6 doctors weighed in:

Is it abruptio or placenta previa that bleeds when placenta is low?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Miguel Cano
Obstetrics & Gynecology
3 doctors agree

In brief: May be both

A previa is usually painless bleeding when the cervix is changing (dilating) causing bleeding from torn vessels being sheared off.
It is a type of abruption although any bleeding from a detaching placenta is strictly called an abruption. These are usually away from the cervix and can be associated with cramping, pain, or heavy bleeding. If you have a previa, let your doc know if you bleed.

In brief: May be both

A previa is usually painless bleeding when the cervix is changing (dilating) causing bleeding from torn vessels being sheared off.
It is a type of abruption although any bleeding from a detaching placenta is strictly called an abruption. These are usually away from the cervix and can be associated with cramping, pain, or heavy bleeding. If you have a previa, let your doc know if you bleed.
Dr. Miguel Cano
Dr. Miguel Cano
Thank
Dr. Brian Nguyen
Obstetrics & Gynecology

In brief: Previa

Previa: Placenta overlies the cervix/birth canal.
Gr 1 means placenta is close, Gr 4 means it's directly overlying/blocking the baby's exit -- high chance of preterm labor & bleeding; you'd need a C/S at 36-37wks. More common in woman w/ hx of C/S & smoking. Not much you can do but wait. If dx'ed early, the uterus still grows/stretches and a placenta can migrate away even in 3rd tri. Follow w/ US.

In brief: Previa

Previa: Placenta overlies the cervix/birth canal.
Gr 1 means placenta is close, Gr 4 means it's directly overlying/blocking the baby's exit -- high chance of preterm labor & bleeding; you'd need a C/S at 36-37wks. More common in woman w/ hx of C/S & smoking. Not much you can do but wait. If dx'ed early, the uterus still grows/stretches and a placenta can migrate away even in 3rd tri. Follow w/ US.
Dr. Brian Nguyen
Dr. Brian Nguyen
Thank
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine

In brief: Previa microabruptio

Placenta previa bleeds when microscopic abruptions occur right over your cervix, so the answer to your question is: both.

In brief: Previa microabruptio

Placenta previa bleeds when microscopic abruptions occur right over your cervix, so the answer to your question is: both.
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
26 years in practice
49M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors