How Close Is Close Enough For a Placenta?


Placentas need to be far from the dilating cervix when it comes to labor or dangerous bleeding can occur. In the past we have known that placentas implanted over the cervix cannot allow for a vaginal delivery. In fact this fact was described in the late 1600s by Dr. Portal. But bleeding can occur if the placenta is even relatively close to the opening of the womb as when the labor process thins and opens the cervix the placental attachments weaken and the edge begins to bleed. A new study has shed light on the physiologic processes and we now realize if we use a transvaginal ultrasound probe to get the most accurate measurement we can allow women with fairly low lying placentas to labor and attempt a vaginal birth


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