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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11311
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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Hi Im 35 weeks pregnant and my last scan for placenta Previa

Customer Question

Hi I'm 35 weeks pregnant and my last scan for placenta Previa showed vessels which maybe due to vasa Previa. I have another scan at 36 weeks but shouldn't I have been hospitalised if they suspect this. Most sites suggest delivery at 35 weeks especially when I live nearly an hour away from hospital. Very scared
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to
I am Doctor Norm, and I look forward to helping you with your problem today.

I believe you are right to be concerned. I think everything depends on how certain they are of the diagnosis of vasa previa. Usually this diagnosis can be made with a fair degree of certainty using vaginal color dopler ultrasound. If you do have vasa previa, then I agree you should be hospitalized and probably delivered if your dates are certain. If there is a question about the dates and maturity of your baby, then an amniocentesis (needle in the abdomen to analyze amniotic fluid) could be done. In case you do have vasa previa and the membranes rupture, your baby could bleed to death unless a c-section was done immediately.

I suspect the whole thing hinges on how certain the diagnosis of vasa previa is, and I would assume it's not very certain, or they would have you in the hospital. If you do have placenta previa, that would be another reason for you to be in the hospital, depending on the degree of placenta previa and how much bleeding you've had to this point. If you haven't seen a high risk OB/GYN, it sounds like that would be a good thing if possible. If you have, then I assume he/she has the whole picture and is doing the right thing, and he/she doesn't really think you have vasa previa. In the US, I'm pretty sure you would be in the hospital now or at least the diagnosis of vasa previa would be clarified one way or the other. Best wishes.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm seeing a consultant in 5 days who will scan me and clarify the diagnosis. Until then I've been told to wait and ring them if I have any bleeding, none yet at all. Is it safe to wait for diagnosis scan, this is my fourth and I haven't had any signs if labour about from usual b.hicks. I've gone to term with others.
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 5 years ago.
Whether it's safe or not depends on whether you have a vasa previa or not, and apparently that's not really known. If you do, but your membranes don't rupture early, then you're safe. However, sometimes membranes do rupture early. If you do have a significant placenta previa, sometimes heavy bleeding can occur suddenly. Perhaps there is nothing you can do for a faster diagnosis, but if I were you, I would try to stay closer to the hospital until you have an accurate diagnosis. Perhaps you could stay with relatives for the next 5 days, or even in a hotel close to the hospital. Being 1 hour away from the hospital sounds scary to me.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have no one I can stay with and other children to look after. They checked my cervix a day ago by ultrasound and it was still firmly shut. My pp is only marginal, just touching os. I rang hospital twice but they seem very unconcerned and said as I have no history of prom it's unlikely. As my cervix seems unchanged does this mean I have a reasonably chance of being ok until scan. Worry is making me sick.
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 5 years ago.
Membranes rupture before labor in about 8-10% of pregnancies. It's good that it hasn't happened to you before, but there is no guarantee that it couldn't happen this time. You do have a reasonable chance of being ok until the scan, and most likely you will be ok. However, there is some risk.