What is Placental Abruption?
Placental abruption is a serious condition in pregnancy where the placenta detaches from the uterus partly or completely before the baby is born. This can reduce the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby, increasing the risk of serious problems, including stillbirth.
How Does Placental Abruption Happen?
The exact cause of placental abruption is often unknown. There are several factors that may increase the risk of placental abruption, such as high blood pressure, carrying multiples, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, previous placental abruption, trauma to the abdomen, and infections.
Signs and Symptoms of Placental Abruption
The most common symptom of placental abruption is vaginal bleeding. Other symptoms may also occur, including or labor contractions, abdominal pain, back pain, decreased fetal movement, and no fetal heart rate. It is important to see a doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms during your pregnancy.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Placental abruption will typically be diagnosed via ultrasound and a physical exam. Your doctor may also order additional tests such as Doppler ultrasound, lab tests, and a fetal movement and heart rate monitor.
Treatment of placental abruption typically involves delivering the baby as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the abruption, delivery may be vaginally, or via C-section. Extra care will be taken to monitor the baby for any problems and to watch for signs of labor complications.
Health Risks for the Mother and Baby
Pregnant women with placental abruption are at risk for severe bleeding, pre-term labor, and fetal growth problems. The baby is also at risk of being born pre-term and having low birth weight.
Prevention of placental abruption is difficult because the exact cause is often unknown. However, avoiding known risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, and trauma to the abdomen can potentially reduce the risk. Additionally, monitoring the mother and baby throughout pregnancy can help detect the condition early and ensure timely treatment.