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How is placenta previa diagnosed?
An ultrasound examination is used to establish the diagnosis of placenta previa. Either a transabdominal (using a probe on the abdominal wall) or transvaginal (with a probe inserted inside the vagina but away from the cervical opening) ultrasound evaluation may be performed, depending upon the location of the placenta. Sometimes both types of ultrasound examination are necessary.
It is important that the ultrasound examination be performed before a physical examination of the pelvis in women with suspected placenta previa, since the pelvic physical examination may lead to further bleeding.