Long-term Consequences for the Mother

There are two long-term consequences of placenta previa and placental abruption. First, there's the chance the condition will recur in a future pregnancy. The risk of placenta previa recurring is about 5%; the risk of placental abruption recurring is 10 to 20%. Therefore, it is especially important to receive good prenatal care if you get pregnant again. Second, if you've lost a lot of blood due to placenta previa or placental abruption, your body may suffer some lasting or permanent damage to organs that are particularly sensitive to blood loss. These include:

  • the front of the pituitary gland -This gland in your brain regulates other organs in the body, including parts of the reproductive system. If some of the pituitary cells die from a lack of blood and oxygen, you may experience irregular menstrual periods and possibly infertility. Damage to the front of the pituitary gland is called Sheehan's syndrome (anterior pituitary necrosis). It is very rare;
  • the kidneys -If damage to the kidney tissue is severe, you may require dialysis, or, rarely, even a kidney transplant;
  • the brain -Extreme amounts of bleeding cause low blood pressure and can lead to a stroke; and
  • death -Heavy bleeding is the cause of one-fifth of maternal deaths in the .

These problems are extremely rare, however, and occur only after severe blood loss.

Long-term Consequences for the Baby

The long-term consequences for your baby depend on how early it is delivered. The earlier the delivery and the smaller the baby, the greater the risk of problems associated with prematurity.