood.
If you are 36 weeks pregnant, the baby will probably be delivered via C-section. An emergency C-section may be required before 36 weeks if there is a risk to the health of you or the unborn child, excessive blood loss, or both.
You might be discharged from the hospital if this was your first episode of bleeding, and the bleeding has stopped for at least 48 hours. Your doctor could advise that you stay in the hospital if you continue to experience episodes of severe bleeding.
Treatment with no bleeding
When there is no bleeding, the goal of treatment is to get you as close to your due date as possible while reducing the risk of potential bleeding. You should avoid the following, according to your doctor:
- Sexual activity or interactions that could cause orgasm
- Mild or extreme exercise
- Mild or lifting heavy objects
- Prolonged durations of standing
Following these guidelines is required if you are discharged from the hospital following your first bleeding episode in order to reduce your risk of experiencing another one.
If you experience any contractions or vaginal bleeding, you will be recommended to seek emergency medical attention. If you have support at home that enables transportation to a nearby hospital, your doctor might inquire.
Planned C-section delivery
Even if placenta previa has not cause bleeding throughout your pregnancy or since the initial episode, you’ll probably require a a C-section scheduled for between 36 and 37 weeks.
Your doctor will suggest corticosteroids to you if you are expecting your baby earlier than 37 weeks in order to aid in the development of his or her lungs.