Placenta Increta

Definition - What does Placenta Increta mean?

Placenta increta is an abnormality in which the placenta strongly attaches (or implants) too deep to the middle muscular layer of the wall of the uterus because of a defective intervening layer, called the decidua basalis during pregnancy. The condition comprises of about 15% of all cases of placenta accreta. Placenta increta is regarded as a variation of placenta accreta, an abnormality in which the placenta abnormally attaches to the muscular lining of the uterine wall, but does not penetrate it.

FertilitySmarts explains Placenta Increta

Normally, during pregnancy, the placenta grows onto the upper part of the uterus and attaches itself to the uterine wall. During this time, the inner lining of the uterus called the endometrium is referred to as decidua basalis. This layer lies between the placenta and the uterine muscle. However, sometimes when the decidua becomes defective, it causes the placenta to penetrate deep and get firmly attached to the muscular uterine layer. The factors that may trigger the growth of placenta increta include:

  • Previous cesarean deliveries: The repeated scars disrupt the delicate layer between inside and outside the uterus causing an abnormal implantation of the placenta in future
  • Previous abortions
  • Previous Dilation and curettage (D&C)
  • Placenta previa in which the placenta implants in lower uterine segment or cervix
  • Uterine fibroids

An ultrasound or MRI can reveal the abnormal location of the placenta. Because the abnormal placenta is so firmly attached to the uterus, it can't be separated adequately at the time of delivery, and thereby, carries a risk of massive bleeding on attempts to manually detach the placenta. In order to prevent or cease the bleeding, the usual mode of delivery for a placenta increta is a premature Cesarean section to deliver the baby, immediately followed by hysterectomy (or removal of the uterus) with the placenta still embedded into the uterus. Removal of the uterus, in turn, makes it hard for a woman to conceive again wiithout use of a surrogate.

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