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Placenta covering OS

(29 Posts)
tinierclanger Fri 15-Feb-13 14:29:31

At my 20 week scan sonographer told me my placenta was low down over cervix, and booked me for rescan at 34 weeks. She did say it might move and I didn't google or anything at the time because there didn't seem to be any point worrying!

Had an ante natal apt today and the MW tells me that as the placenta is actually covering the OS it's not that likely to move. That's ok and I can cope with mentally preparing for C-section, and I know to look out for bleeding.

But now I have googled and it seems lots of people are advised to avoid sex! Nobody's mentioned this to me- should I carry on as if I didn't know? Is that relevant later rather than now, or is there no real reason for it?

Any advice/comments welcome!

tinierclanger Fri 15-Feb-13 14:47:14

I should have put the bit about sex in the title - might have got more traffic. smile

kitkatsz23 Fri 15-Feb-13 15:11:04

At my 20 weeks scan my sonographer told me that my placenta is totally covering the cervix and it is very unlikely that it will move. She advised me not to travel, be close to a hospital in case I start bleeding, don't do any heavy house cleaning like hoovering, no gym and no Sex. So we hired a cleaning lady smile and living with no Sex sad I would advise you not to have sex just to be on the safe side and avoid any bleeding. (Some people bleed some people don't bleed at all) I'm 29+5 today and no bleeds so far. I am taking it very easy and my only exercise is my commute to work which is 1 1/2 each way every day. I had a private scan at 26 weeks and it hasn't moved a mm. I'm booked in for my next NHS scan at 32 weeks. Don't google, I did it and I got absolutely terrified. There are some great old threads here about this condition which I read all and got a lot of information which helped a lot. This is my first DC.

tinierclanger Fri 15-Feb-13 16:20:30

Thanks - it's strange that I haven't been given any of that advice! I'll check out the old threads. Hope all goes well for you!

JellyCurls Fri 15-Feb-13 16:28:46

I had a low placenta at 20wk scan that covered cervix in my last pregnancy. Was told to watch for bleeding but nothing else. By 32wk scan it had shifted to side enough that I managed a normal delivery. Will say I did have small bleeds throught the last few weeks. Hope it shifts for you x

kitkatsz23 Fri 15-Feb-13 16:50:42

I think it also depends on what kind of placenta do you have, anterior or posterior. Mine is posterior which is very unlikely to move. I had a very experienced sonographer who said: 'I cannot put it down into your notes at 20 weeks scan that you have placenta previa but in reality you have it'. For many women it moves after the 20 week scan as the uterus grows a lot between 20-32 weeks but most of them anterior placenta and marginal. This is why hospitals don't like to scare patients but I'm glad I've been advised. I am more careful now, I would be in the gym otherwise.

tinierclanger Fri 15-Feb-13 16:54:40

It is anterior. So maybe some chance of it pulling up? <hopeful>
I think I am going to ring midwives on mon for more of a chat as I really don't know whether I should be being more careful, having read old threads on here sad

MorganLeFey Fri 15-Feb-13 18:43:11

The Royal College of Obs&Gynaes have some helpful guidelines/patient information leaflets on this.

Aimed at patients: http://www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/clinical-guidance/low-lying-placenta-after-20-weeks-placenta-praevia
Clinical guideline: http://www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/clinical-guidance/placenta-praevia-and-placenta-praevia-accreta-diagnosis-and-manageme

I'm mildly stressing over mine shifting too! Not covering at 20/40 but still too close to the os so rescan booked for 36/40.

MrsDonaldDraper Fri 15-Feb-13 18:48:52

Tinier - I'm 27 weeks and also found out I have the same (but posterior) at my 20 week scan. Was told exactly the same as you, and was only told about sex after a small bleed. I read about travelling etc on here and asked the midwife, who said it was fine - just to tke my notes.

