What’s a retained placenta?
Retained placenta is generally explained as a placenta that has not undergone placental expulsion within 30 minutes of the baby’s birth where the third stage of labour has been managed actively.
Actually, a pregnant woman’s final stage of labour occurs when her placenta is expelled from her uterus. But when the placenta is not delivered, its effect can be life-threatening which can result in infection or even death.
For many women, this process happens on its own after the baby has come through the birth canal, however, for some, this process doesn’t happen automatically, resulting in a phenomenon called retained placenta.
If the placenta or a part of the placenta does not spontaneously deliver within 30 minutes after the baby was delivered, a retained placenta is diagnosed. Normally the placenta will separate and deliver from the uterus on its own once the baby has been born.Sherry Ross, MD, OB-GYN.
Types of Retained Placenta
There are actually three stages in which labour takes place. The first begins with contractions that indicate that the uterus is preparing to deliver a baby. After which the woman gives birth. And the third stage, which is very vital in the process, takes place when the placenta is expelled from the woman’s womb. However, this brings about the 3 types of the placenta, revealed by Healthline, you should know about.
1. Placenta Adherents: It happens when the placenta doesn’t separate spontaneously from the uterus within 30 minutes of the baby being born. This is the most common type of retained placenta.
2. A Trapped Placenta: It happens when the placenta separates from the uterus but doesn’t spontaneously leave the uterus. This usually happens as a result of the cervix closing before the placenta has been expelled. The Trapped Placenta is left inside the uterus.
3. Placenta Accreta: It happens when the placenta grows into the deeper layer of the uterus and is unable to spontaneously detach from the uterus. This is the most dangerous type of retained placenta and can lead to needing a hysterectomy and blood transfusions.
Causes of Retained Placenta
America Pregnancy gave five lucid circumstances in which retained placenta can be experienced. These include:
- A Placenta Percreta occurs when the placenta grows all the way through the wall of the womb.
- Uterine Atony occurs when a woman’s contractions stop or are not strong enough to expel the placenta from her womb.
- Adherent Placenta takes place when all or part of the placenta is stuck to the wall of the woman’s womb. In rare situations, this happens because the placenta has become deeply embedded within the womb.
- Placenta Accreta takes place when the placenta has become deeply embedded in the womb, possibly due to a previous caesarean section scar.
- A Trapped Placenta results when the placenta detaches from the uterus but is not delivered. Instead, it becomes trapped behind a closed cervix or a cervix that has partially closed.
In furtherance, Rose explained that the most common sign of a retained placenta is when the placenta fails to deliver spontaneously after 30 minutes once the baby has been born. If pieces of the placenta have not delivered days or weeks after delivery, fever, persistent heavy bleeding with blood clots, cramping, pain, and a foul-smelling discharge may occur.
Signs and Symptoms of Retained Placenta
- a foul smelling discharge from the vaginal area
- large pieces of tissue coming from the placenta
- heavy bleeding.
- pain that doesn’t stop.
Moreover, there are factors that can likely trigger the risks of you experiencing retained placenta.
- When you are pregnant at the age that is above 30
- You give birth before the 34th week of pregnancy
- Experiencing an extremely long first and second stage of labour
- You have a stillbirth.
Treatment for Retained Placenta
There is no better treat to the life-threatening problem than to remove the retained placenta from the woman’s womb. Whether through the natural or medicated means. As long as the retained placenta is still the womb, it will continue to cause more damage to the body.
However, America Pregnancy gave 3 other methods in which this menace can be averted.
- A doctor may attempt to remove the placenta manually. However, this does carry some risk of infection.
- Medications that relax the uterus to make it contract can also be used to help expel the placenta from the womb.
- Breastfeeding can be utilized in some situations because the process causes the uterus to contract and may be enough to expel the uterus from the womb.
Can I Prevent A Retained Placenta In My Next Pregnancy?
Although you can’t prevent developing a retained placenta again, that doesn’t mean that your next birth will have the same outcome. Although your chances of having a retained placenta again increase after you’ve already had one, you can still have a healthy pregnancy that doesn’t produce this type of complication.America Pregnancy
If your child is born premature, the risks increase as well. The placenta is supposed to stay in place for 40 weeks. As a result, premature labour may lead to a retained placenta.
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