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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Placenta previa in early pregnancy

Dear Dr. Amy,

Im almost 10 weeks pregnant and have had an almost perfect pregnancy. I've had two c-sections in the past 3 years and 1 miscarriage a few months ago.

I started to spot a brown and cramp yesterday and it has continued today. I went to my doctor and she did an ultrasound and said the baby looked great but that my placenta was over my cervix. She didn't sound to concerned about it though, and never really told me why I'm spotting or cramping. I'm very worried.

My mom had 3 placenta previas. Could this spotting and cramping be because of the low lying placenta or is it something else? I have also had my two children early (33 and 35 weeks) because of severe preeclampsia and pre-term labor. I was hoping that maybe you could give me some insight on this.

Thank you,
Tiffany

Dear Tiffany,

If the placenta is lying on top of the cervix, you have a placenta previa, too. This could be the cause of the spotting, but there is no way to know for sure at this point.

Your doctor is probably not concerned now because the placenta tends to move away from the cervix as pregnancy progresses. Therefore, the odds are high that the you will not have a placenta previa in late pregnancy. On the other hand, woman who have had a previous C-section and now have a placenta previa are more likely to end up with a placenta previa at the time of delivery and it can cause bleeding problems. Talk it over with your doctor in more detail.

Sincerely,
Amy

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