Placenta Previa: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Placenta previa refers to the condition in which the placenta attaches to the uterine lining in a way that partly or totally covers the cervix (the opening from the uterus into the vagina). It can cause bleeding problems during pregnancy and delivery.

Signs and symptoms of placenta previa include painless vaginal bleeding during the second half of pregnancy. Some women may also experience contractions. It is also possible to have placenta previa without experiencing any associated symptoms.

Cause of placenta previa

Doctors do not understand the exact cause of placenta previa, but there are certain factors that increase a woman's risk of developing it, including scarring of the uterus, multiple gestation, smoking, multiple pregnancies, having previous C-sections, cocaine use, and age over 35.

Other placenta previa symptoms and signs


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.