Definition of Placenta Previa

Placenta previa (PP) is a serious pregnancy complication that occurs when the placenta implants itself in the lower part of the uterus, partially or completely covering the internal cervical os. This abnormal implantation can lead to several risks and complications for both the mother and the baby.

Definition of PV

PV (per vaginal) refers to a route or method of entry or exit through the vagina. In medical terms, PV is used to indicate procedures or examinations conducted through the vagina.

Contraindication of PV in Placenta Previa

In the context of placenta previa, PV is generally contraindicated due to the associated risks and potential complications. Here’s why PV is contraindicated in placenta previa:

Risk of Bleeding

PV procedures, such as vaginal examinations or digital cervical dilation, can disrupt the placental attachment and cause bleeding. In placenta previa, the placenta is abnormally implanted in the lower uterine segment, making it more prone to bleeding if disturbed. PV maneuvers can increase the risk of severe bleeding, which can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby.

Risk of Infection

PV procedures carry the risk of introducing infection into the reproductive tract. In placenta previa, the cervix is often softened and dilated, creating a pathway for bacteria to enter the uterus. PV examinations or manipulations can increase the risk of infection, leading to complications such as chorioamnionitis (infection of the amniotic fluid and membranes) or endometritis (infection of the uterine lining).

Risk of Preterm Labor

PV procedures can stimulate uterine contractions, potentially triggering preterm labor in women with placenta previa. The abnormal placental implantation in placenta previa can make the uterus more irritable and sensitive to stimulation. PV maneuvers, such as digital cervical examinations or induction of labor through the vagina, can increase the risk of preterm contractions and premature birth.

Risk of Placental Abruption

Placental abruption is a serious complication in which the placenta separates from the uterine wall before the baby is born. In placenta previa, the abnormally implanted placenta is already at a higher risk of abruption. PV procedures, particularly aggressive or forceful manipulations, can further increase the risk of placental abruption, leading to severe bleeding and potential fetal distress.


PV procedures are generally contraindicated in placenta previa due to the increased risk of bleeding, infection, preterm labor, and placental abruption. These risks pose a significant threat to the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby. Therefore, healthcare providers take great caution and avoid PV interventions in cases of placenta previa to minimize the associated complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can a vaginal delivery be attempted in placenta previa?

In most cases, vaginal delivery is not recommended in placenta previa due to the high risk of severe bleeding. A cesarean section (C-section) is typically the preferred mode of delivery to ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby.

Q2: What are the signs and symptoms of placenta previa?

Common signs and symptoms of placenta previa include painless vaginal bleeding during the second or third trimester, particularly after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bleeding may be bright red or dark brown and can vary in intensity.

Q3: How is placenta previa diagnosed?

Placenta previa is typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, medical history, and imaging tests, such as ultrasound. During a physical exam, the healthcare provider may feel the placenta near or covering the cervical os. Ultrasound is commonly used to confirm the diagnosis and determine the location and extent of the placenta.

Q4: Can placenta previa be prevented?

There is no known way to prevent placenta previa. However, certain factors such as a history of multiple pregnancies, uterine abnormalities, or previous placenta previa increase the risk of developing the condition.

Q5: What is the long-term outlook for women with placenta previa?

With proper prenatal care and management, most women with placenta previa can have a successful pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. However, the condition can increase the risk of certain complications, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and postpartum hemorrhage. Regular monitoring and close collaboration with healthcare providers are crucial throughout the pregnancy.



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