During pregnancy, the
placenta is normally attached to the upper wall of the
uterus. A placenta that forms low in the uterus
without overlapping the
cervical opening is referred to as a low-lying
placenta. It is not a high-risk condition. It often gets better on its own
as the pregnancy progresses.
If you have a low-lying placenta early in pregnancy, there is a good
chance that it will get better on its own. As the lower uterus enlarges, the placenta's relative position will
shift away from the cervix.
But when the placenta does overlap the cervix, it
placenta previa. Placenta previa can bleed heavily during labor.
The good news is that about 90% of cases diagnosed before the 20th week
no longer overlap the cervix by the end of the pregnancy.footnote 1
CitationsWilliams DE, Pridjian G (2011). Obstetrics. In RE Rakel, DP Rakel, eds., Textbook of Family Medicine, 8th ed., pp. 359-401. Philadelphia: Saunders.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerWilliam Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Current as ofMarch 16, 2017
Current as of:
March 16, 2017
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Last modified on: 8 September 2017