Billings Clinic
Especially For:

Illness & Conditions - Definition

Placenta Previa

Placenta Previa

Placenta previa is a placenta that has grown low in the uterus, partially or fully over the opening to the birth canal (cervix). Placenta previa can be dangerous during labor and delivery, when it is most likely to cause severe placental bleeding that can be life-threatening to the mother or fetus.

The amount of the cervix that is covered by the placenta may be slight (marginal), moderate (partial), or complete (total). Unless a placenta previa is only marginal, a surgical delivery (cesarean section) is needed to prevent severe placental bleeding.

A woman's risk for placenta previa increases with each pregnancy, cesarean section, uterine procedure that scars the uterus, or previous placenta previa. Smoking, cocaine use, and advancing age also increase placenta previa risk.

Last Revised: February 3, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Print This Page
Email to a Friend
Home | Contact | Site Map | Site Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Patient Privacy Policy | Medical Records | Fast Command
2800 10th Ave. North | P.O. Box 37000 | Billings, Montana 59107 | 406.238.2500
© Copyright 2014 Billings Clinic. All Rights Reserved.