1604 Lamons Lane , Suite 202, Johnson City TN 37604

Placental Abruption Symptoms & Treatment in Granite Falls, NC

What Is Placental Abruption?

Placental Abruption Symptoms Granite Falls, NC

The placenta is an organ or structure that temporarily attaches to the wall of your uterus during pregnancy. It connects directly to your developing baby through the umbilical cord to provide the baby with nutrients and oxygen and to remove waste products.

Placental abruption is a serious medical condition in which the placenta peels away or separates from the walls of the uterus prior to delivery. The condition can deprive your infant of life-sustaining nutrients and oxygen, as well as cause you to bleed severely and even hemorrhage. Placental abruption often happens suddenly and may require early delivery.

Luckily, most cases of placental abruption can be treated effectively, if caught early. If you are experiencing placental abruption symptoms, it is important to meet with a healthcare practitioner. Call (423) 482-8711 or contact AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center online to make your appointment.

Placental Abruption Causes & Risk Factors

The cause of placental abruption is not always clear. It most often occurs in the third trimester but can happen at any point after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Possible placental abruption causes include injury or trauma to the abdomen, resulting in the dislodgement of the placenta from the uterine wall, as well as a sudden loss of amniotic fluid.

Your risk of placental abruption is thought to increase due to various factors, including:

  • Previous placental abruption
  • Multiple pregnancies (carrying more than one baby)
  • Substance abuse (especially cocaine)
  • Blood-clotting disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Maternal age (over 40)
  • Smoking

Other less common risk factors linked to the development of placental abruption include small placenta size or low-weight in pregnant mothers.

Placental Abruption Symptoms

The most common symptom of placental abruption is vaginal bleeding which ranges from mild to severe. However, some women do not experience this bleeding if the blood stays in the uterus behind the placenta. Additional placental abruption signs and symptoms include:

  • Repeated, frequent contractions
  • Pain in the back or abdomen
  • Uterine tenderness or uterine rigidity
  • Abnormal fetal heart rate

What does a placental abruption feel like? Many women describe it as a pulling sensation, sudden pain in your abdomen, or cramps that increase in severity—even when there is no bleeding evident at first. The baby, if old enough to be kicking, may kick excessively, in agitation, as it is not getting proper nutrition and oxygen. However, in some cases symptoms develop gradually; when this occurs, you may experience intermittent bleeding or no detectable symptoms at all.

Placental Abruption Treatment

Your medical history, together with a physical examination and a review of your symptoms is usually sufficient to arrive at a placental abruption diagnosis. A placental abruption ultrasound, blood test, or other diagnostic imaging such as an MRI or CT scan, may be recommended to determine the source of bleeding and to rule out other conditions.

There is no treatment that can reattach the placenta to the walls of the uterus. Depending on the severity of your placental abruption, co-morbidities and your overall health, placental abruption may require extended hospitalization or early delivery.

If you are nearing your due date (34 weeks or later) or the abruption is severe, your healthcare provider may recommend delivering your baby right away via C-section. Any placental abruption bleeding or hemorrhaging can be treated with blood transfusions.

If your practitioner determines you are experiencing only a mild or partial placental abruption, and the health of you and your baby are not at risk, treatment will focus on managing your symptoms. You will likely receive ongoing monitoring in a hospital. Medications are available that help the fetal lungs to develop faster—to prepare for the eventual likelihood of early delivery.

Placental abruption can lead to life-threatening situations for both mother and baby if not treated promptly, including organ failure, blood clotting problems, and stillbirth. If you are experiencing what you believe may be placental abruption, seek immediate medical treatment. Call (423) 482-8711 or contact AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center online to discuss methods to prevent placental abruption and ensure a healthy full-term pregnancy.

Map Icon
Hours and Directions
AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center


1604 Lamons Lane
Suite 202
Johnson City, TN 37604
(423) 482-8711


Mon: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Areas We Service:

Asheville, NC, Granite Falls, NC, Hudson, NC, Lenoir, NC, Hickory, NC, Boone, NC, North Wilkesboro, NC, Wilkesboro, NC, Greenville, SC, Morristown, TN, Knoxville, TN, Gatlinburg, TN, Kingsport, TN, Bristol, VA, Abingdon, VA