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low lying placenta

(13 Posts)
GoldenSnitch Tue 11-Aug-09 21:47:48

I had my 20 week scan today and was told my the sonographer that I have a low lying placenta and need to come back for an extra scan at 36 weeks to see if it has moved out of the way..

I had a previous section and mentioned that I had heard that it was common to have a low lying placenta after a section but she said she didn't know anything about this.

Then I came home and did the worst thing ever - I looked it up!!

I've found stuff (including a 2 year old Mumsnet thread) saying I should be resting and not having sex and I may bleed!!!

But the sonographer didn't mention any of this!

Should I be worried? Should I be avoiding sex? Should I be taking things easy and how do I do that with a toddler at home!?

So wish I'd read up some more before I went and could have asked her about it then when she could see just how low lying it was

GoldenSnitch Tue 11-Aug-09 21:50:31

Considering calling the midwife in the morning but not sure if she'd be able to help

laurawantsababy Tue 11-Aug-09 21:51:55

I had a low lying placenta with dd. I had a consultant appointment sometime after my 20 week scan to discuss it.

He told me not to have sex, not to over do things and one other thing but I cant remember what!!

I had my next scan at 34 weeks and it had moved up. Its more common for it to move then not.

I wouldnt worry TBH. If it was very low they would have told you but if it only a bit low I dont think they worry too much.

Klaw Tue 11-Aug-09 21:57:34

Many women have a low lying placenta at 20wks which has moved away plenty by 36wks.

It would be interesting to know if placenta is posterior or anterior.

But consider this analogy: Stick a plaster on a balloon close to the mouth of it, now blow up the balloon. As the balloon expands, the plaster appears to move further away from the mouth of the balloon. It doesn't exactly move, but the site at which you stuck it to the balloon stretches further away.

So it is with your placenta (plaster) and your uterus (balloon)

If the sonographer had mentioned it actually covering the cervix or covering your scar then you might be right to be cautious but please do ask your mw for clarification as she will be able to go over what's in your notes with you.

GoldenSnitch Tue 11-Aug-09 22:02:47

She didn't mention posterior or anterior and she didn't know I'd even got a section scar till I mentioned it.

I'm hoping for an elective section anyway so I'm not worried if it stays low until the birth but am very concerned that she didn't mention sex or taking it easy if it could harm the baby!!

DH has just gotten home from a long weekend away with the lads - if I hadn't looked it up, we could have done something without even knowing we could be doing harm!!

Chynah Tue 11-Aug-09 22:24:18

I had a low lying placenta at 20 weeks and asked the midwife if I was OK to carry on running and she said it was fine as long as I didn't do more than normal and kept a close eye for any bleeding - never mentioned sex at all. Kept on doing both

In the end it had moved up by 34 week scan.

forevermore Tue 11-Aug-09 23:45:02

i was told the same at 20 week, went home goggled paniced went for a private scan and told completely covering cervis (major placenta previa) ran to a consultants who said opps, no sex no nothing, gave up work now 35 weeks and been on home bed rest for 14 weeks shock....no bleeding so i am fortunate that i took these precautions. I only go out if absolutely essential (taking DD1 to preschool etc) and haven't done any housework (except light chores (washing up)), no sex (including the big O), no exercise (this has been tough) and not icked up DD1 or anything heavier than 5kg for all this time. I am going stir crazy but so happy i took it upon myself become more informed and did not just settle for that 'low lying..it will move' stuff. for most this is truw, but you should find out which catergory you're in. if placenta previa grade 3 or 4 then very unlikely to move and very likely to bleed or worse if you don't take precautions. not trying to scare you just prompt you to get the right info and more than likely you'll be with the the majority and it will move and you can continue to enjoy your pregnancy.

GoldenSnitch Wed 12-Aug-09 08:03:29

Thanks forevermore - I will definitely call the midwife today and try to find out some more. Did you ahve to pay for a private scan? Was there nothing the NHS would do?

mumsiebumsie Wed 12-Aug-09 09:35:21

Golden I'm 25 weeks and had scan at 23 weeks where I was told I had a low lying placenta.

Exactly like you I came home and did a google and mumsnet search and am now mildly worried. Wasn't told to abstain from sex or to take rest or anything. In fact she was quite blase about it! But I'm too worried that I could be doing more damage by carrying on as normal. No bleeding thankfully.

Be interested in what you decide to do.

Southwind Wed 12-Aug-09 09:58:56

Hi Golden

I was told at my 20 week scan that my placenta was anterior and abutting os, wasnt given any advice other than to re-scan to check placental site at 36 weeks. I daren't google it until my midwife mentioned at my 26 week appointment that people with possible placenta previa used to be treated as high risk and some would go need to go into hospital after 32 weeks just to rest as a precaution !!!! shock.....but again no other advice other than to immediately ring the hospital if I get any kind of bleed....so then i googled it....and saw what you saw about taking it easy and not having sex but I have already been having a "normal" sex life and not really resting either....but Ive also had no bleeding.

Seems to me, low lying placentas used to be a major thing, but not so much anymore, I take reassurance in the fact that midwifes and sonographers have seen this type of thing rectify itself 100 times over.

I think if you had major placenta previa then you would of been advised differently.....but of course do anything you feel will put your mind at rest.

GoldenSnitch Wed 12-Aug-09 10:06:27

I've called the midwife and am waiting for her to call back.

In the meantime, I'm going to take Ds to toddler group. Not entirely resting, but not one of our most physical activities either.

Klaw Wed 12-Aug-09 10:41:43

I had a low lying placenta at 20wks myself, carried on working full time + overtime, gave up Body Pump only cos my back was sore so went swimming instead, and never had any doubts about it 'moving' far enough away. Sure enough at 36wks it was 6cm away from OS. Think I just 'knew' placenta was not an issue and went on to have my VBAC. Very often your gut instincts are right. so listen to them, especially if they say to get things checked out. No such thing as a silly question in childbirth, ask and get reassured or else find out the information you need. Win/win situation really.

GoldenSnitch Wed 12-Aug-09 12:59:46

Well, the midwife was very sensible. She pointed out that my placenta will have been low lying for a while now - it hasn't suddenly moved there because of the scan - so if I have been lifting my toddler and having sex with my DH up until now with no issues then I'm unlikely to suddenly start having problems.

She did say though that if I do bleed to call the labour ward at the hospital immediately as I will need to go straight in to be scanned and monitored. There wouldn't be anything she could do. That was a little bit scary.

I think I'm going to try to take things a little easier and maybe tone down our sex life a bit just to make things a little easier on myself. I would be unable to forgive myself if we lost our little girl just for a shag - here will be plenty of time for that afterwards wink

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