Q. Diagnosed with low lying placenta. Is there any complications during long flight travel?

Answered by
Dr. Divakara P
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 21, 2018 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

My wife was diagnosed with low lying placenta. We need suggestion regarding long flight travel.

Dr. Divakara P

Diabetology Endocrinology General Medicine Internal Medicine Pain Medicine Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • The complication with low lying placenta is bleeding from vagina which can be sudden and sometimes torrential.
  • But, I would not recommend you to take her for long flight travel as any condition where if sudden bleeding occurs and there may not be accessibility for immediate medical care in the form of blood transfusion and even C-section if required. So it is not advisable.
  • If travelling is very important then you can take her in short duration flights and split it over 1 or 2 days.

For further clarifications consult a general practitioner online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-practitioner

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Thank you doctor. My wife is 18 weeks into pregnancy now and did not witness any bleeding so far. Her first pregnancy was also normal without any bleeding. So, does that reduce the risk of bleeding now. Also we are in a position that we should travel and no other option. Is there any precautionary measures that we can take before we travel. As she is only in the 18th week, does that reduce the risk by any means? Also with the scan photos that I have attached will you be able to find how low is it from cervix or is it completely overlying on the cervix. Please help us overcome our situation. We are in need of immediate help.

Dr. Divakara P

Diabetology Endocrinology General Medicine Internal Medicine Pain Medicine Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)

Hello, Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Well, that surely reduces the risk but does not eliminate it. 
  • There is not much of precautions as it is an air travel. Just make sure she does not bump her abdomen into anything.  Ask her to walk slowly and not to strain for motions
  • As of the placenta is concerned from the scan, it seems like it is not totally overlying the cervix but it is near to that. (attachment removed to protect patient identity)
  • My advise remains the same . Break your air travel to shorter ones (for example if it is a 12 hour flight , then try for 4 hours to one destination and then 8 hours or 6+6).
  • See the risk is not very high but the preparedness for any possible complication should be good. That is the reason I am advising shorter air travel. There is high chance that nothing will happen for her even in long air travel but, we should be on the safer side.

For further follow up, consult a general practitioner online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-practitioner

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