The Placenta

Pregnancy and the ability to be a surrogate is nothing short of a miracle. From the joy it gives another family, to the science behind carrying a child that isn’t biologically related to you. There are many things involved in each process, including life-changing ones.


Between the surge of hormones and growing tummy to mood swings and that chocolate you had to have at 11:30 at night, many changes occur in pregnant women’s bodies. What we will focus on in this article is a topic not spoken about often: the placenta and placenta previa.


Usually, during the initial pregnancy stages, the placenta is near the bottom of your womb, by the cervix or the opening. Although as your baby grows and your uterus expands, your placenta automatically moves toward the top, leaving the space clear for the birth. While that’s how things work naturally, for many women, if the placenta stays towards the bottom of the uterus, blocking the cervix, it’s a condition known as placenta previa.

When it occurs

Placenta previa occurs when the placenta partly or completely covers the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus. Your baby passes into the cervix and through the birth canal during vaginal delivery. Typically, the placenta attaches toward the top of the uterus, away from the cervix.

Placenta previa is estimated to occur in around one in every 200 pregnancies in the second or third trimester.



Placenta previa gets diagnosed through ultrasound, either during your routine prenatal appointment or if you experience vaginal bleeding. Bleeding can require an abdominal ultrasound and/or transvaginal ultrasound. Your health care provider will have to be careful not to disrupt the placenta or cause further bleeding.


There are several options to manage placenta previa, but there is no medical or surgical treatment to cure this condition. If your health care provider suspects placenta previa, they will avoid routine vaginal exams to reduce the risk of heavy bleeding. You may need some additional ultrasounds to check the location of your placenta during your pregnancy to see if placenta previa resolves.


Is it harmful to the baby?

Roughly 15% of women with placenta previa deliver before 34 weeks gestation. This creates a risk for premature birth complications, including breathing problems, low birth weight, and birth injuries such as cerebral palsy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

In most cases, placenta previa goes away. 

The majority of placenta previa cases resolve on their own. As the uterus grows, it pulls the placenta up, and the positioning becomes normal by 20 weeks. If a placenta previa is still present after 20 weeks, you will need to have ultrasounds every 2 to 4 weeks to monitor the Previa.


Why not take the next step and open a dialogue with Shared Conception? Give us a call today. We want you to be informed, fulfilled, and satisfied, knowing you contributed to the world in a unique and precious way. Also, you can visit to begin an application to become a gestational surrogate and find out more information!