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What does "low posterior placenta reaching the OS" mean and how can it be treated ?

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My wife is 25, 5'8", 57 kg. She had the 28 weeks growth scan today and the report says that her posterior placenta is still low and reaching the OS. Does that mean her placenta is not moving in the right direction? Should she take complete bed rest now? Am I allowed to walk and do household things? Please provide all the details and next steps as my wife is very worried.
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 46 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Placenta does not move. It grows in size as the pregnancy progresses. Sometimes it grows towards the upper segment and sometimes it grows towards a lower segment. If the placenta covers the os then the chances of vaginal bleeding are more on especially while performing heavy work.

In your wife's case, a low lying placenta reaching the os indicates that considerable part of placenta is attached to the lower segment of the uterus. Now after 28 weeks, it is not likely that placenta will grow further to cover the os at all.

Is she having bleeding?

"Placenta just reaching the os is not XXXXXXX as long as there is no vaginal bleeding". So this is not a serious concern. Do not worry. It is the mildest form of placenta previa.

I suggest she take adequate rest specially if she feels pain in her lower abdomen.

She can walk comfortably around the house and can do her household work preferably sitting instead of standing. She can put 2-3 pillows under her knees while resting side ways (left lateral position).

Hope this answer is adequate and helpful to you. Should you have more queries, I will be available for follow ups.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What does "low posterior placenta reaching the OS" mean and how can it be treated ? 2 days later
Thanks for the answers, very helpful. A few more questions:

1. In the 22nd week, her placenta was reported to be low lying, with the lower edge measuring 1.5 cm from the internl OS. Now in the 28th week, the report said "posterior placenta - still low lying and reaching OS". So does it mean that the the situation is improving or becoming worst (I know you said there is nothing to worry, but we want to be clear on the current situation as she is alone at home when I go to work).

2. Is it advisable for her to go for a evening walk in the park for 30 mins like that or should she avoid it?

3. Can she take a flight to India from London within the next two weeks or it is not advisable?

4. She is feeling contractions, getting backache and getting uncomfortable when we are going to hospital which is about only 4 miles from our home? Can she do anything like sitting in any particular position to avoid these contractions?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 5 hours later

Thanks for writing again.

1. The condition is as expected. With the advancement of pregnancy, placenta also grows in diameter and it has become nearer to the os. The chances of bleeding are directly proportional to its nearness to the os. Though the placenta has grown to reach the os, the fact that she has no vaginal bleeding is a good sign.

2. It is best to avoid the exertion as far as possible and take a rest.

3. Taking a flight again means stress and anxiety. If she can avoid it then it will be best for her.

4.To avoid contractions, she can lie down in left lateral position. No sitting is allowed during the premature contractions.

Hope my answer is helpful.

Wishing your wife a trouble free pregnancy.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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