The placenta is an astounding organ that plays a significant part in pregnancy in keeping the child alive and well. The umbilical cord of the baby arises from it. It supplies oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood to the growing fetus (through the umbilical cord) and eliminates waste products from the child’s blood.
There are several problems related to the placenta, which can make pregnancy and delivery difficult. Some of them can be potentially fatal to the mother, baby or both. One of such serious pregnancy conditions is placenta accreta.
In a normal pregnancy, the placenta gets attached to the wall of the uterus either at the top or on the side with lots of minute blood vessels. The attachment will be strong enough, but will not penetrate too deep into the uterine wall. The abnormal attachment of the placenta to the uterine wall creates potential issues during pregnancy. Placenta accreta puts a pregnancy under the high-risk category.
Sometimes, the placenta attaches too deep in the uterine wall. Based on the severity and the deepness of penetration this condition is divided into three:
Placental accreta is a critical pregnancy condition (though less severe when compared to the other two types) that happens when blood vessels and parts of the placenta grow too deeply into the uterine wall. Even though the placenta gets strongly attached to myometrium (smooth muscle tissue of the uterus), it will not penetrate the myometrium.
Normally the placenta detaches itself from the uterine wall during the last stage of the labor. But when placental accreta happens, the placenta (partially or entirely) remains firmly attached to the uterine wall too deeply, intertwining its tissue and blood vessels in the uterine wall leading to significant complications.
Placenta accreta is usually associated with the abnormalities in the uterine wall which loses its smooth surface. As the surface of the uterine wall becomes uneven and rough due to scarring from previous delivery or as a result of some other issues, the placenta tends to penetrate more to attach strongly.
The chances of having placenta accreta increases if the mother:
Usually, there will be no indications of placenta accreta visible during pregnancy. If you possess any of the risk factors mentioned above, your specialist will carefully examine the placenta. If not, it will come as an unexpected complication in the course of delivery.
There are various dangers connected with placenta accreta.
Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done for the treatment of placenta accreta. The doctor may:
Rarely, in some circumstances (mainly to conserve uterus) the placenta and uterus are left unimpaired allowing the placenta to melt away as time goes by. Yet, this increases the chance of serious complications like infection, bleeding, developing blood clots blocking one or more arteries thus, increasing the potential risks. Also, women who avoid hysterectomy after a severe placenta accreta possess high-risk pregnancy issues in succeeding pregnancies, including preterm delivery, abortion and the most significant issue of all – recurrence of placenta accreta.
A mothers’ urge to retain the womb for giving birth to more kids is natural. Just remind yourself that reducing the possible complications regarding your health is more important and above all, your little bundle of joy needs you in a good shape.