The only thing I was told was to void heavy lifting. Mine is totally covering so have a rescan at 34 weeks

Artemis206 Fri 15-Feb-13 18:53:41

I had the same when I was expecting DD, the placenta was totally covering the OS. By the time I had a scan at 36 weeks, it was completely clear and I went on to have a vaginal birth. I'd mentally prepared for a c-section too.

I was not advised to avoid sex, apparently the guidelines have changed and you only need to avoid sex if there is any bleeding.

kitkatsz23 Fri 15-Feb-13 19:13:56

Tinierclanger: I think it's a good idea to call the midwife and seek further advise. I think you have a good chance that it will move for you, fingers crossed! Let us know how it goes.
Morgan: Thanks for the links, I'll check them out. When is your next scan?

I've been told that it is better to avoid sex as orgasm contracts the uterus which could cause bleeding. BH could cause bleeding too in the third trimester and as the cervix starts to soften bleeds are more likely in the third trimester. But who knows of course, we are all different and there are so many different stories out there. Artemis's example gives me hope....

badguider Fri 15-Feb-13 19:17:25

stupid question, but can somebody tell me what the OS is?

pipsqueaky Fri 15-Feb-13 19:23:07

I had a low lying placenta when pg with ds. I had bleeds from 31 weeks and was either in hosp or on bed rest until ds was born at 37 weeks. I was told to expect a cs but my placenta had moved by 36 weeks (had so many scans). We were told no sex, not to travel far from the hospital and really to do as little as possible. Was alarming but all worked out fine and had a natural delivery.

MrsDonaldDraper Fri 15-Feb-13 19:45:55

Badger - it's the cervix

SizzleSazz Fri 15-Feb-13 19:55:46

My experience was similar to Pipsqueaky. However like you I wasn't really warned of bleeds/limiting activity etc.
After a scan at 29 weeks when i had some brown spotting, i was then warned to watch out for a bleed and go straight to hospital, but wasn't really stressed IYSWIM? However had a big bleed at 31 weeks and wasn't allowed anywhere further than home from the hospital and had to have someone with me at all times (they would have preferred me to stay in hospital on bed rest, but after 5 days with no bleeding they let me go home on the above basis). Had steroid injections then and weekly cross match of bloods and weekly scans.
2nd bleed was at 36 weeks and had CS (not really emergency just scheduled me in later that day). DD was fine, no need for breathing assistance (prob due to steroids)
I think the thing is that they don't want to alarm people as 85-90% move from the 20 week scan. So for the 10-15% they just wait until another 'event' happens or confirm a CS after a 34/36 week scan if it still hasn't moved and there haven't been any bleeds.
Hope it all goes well for you, and i would just avoid strenuous activity (inc hoovering wink) for now. If you do get any bleeds/discharges though, do get them checked out.

MissingDietCoke Fri 15-Feb-13 21:03:54

I had the same situation, and at my 32 week rescan it hadn't moved and was totally prepared mentally for a c section. However, I had another scan this week at 36 weeks and lo and behold it has moved out of the way! Now struggling to get my head round the fact it's going to be a natural birth as I was told that there was very little chance of it moving. So I guess what I'm saying is anything can happen and try not to worry about what may or may not happen.

SucksToBeMe Fri 15-Feb-13 21:09:04

I have PP. I have quite a physical job so I'm glad I read this thread. I will slow down a bit.

takeaway2 Fri 15-Feb-13 21:20:52

I have placenta praevia stage 4, completely covering OS. Had contractions at week 30, rushed to hospital which was when it was discovered. My placenta was posterior which the dr said was good because it meant that at the csection he wouldn't be cutting through it.

Had steroids for the lungs and was signed off work.

We had a planned section at 39 weeks. Baby was 3.65 kg and did v well. I did follow with a vbac 3.5 years later.

