Q: Hi Dr, thanks for the great work. I need your help to try and clear my worries. I am 7 weeks pregnant but 2 years back, I had a miscarriage out of the blue and this was my first pregnancy. I just woke up in the middle of the night and I was bleeding heavily but without any pain. I had a c-section but the baby was already dead. This happened towards the first week of the 7th month. The medics didn’t give a clear explanation because of language barrier since I’m an English speaker and they were French. With the help of a nurse who could try English, she told me the cause was a condition called placenta previa. I am worried it could happen again since I wasn’t told of how to stop this. Lots of love from Uganda
A: Thanks a lot for writing in and I love you right back…all the way from Nigeria to Uganda 😀
Condolences on your loss. It is normal after losing a pregnancy to worry whether the same thing will recur in a new pregnancy. It may not. There is a 4 to 8% recurrence rate of placenta previa in a woman who had had this issue before. I will use a personal example. My mum had placenta previa when having her 4th baby and went on to have two other babies afterwards without a repeat incidence. So, there…:D
Placenta previa usually occurs when placenta implants low in the uterine wall and partially and completely covers the cervix (the mouth of the womb). This usually happens when the placenta is bigger than usual (as would happen in multiple pregnancy, women with Diabetes Mellitus etc) or when some form of surgery had been performed on the womb (like previous Caesarian Section, fibroid surgery, induced abortions etc. This condition usually shows up as bleeding from around the second trimester of pregnancy and could lead to pre-term birth, low birth weight, anaemia or even still birth as experienced in this case. In the mother, the bleeding may be severe enough to cause shock.
However, none of these need to happen if this is recognized early and the woman put under proper care with a gynaecologist. Depending on severity of bleeding, the doctor could put the patient on bed rest and in this instance, sexual intercourse may be restricted.
So, I expect that by now you have registered for antenatal care, are taking your medications and taking care of yourself. Be sure that your center has an obstetrician and don’t be shy about voicing any concern you may have to him.
For more on placenta previa, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/06/29/daily-health-tips-placenta-previa/
Remember that the odds are in your favour…you’ll be fine 😀
Have a good night, y’all 😀