Complications That Can Arise In The Placenta

There are a few rare but serious complications that can arise from an issue with your placenta. Let’s get to know more about them. The complications commonly occurring are:

  1. Placental insufficiency/placenta dysfunction: Occurs when the placenta does not deliver the adequate supply of nutrients and/or oxygen and thus does not fully support the growing baby. It can lead to stillbirth, preeclampsia, restricted growth etc.
  2. Placenta previa:  When the placenta is low lying and covers the cervix, it is called placenta previa.This runs a high risk of maternal bleeding. In some cases, the placenta adjusts on its own as the baby grows and expands the uterus, especially if the placenta partially covers the cervix (marginal placenta previa). In case the cervix still remains covered once the pregnancy is full-term, a C-section is recommended.
  3. Placental abruption: If the placenta detaches partially or completely from the uterine wall it is known as placental abruption. Generally detected on an ultrasound, but clinically can also be diagnosed by bleeding (first sign) and/or strong, steady contractions during the second/third trimester.
  4. Placenta accreta: If the blood vessels of the placenta grow deeply into the uterine wall it is known as placenta accreta. Generally detected on an ultrasound. The pregnancy is closely monitored and advised bed rest. Depending on the severity, a hysterectomy may be advised post-delivery.
  5. Retained placenta: When the uterus does not contract sufficiently to expel the placental organ post-delivery (or) if the cervix starts to close before the placenta has left the body (or) if a portion of the placenta remains inside the body post-delivery, it may lead to infection and, at times, hemorrhaging (bleeding). This is either manually removed by the doctor and if that fails medication or surgical treatment to expel the remnants is done.


Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *