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Low-Lying Placenta Versus Placenta Previa

Overview

A placenta is normally attached to the upper wall of the uterus.

  • A low-lying placenta is a placenta that forms low in the uterus without overlapping the opening of the cervix. It is not a high-risk condition. It often gets better on its own as the pregnancy progresses. As the lower uterus gets bigger, the placenta will shift away from the cervix.
  • Placenta previa is a placenta that does overlap the cervix. Placenta previa can bleed heavily during labor. But in about 90 out of 100 cases of placenta previa diagnosed before the 20th week, the placenta no longer overlaps the cervix by the end of pregnancy.footnote 1

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Williams DE, Pridjian G (2011). Obstetrics. In RE Rakel, DP Rakel, eds., Textbook of Family Medicine, 8th ed., pp. 359–401. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

 

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