Gail Miller Ob/Gyn

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Meet Your OB/GYN Specialist

Private Practice: Since 1980 to the present
Board-Certified: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Fellowship: Infertility, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago, IL
Residency: Ob/Gyn, Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL and
Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago, IL
MD: University of Health Sciences Chicago Medical School
Instructor: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Christ Community Hospital,
MacNeal Memorial Hospital and Palos Community Hospital
Dr. Miller

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Placenta PreviaPlacenta previa

Placenta Previa

Placenta previa is a condition that may occur during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. It is one of the most common causes of vaginal bleeding during these trimesters. It happens when the placenta implants in the lower part of the uterus. This causes the placenta to block part or all of the opening of the cervix to the vagina (birth canal). It can lead to problems for both the mother and baby, including blood loss and premature labor.

Factors That Make Placenta Previa More Likely

  • Multiple pregnancy (carrying more than one baby)

  • Previous pregnancies and deliveries

  • Previous myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids through an incision in the uterus)

  • Previous cesarean section (if the scar is low and close to the vaginal cervix)

Ultrasound can help diagnose placenta previa.

Diagnosing the Problem

Placenta previa can cause painless bleeding during the second or third trimester. If this happens, an ultrasound test can confirm the problem. But the problem can be present without bleeding. So the position of the placenta is one thing that the healthcare provider checks during routine ultrasound exams.

Treating the Problem

Depending on the amount of bleeding, the type of placenta previa, and the stage of the pregnancy, the following treatments may be recommended:

  • Partial or complete bed rest for the mother

  • Blood transfusions to replace maternal blood loss

  • Medications to help mature the baby's lungs or prevent premature labor

  • Cesarean delivery (this may be done immediately if bleeding cannot be stopped)

During Treatment

Even if you are not on bed rest, your healthcare provider may ask you to restrict your activity. You will likely be told to:

  • Avoid intercourse

  • Limit traveling

  • Avoid pelvic exams

Getting Support

It may be frustrating and frightening to be diagnosed with a problem during pregnancy. It may help to join a support group for women who are going through what you are. Ask your healthcare provider to help you find a support group in your area. Or try the Internet.

 

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2005-04-29T00:00:00-06:00

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