Low-lying placenta at 19 weeks. Is it safe to fly with this condition?

Q. Low-lying placenta at 19 weeks. Is it safe to fly with this condition?

Answered by
Dr. Sameer Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 28, 2018 and last reviewed on: Aug 02, 2023

Hi doctor,

I am in my 19th week of pregnancy and yesterday, I came to know through the scan that my placenta is anterior low lying, that is, 0.75 inches beyond the os. I have a flying travel planed on 25th this month and I fly back on the 9th. Is it safe to travel?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

You are in your 19th week of gestation with a low lying placenta (just 0.75 inches from the os - placental margin). Ideally, 1 inch from os is considered safe. So, flight travel or any other mode is not recommended in your case presently . Also, an absolute no to intercourse as well as this may cause threatened miscarriage/antepartum hemorrhage due to jerks or exertion while traveling. Usually, the placenta naturally climbs up by 32 weeks of gestation when the lower segment of the uterus starts forming. So, presently you have to be careful and if the trip is avoidable, it should be avoided.

Thank you doctor,

With this condition, what would be the percentage of my placenta movement to lateral in coming weeks? Or will I have bed rest in the coming weeks and end up with C-section?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Your condition is called low-lying placenta and not placenta previa per se, where the margin of the placenta is either touching the internal os or covering it at various grades.

Generally, it is seen that after the formation of the lower segment, there is relative movement of the placenta away from the os and 0.6 cm is not much to cover in 32 weeks. So mostly it would shift, but till then precautions have to be taken without a doubt.

You may not require absolute bed rest per se now, but exertional activity like brisk walking, mild gymming even or travelling over bike/car on bumpy roads would have to be curtailed till the repeat scan between 32 to 34 weeks confirms the placental location (as that would be the fixed position of placenta till delivery after formation of lower uterine segment).

The mode of delivery would be decided only after evaluating the next scan post 32 weeks of gestation with respect to low lying placenta as an indication for surgery.

For more information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/obstetrician-and-gynaecologist

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