Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Partial Placenta Previa Anatomy

To better understand placenta previa, it helps to understand the anatomy of the uterus, cervix, and Fallopian tubes.

The placenta is attached to the wall of the uterus. It delivers oxygen and nutrients from the mother's bloodstream to the fetus, during the pregnancy. The normal position of the placenta within the uterus is away from the cervix. If the placenta grows too close to the cervix, placenta previa can result.

Anatomy of the female reproductive tract includes:

  • The uterus, cervix, and vaginal canal
  • The bladder
  • The fallopian tubes:
    • These paired structures connect each ovary to the uterus
  • The ovaries:
    • One on each side of the uterus. A normal adult ovary is about the size of an unshelled almond
  • Female organs during a pelvic examination

The fetus grows within the amniotic sac within the uterus:
  • The fetus within the amniotic sac
  • The near term fetus within the uterus
  • Ultrasound of fetus and placenta

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Partial Placenta Previa References
  1. Bhide A, Thilaganathan B. Recent advances in the management of placenta previa. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Dec;16(6):447-51. [15534438]
  2. Crane JM, Van den Hof MC, Dodds L, Armson BA, Liston R. Maternal complications with placenta previa. Am J Perinatol. 2000;17(2):101-5. [11023169]
  3. Sheiner E, Shoham-Vardi I, Hallak M, Hershkowitz R, Katz M, Mazor M. Placenta previa: obstetric risk factors and pregnancy outcome. J Matern Fetal Med. 2001 Dec;10(6):414-9. [11798453]
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