Pregnancy: Types of Placenta | Pakhamhos

Pregnancy: Types of Placenta

The placenta is an organ present in mammals of great importance as it is the organic link between the fetus and the mother and whose formation occurs at the same time of the implantation of the fertilized ovum.

The placenta forms a protective barrier that serves to prevent certain harmful substances from coming into contact with the baby during pregnancy and until the moment of delivery. In the same way, the fetus lives thanks to the placenta because it breathes, feeds and eliminates its waste through it. The placenta acts thus allowing the full development of the fetus.


Anatomy of the placenta

The placenta, whose color tends to be darker, is formed with the same cells that give development to the fetus and in the case of the human placenta is hemocorial or discoidal, which means that the fetal tissue penetrates the endometrium until it is in contact with maternal blood. This type of placenta is thinner than that of other mammals and consists of three layers with their corresponding parts or components.

Decidual plate: it is the fetal face, it has epithelium of cubic or cylindrical cells. 

Intervillous space: in this space fluffy trunks with branches that end in the corial villi or cotyledons that are responsible for circulating the blood of the mother to the fetus float

Chorial plate: is constituted by syncytiotrophoblast and cytotrophoblast. The placenta also produces the hormones necessary for fetal development among other multiple functions that it develops throughout all the stages of placental maturation.

About placenta previa

The thickness of the membrane, the placental barrier, is closely related to the passage of substances from the mother to the fetus, but the placenta types are actually qualified from their location in the uterus.

When the ovum is fertilized it runs through the fallopian tube and is installed in the upper part of the uterus, where it has more space to grow without causing obstructions. However, sometimes the fertilized ovum is installed in the lower area of ​​the uterine cavity or in areas closer to the cervix without symptoms. This phenomenon is known as placenta previa, and can generate several types of placenta that we will explain in the list below.

Keep in mind that this type of placenta may be more problematic for women since there is no treatment to relocate it, and in many cases, it is one of the reasons that implies a medical leave that requires relative or absolute rest and certain care so that pregnancy runs smoothly and we avoid the risk of placental abruption and suffering for the baby, as well as premature delivery or other consequences.

What solutions are there to this phenomenon?

Placenta previa can be diagnosed with an ultrasound at any time of the fetal pregnancy which will indicate the characteristics of this type of placenta, so the first recommendation is that you maintain a rigorous medical control. Statistics show that about 10% of pregnant women present this phenomenon at the beginning of pregnancy without there being definitive causes that propitiate this situation, however, at the end of pregnancy only 1% of pregnant women have placenta previa. This movement is known as placental migration.

To present more solutions we must first determine what type of placenta previa exists and follow the recommendations of the specialist who will be the one to make the diagnosis and determine the signs of placenta previa.

Placenta lateral (left or right) or low insertion

One of the classes of placenta that exist is the lateral placenta or low insertion. In this case, the placenta is placed less than 10 cm from the cervical os, that is, in the lower segment of the uterus, but without touching the entrance.

This means that the placenta invades the lower segment of the uterine cavity, but the inferior border does not reach the cervical os. This is possibly the least serious of the placenta previa locations. There are usually no significant problems during pregnancy, and delivery is usually natural (vaginal).

Marginal placenta

The marginal placenta, contacts the orifice but does not reach beyond or exceed the upper part of the cervix. If the placenta moves naturally when the cervix dilate, it can be considered a natural birth.
 It does not usually present significant inconveniences during pregnancy although a control must be followed to evaluate its placement.

Partial placenta

In the case of the partial placenta, the placenta is positioned so that it partially covers the hole in the cervix or the uterine cavity. Vaginal delivery can be attempted, but there is a high probability of hemorrhage, so an emergency caesarean section would be necessary.

In general, doctors prefer not to take risks and C-sections are scheduled to take the baby out safely.

Total placenta or occlusive

One of the most dangerous locations of placenta previa is precisely the total or occlusive placenta. In this case, the placenta completely covers the uterine cavity or the hole in the cervix, generating pain, or discomfort with blood spots during pregnancy.

Almost without exception, a cesarean section is scheduled, since the fetus will not be able to leave and any maneuver can generate a hemorrhage.

Anterior, posterior and fundic placenta

There are three types of placenta that are classified according to the place they occupy inside the uterus, and that have nothing to do with the types of placenta previa described above. On this occasion we find the following classification:

Lateral placenta: it indicates that the placenta is stuck on the anterior side of the uterus, near the abdominal wall of the woman.

Posterior placenta: indicates that the placenta is located in the back of the uterus, that is, in the apse that gives the back of the woman.

Placental fundic: indicates that the placenta is located at the bottom of the uterus. These types of placenta do not imply anything abnormal and the pregnancy can run without problems until the arrival of the birth.

Although placenta previa creates delicate situations, do not worry too much. Follow the advice of your doctor during pregnancy and stay alert in case of observing blood or abdominal pain. In the beginning, the type of placenta you have should not condition the quality of your pregnancy and the successive quarterly controls will prevent any type of complication.

Did you know...

There are three other catalogations for the types of placenta that are located where they should be. These are:
Placenta accreta: The placenta adheres too deeply and very firmly to the uterus.
Placenta increta: The placenta adheres too deeply to the muscular wall of the uterus.
Placenta percreta: The placenta adheres and grows through the uterus, sometimes extending to nearby organs, such as the bladder.

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