If you happen to be pregnant, you may be wondering the role of the placenta and what are the issues that may affect the working of the placenta. For your enlightenment, placenta plays a vital role during your pregnancy. Let us debate these facts of this vital fetal organ.
The role of placenta during your pregnancy
The placenta is a body organ that gets generated in your womb during your pregnancy. This constitution gives the necessary nutrients and oxygen to your developing fetus and eliminates wasteful elements from your child’s blood.
The placenta gets attached to the uterine wall and your growing child’s umbilical cord crops up from it. During most of the pregnancy, the placenta gets attached either at the side or top of the uterus.
What may cause harm to the health of the placenta?
There are a number of factors that may affect the placenta health during your pregnancy. Some of them can be altered while others cannot be changed. For instance:
- Mother’s age
There are some common issues relating to your placenta among the elderly females, especially after the age of 40.
- Membrane rupture prematurely
During your pregnancy, the growing baby is encircled with a cushion-like amniotic sac (fluid-filled membrane). In case of the sac breaking or leaking much before the onset of your labor pains, you run a higher risk of developing placental issues.
- Hypertension or High blood pressure
If you are prone to hypertension or high blood pressure, your placenta’s health runs a higher risk of getting affected by it.
- Multiple pregnancies
- Blood-clotting confusions
If you a medical condition wherein your blood-clotting is disarrayed – either blood clotting is not properly happening or you have increased clotting – is harmful to your placental health.
- Uterus surgery
- Past placental issues
In case you confronted an issue during your pregnancy in the past, you run a higher risk of developing it yet again in your present pregnancy.
- Material Abuse
Females prone to smoking and using illicit drugs are confronted with placental issues during pregnancy.
- Trauma to abdomen
Any type of blow to your abdomen as a fall may increase the degree of risk for developing issues in your placenta.
Usual placental issues
While you are pregnant, the usual developing placental issues are:
- Placenta accreta
- Abruptio placentae
- Placenta previa
- Placenta retention
All these conditions are prone to causing heavy bleeding from your vagina. Even after delivering a baby, at times, the placenta retention also becomes worrisome. Let us discuss the aforementioned placental issues:
- Placenta accrete
This placental issue crops up if the placental blood vessels begin growing intensely in the walls of your uterus. With the Placenta accrete issue you are most likely to experience bleeding from your vagina in the 3rd Pregnancy semester and, thus, loss of blood after delivering your child. The warranted treatment may need a caesarean delivery and, probably hysterectomy (removal of uterus surgically) later on.
The more severe placental issue happens when the placenta forcibly enters the uterine muscles. This condition is called placenta increta. Equally severe is the issue when the placenta begins growing via the wall of the uterus (placenta percreta condition).
- Abruptio placentae
The condition is commonly known as placental abruption. In this condition, the entire placenta, or a part of it, slips away from the internal uterine wall. With the abruption placentae condition, a female may experience cramping, pain and vaginal bleeding of variable degree. The developing baby gets deprived of the essential nutrients and oxygen. And, in certain cases, early delivery is warranted.
- Placenta previa
In this condition, the passage of the cervix and the uterus is partially or wholly covered up by the placenta. Placenta previa commonly happens during the early pregnancy and may attain a resolutely phase with the growth of the uterus. Placenta previa may result in heavy bleeding from the vagina before or at the time of delivery. Generally, a cesarean delivery is warranted in the case of its presence at the delivery time.
- Placenta retention
In case the placenta does not get delivered within half to one hour after delivery of a child, it is called placenta retention. Placenta retention may happen as the placenta gets entrapped in the blocked cervix at the rear. This happens because the placenta is not yet released from the uterus and is loosely or deeply fastened to the uterine wall. If this is left uncured, the entrapped placenta may spread serious infection or result in life-endangering loss of blood in the mother.
Symptoms of placental issues
Be advised to consult your doctor, if you experience during your pregnancy, like:
- Accident or a fall or trauma to the abdomen
- Fast contractions of the uterus
- Bleeding from your vagina
- Pain in your abdomen
- Serious back pain
How to reduce the potential risk of placental issues?
Mostly placental issues are not preventable directly. The solution lies in promoting a pregnancy in good health.
- Regular visits to your consulting doctor all through your pregnancy
- Say “No… no…” to smoking and bid farewell to illegal drugs
- Manage your blood pressure with the help of your doctor
- In case a cesarean delivery of a baby is warranted, consult your doctor before opting
Consult your doctor you experienced placental issues during your pregnancy previously on preventing the risks if you are in your family way again. Do inform your doctor in case you have had undergone any kind of surgical operation on your uterus in the past. Your doctor may keep monitoring your health condition all through your pregnancy.
Delivery of the placenta
The placenta is delivered in the same manner, the way you deliver your baby. For example, in case you deliver your baby through your vagina, the placenta will also get delivered vaginally in the so-called third phase of your labor.
After giving birth to your baby, you go on experiencing contractions, although mildly. The delivering doctor may apply massage on the lower abdominal area for promoting your uterine contractions and driving out the placenta. You may be asked to make a last bid of pushing your abdomen for delivering the placenta. And Lo! The placenta is driven out with a small blood flow.
It generally takes nearly 5 minutes for the placenta delivery. But, at times, it takes longer.
In case you have undergone Caesarian delivery of a baby, your doctor will remove the placenta also in the same manner during performing the procedure.
Your doctor will look at the placenta for ensuring the entire placenta delivery. If any element of it remains in the uterus, they are eliminated from the uterus for preventing infection and the resultant bleeding.
On evincing your keenness, the placenta is shown to you. In many cultures, the placenta is buried in a designated place, like backyards. Some females are made to eat the placenta by cooking. This practice is called human placentophagy.