During pregnancy, placenta attaches itself to uterine wall. It gives rise to umbilical cord through which oxygen and other nutrients are provided to the developing fetus. However, in some conditions, placenta grows so deeply in the endometrium that it doesn’t get removed after childbirth, unlike what happens in normal pregnancies. Placenta accreta may cause vaginal bleeding in their trimester. In most of the cases, a baby is delivered through C-section and hysterectomy has to be performed to prevent excessive blood loss and to save the life of mother. |
In some cases, the placenta may outgrow muscles of uterus causing placenta increta. Further complications may happen if it grows through the uterine wall causing placenta percreta.
This condition usually causes no symptoms except for vaginal bleeding in third semester. The exact cause of Placenta accreta is unknown. Abnormalities or scarring in vaginal lining may trigger this condition.
1. Previous pregnancy: - The more the childbirths, greater is the risk of developing this condition.
2. Previous uterine surgeries: - Risk of Placenta accreta increases with no. of uterine surgeries like C-section or D&C.
3. Placenta Previa: - This condition can be caused if placenta is located in the lower portion of uterus or is fully or partially covering the cervix.
4. Maternal Age- maternal age higher than 35 is a significant risk factor.
5. Uterine complications:- Uterine or endometrial scarring increases the risk of this disease. If there are noncancerous growths or submucosal fibroids in the womb, risk is slightly higher.
1. Heavy vaginal bleeding:-This condition may cause excessive vaginal bleeding during and after the delivery. If blood does not clot normally, it causes a condition called as disseminated intravascular coagulopathy which may be life threatening. It may lead to kidney failure and lung failure (adult respiratory distress syndrome).
2. Premature birth: - Placenta accreta may cause women to go into labor prematurely. This decision may be taken by healthcare professional if bleeding starts during pregnancy. The delivered infant may have low birth weight and it may need respiratory support.
Diagnosis: - Diagnosis of Placenta accreta is done by various screening tests and blood tests.
1. Imaging tests: - Healthcare professional may administer scans like ultrasound or MRI to evaluate implantation of placenta in uterine and whether it is blocking the cervix.
2. Blood tests: - Alpha fetoprotein is a protein produced by baby. If higher than normal levels of this protein are found in mother’s blood, it confirms the diagnosis.
In rare cases of Placenta accreta, hysterectomy is not performed and placenta is left to dissolve on its own. However, it may cause excessive bleeding, formation of blood clots in lungs and infection.
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