I'd definitely rest, bring hospital notes with you everywhere, don't be too far from hospital and look out for bleeds.

tinierclanger Sat 16-Feb-13 17:23:46

Hi all
Thanks so much for posting. Will def ring on Monday for further advice. We were planning to maybe have a trip away with DS before the baby comes so it's that worrying me as much as the sex thing. I just want to make sensible choices. I'm guessing it sounds like they wait for a bleeding event before telling you to restrict activity.

Good luck to everyone else in the same position!

MorganLeFey Sat 16-Feb-13 17:34:36

kitkatsz23 - Next scan is at 36/40 as my placenta was not covering the os but the leading edge was too close for vaginal delivery to be advisable at 20 weeks. Currently 25/40 so a bit of a wait!

The odds for it statistically moving up are good - as people have said & the leaflets mention. But I'm feeling impatient/mildly concerned about ELCS as it's PFB & paranoid as I've seen too many 'major obstetric haemorrhages' - not that that's a vast number - but seeing any when you're pregnant yourself is probably too many..! wink

pining Sat 16-Feb-13 21:20:45

I had low lying placenta, 3 big bleeds before 26 weeks and was admitted into hospital at 26 wks. Stayed there until 37 wks when baby was born by emergency cs. I was told that if you aren't within 10 minutes of a hospital, then you should be admitted if you are having bleeds. It was a very scary time, but i also met some women who had never bled even though they had complete placenta previa.

What does OS stand for then? Why can't you just say cervix?

kitkatsz23 Mon 18-Feb-13 10:07:46

Morgan: You have a great chance that the placenta will move as it is not totally covering and you are 25 weeks only. Fingers crossed! It's my first one too.

Tinier: Let us know what the MW tells you today. It's better not to 'wait' for the first bleed but to take it easy to avoid it/delay it.

tinierclanger Thu 28-Mar-13 15:56:05

Well, just to update, placenta is now well out of the way- hurrah!

kitkatsz23 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:33:07

tinier What a great news,thanks for the update - grinnatural delivery!!
Well,mine hadn't moved so I am now booked in for a section in exactly 3 weeks time.I don't mind now as long as we will be healthy. No bleeds so far at least but still, terrified of the surgery...

tinierclanger Fri 29-Mar-13 09:38:44

Oh good luck kitkat, will be keeping my fingers crossed for safe deliveries all round!

BraveLilBear Fri 29-Mar-13 11:45:18

Really glad to hear yours has now moved OP.

I think there is a bigger issue though regarding information given out at 20 week scan. I was told mine was 8mm away from os at 20 weeks and told by sonographer it would be 'fine' and would move away, but that they'd 'probably' check it later on to make sure.

Given that in this area you don't see a mw for 8 weeks after the scan, and only a GP at 24 weeks, it seems ridiculous to me that they don't hand out a leaflet or something to explain more, or to advise you to call mw for advice.

I only found out at 22 weeks that my low-lying but 'fine' placenta means I can't do organised exercise (including pg yoga) and also that I can't fly or, randomly, ride a bike, because I called mw for advice after a weird reaction from yoga instructor.

If I'm higher risk, (as apparently I'm deemed to be despite anterior 8mm away placenta) then I would like to know.

kitkatsz23 Fri 29-Mar-13 19:03:27

Thank you Tinier!!

I agree BraveLil, the information we are given is pretty much dependant on the person. I was lucky at my 20weeks scan, I had a great sonographer who explained me what it means and advised me what to do and what not to. I received various advises, one of the midwifes even suggested me to exercise despite the condition...they don't want to say you are high risk as for most of the women the placenta would shift. I undertsand but I am amazed that no advise is given just in case, you don't see a consultant unless you bleed etc...there is no prevention at all.

MorganLeFey Fri 29-Mar-13 19:54:28

UnnamedFemaleProtagonist = What does OS stand for then? Why can't you just say cervix?

It's the opening part of the cervix (there are technically 2 an 'internal' at the womb end and 'external' at the vaginal end of the opening at the other end!) specifically rather than the whole thing.
& it is a fun word.

4 weeks to go till finding out if mine has shifted enough!

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