Medical Q&As

Low placenta - what is it?

What does low placenta mean?

Low placenta is a very loose phrase and simply means that the placenta is attached to the wall of the lower segment of the womb as opposed to being attached to the wall at the upper pole of the womb. This is commonly noticed on an ultrasound scan between 12 to 20 weeks gestation. In some cases part of the placenta may even be covering the cervix. However, as the pregnancy progresses the womb enlarges and the placenta is gradually drawn away from the cervix so that by the time that birth is imminent the placenta is well away from the cervix. There is a condition called placenta praevia, which means that the placenta is covering part or all of the cervix and if this exists at term it can give rise to complications. However, most women who are noted to a have a low placenta in the early stages of pregnancy do not develop placenta praevia and have normal deliveries without complications.