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What Is A Placental Lake and How It Affects Pregnancy?

4 min read

Pregnancy no doubt is the turning point in a woman’s life, yet it is encompassed with many hormonal changes, doubts, worries, physical changes, emotional ups, and downs, overall the mother is never clear to all that is happening with her internally as well as externally. Some pregnant woman can cry over the littlest of things while others do not get happy no matter however great a thing is. Strange and confusing, but that is pregnancy. There is fear all the time. They are sleep deprived due to pains, body changes, mood swings, change of appetite and many other reasons. They get panicky on little aches and are only convinced once they seek doctor’s advice.

What Is A Placental Lake and How It Affects Pregnancy

What Is A Placental Lake and How It Affects Pregnancy

Out of the varied types of pain that are experienced during pregnancy, Placental lake is one which can trigger curiosity and can prove to be quite daunting and threatening till one knows exactly what exactly it is its causes and complications.

What Is A Placental Lake?

As indicative of the name, Placental lake refers to the blood pools that can be either be found on the surface of the placenta as well as inside it. This can be detected by the help of an ultrasound that helps in detecting its location. During the process of scanning, they are not seen as blood but as black bulky masses on the front portion of the uterine cervix that is on top where the baby is. In some women, it can be noticed in the last trimester or at times before it as well. Once detected with placental lake, the mothers get panicky regarding the result. It is, however, proved that neither the baby nor the pregnancy gets affected by it.

Is A Placental Lake Something to Worry About?

Placental lake or the blood pools in or outside the placenta can be detected by ultrasound and be huge black spots on the placenta or even deeper. So Placental lakes can also be referred to as the black spots or pools of blood. After being detected it also becomes important to know if it is something serious, to know more about this, let us study the points given below:

  • Nearly all pregnant ladies suffer from placental lakes at the end of the last trimester.
  • The women who have thicker placentas develop placental lakes more.
  • Having placental lake is not too worry-some as it does not lead to any negative outcomes of pregnancy but can affect the baby size in case it gets detected in the second semester and this can be controlled as well if the doctor keeps a strict check on the growth of the baby ensuring it does not lag.
  • The other risk worth noticing is that the spots or the placental lake is larger than usual and occupies more than 10-15% space in the placenta.
  • A minor chance of having placenta accreta by multiple as well as large size of placental lakes, that can be ruled out by ultrasound.
  • This problem arises mainly with the mothers who have had a past medical history of surgery in the uterus or who have the placenta close to the cervix.
  • It is often misunderstood by women that experiencing placental lake would mean that they will bleed profusely while in labor or during the birthing process, but it is not true as most of the women who suffer from placental lakes lead to pregnancies with very low-risk rate and give birth to healthy and fit babies as well.

What Causes Placental Lakes?

Even though medical science is progressing, yet the precise cause behind the occurrence of placental lakes is still a mystery. Since one is not aware of the cause, nothing much can be done to prevent them. The notion that placental lakes are the outcome of lifestyle changes, alcohol, smoking, is not true. Till now, no such thing has been proved. The only way to detect the placental lakes is the ultrasound and seeking medical consultation at the right time.

Can Placental Lake cause Complications?

Placental lakes or the black spots in the placenta are not a problem by themselves, yet they can lead to other conditions in pregnancy. Pregnancy is a very delicate phase and problems keep triggering from any small changes that happen in the body, these could be changes in blood sugar, blood pressure, bleeding, weight loss, appetite issues, nausea, etc.
Also, if multiple placental lakes happen during early pregnancy, it can lead to fetal growth restriction.
Let us now consider the complications that can be seen during pregnancy which are not due to the placental lake yet are often misunderstood as it is:
1. Placental Abruption: Placental abruption or the placenta being separated from the uterine wall is an acute medical ailment that could be fatal for the mother as well as the baby. Anemic conditions in the mother or a state of multiple pregnancies can result in placental abruption but placental lakes are definitely not the cause behind it nor do they make it severe.
2. High Blood Pressure or Pre-eclampsia: One more serious issue known as preeclampsia is a common one during pregnancy, however, is not caused by the placental lake. Its major reasons are obesity, stress, the inability of the body to manage insulin, etc.
3. Premature Labor: Birthing can happen only at the right time and giving birth without being prepared for it ends up in acute complexities, however, placental lakes are not the cause for premature delivery or labor. Premature deliveries are often the outcome of high blood pressure levels and gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Thus, Placental lakes as the name suggests sounds like a threatening term and a cause of worry as well. Yet the fact is that it is not how it looks, doctors often do not even mention the same unless they feel the need for it. It is not one, a woman who can experience this can detect one or even three or more placental lakes in ultrasound in the last trimester. This also has no negative effects on the baby or the birthing process. However, it is always recommended to seek medical consultation in case it is visible in the ultrasound. By now it is clear that it is a commonplace phenomenon and not something to dread over, so one should relax and enjoy the pregnancy but seek medical help when the need be.

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