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Placenta Previa at 16 wks, spotting, cramping, doc unconcerned?
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sanslumiere posted:
I am 16 weeks today. I went to the emergency room at 11 weeks with spotting and was told that I had a complete placenta previa. I was also told that at such an early stage that it could be a false positive. The hospital I went to also told me that they specialized in heart trauma and did not have all the specialized equipment for pre-natal as those that hade a specific pre-natal ward. They suggested I go to my doctor for further instructions. My doctor told me it could be nothing to worry about and thatr many women had a placenta previa that went away by the second trimester or so.

They said the spotting could be normal spotting that some women experience. Without doing an ultrasound or anything other than a sonogram (listening for the heart) they put me on pelvic rest just in case. Three weeks after the hospital visit, I was back at my doctor's office with more spotting and severe cramping. I was told at this point that the previa was most likely the cause of the bleeding and that with bleeding came cramping. They said I was at higher risk for the condition because I have given birth previously and had a c-section. I was told that "most likely" the placenta had attached itself to the scar tissue of my previous c-section. However, they still wouldn't do an ultrasound or any kind of exam to confirm the placenta previa. I was just told to take it easy.

I have been bleeding on and off for two weeks with horrible cramping. At my doctors appointment last thursday (Oct 20), the doctor still refused to do any exam other than a sonogram but told me no high impact activity including sex and running. Though she said it was fine to pick up my 40lbs. 3.5 year old. I had to pry any information out of her about what I needed to do, what might help, anything. She told me there was nothing I could do one way or the other. When pressed she also told me repeatedly that if something were to happen, they wouldn't concern themselves with trying to save the baby and would only try to save me, as the baby is not far enough along. These were her exact words. They wouldn't try to save the baby unless it was at least 23 weeks. This, of course freaked me out. It was as if the doctor had pretty much wrote off my chances of carrying the baby to 23 weeks, much less full term. It was like she was saying, if you make it to 23 weeks, then we'll concern ourselves, but until then, we won't even check.

They refuse to do any ultrasounds to confirm if there even is a placenta previa until I am twenty weeks even though at 11 weeks appointment (two days before the hospital visit) they did an ultrasound and told my husband and me that they would be doing one to find out the baby's sex at the next appointment at 15 weeks. They keep telling me well, it's not a simple procedure to check for placenta previa. This is funny because the hospital not equipped for pre-natal seemed to be able to see the placenta previa via simple ultrasound pretty easily. I am scared to death. Is this normal procedure for someone diagnosed early with placenta previa? Do they really just wait it out and not even try to check if the bleeding and cramping are symptoms of that or something else? I'm confused and I think I need a new doctor. Any suggestions?
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phoenix31674 responded:
I would seriously suggest a second opinion. The current doctor is not giving you good answers. The only possible reason I can think for them not wanting to use and ultrasound to check for placenta previa is that your insurance only covers one ultrasound for a normal pregnancy and they don't want to 'risk' this pregnancy being normal and then not getting reimbursed for it.

My SIL had placenta previa and she had to take it easy and they scheduled her c-section for 36 weeks to ensure she did not go into labor, but her pregnancy became a high risk pregnancy.

Seriously, I would run from this practice as fast as I could. They sound much more interested in the bottom line than patient welfare. Even if they want to just use the information they have now to definitively say 'yes, you have placenta previa', they should be more open with you about how to proceed and when you should be going to the hospital because of bleeding.

Here is some information from the NIH
 
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An_241810 responded:
I have a partial previa and have been bleeding/spotting since I was 6 weeks. I am now 18 weeks and went to the hospital last week for what I considered heavy bleeding and was told the same by a perinatologist. He said there wasn't much they could do until the baby was 23 weeks. He said I didn't have to be on bed rest just no heavy activity. Luckily the bleeding has slowed. They also said my amniotic fluid was low so I am drinking lots of water and hoping the bleeding doesn't get worse again.


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