What is Placenta Previa?

The placenta is an organ that develops during pregnancy inside of the uterus, and provides nutrition and oxygen to and removes waste products from your baby. It is connected to your baby through the umbilical cord. In most pregnancies, the placenta is attached at the side or the top of the uterus. Placenta previa is a condition that occurs when a baby’s placenta totally or partially covers the mother’s cervix. This can result in severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery.

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Common symptoms of placenta previa include:

  • Painless bleeding during the second half of your pregnancy, which can range from light to heavy.
  • Contractions along with bleeding.
  • Anemia, pale skin, or low blood pressure due to blood loss.

While the exact cause of placenta previa is not known, it has been found to be more common in women who:

  • Have experienced a previous pregnancy.
  • Experienced placenta previa previously.
  • Have scars on their uterus from previous surgery.
  • Are 35 years or older.
  • Are carrying more than one baby.
  • Smoke.


Welcome to my practice. Let me introduce myself and my practice philosophy. I am a board certified OB/GYN in practice for over 20 years and have been a solo-practitioner on the Upper East Side of Manhattan since 2000. All deliveries are performed at The Mount Sinai Medical Center where I went to medical school and at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Placenta Previa Diagnosis and Management

Placenta previa is diagnosed through ultrasound, usually a combination of abdominal ultrasound and transvaginal ultrasound. If diagnosed, you may require additional ultrasounds to check the location of your placenta during pregnancy.

There are two main types of placenta previa, including complete previa and marginal previa. With complete previa, the placenta covers the whole opening of the cervix. With marginal previa, the placenta does not completely cover the opening of the cervix. For women diagnosed with this condition early in their pregnancies, the placenta previa may resolve. However, if it is diagnosed later in pregnancy or the placenta covers the entire cervix, it is less likely to improve on its own.

While there is no cure for placenta previa, there are ways to manage the bleeding caused by this condition. Overall, management will depend on how much bleeding you are experiencing, how far along your pregnancy is, your and your baby’s health, and the position of the placenta and baby. The goal of treatment is to limit and control bleeding. For women experiencing minimal bleeding, Dr. Tepper may recommend rest, while those with heavy bleeding may require medical attention and a planned C-section. In cases where bleeding is very severe and cannot be stopped, an emergency C-section may be required. We understand that pregnancy complications can be scary and stressful, and Dr. Tepper will provide you with the professional care necessary to safeguard the health of both you and your baby.


Whether you are a new or returning patient, Dr. Tepper can assess your concerns and discuss your options to find the most comfortable and convenient care for you. To get started, call our office to set up an appointment.


Contact Us Today to Learn More

If you are experiencing the symptoms associated with placenta previa or are in need of placenta previa monitoring and management, contact our office today. Your first step will be to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tepper.

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