10 weeks ago, when I was diagnosed with vasa previa (VP) I headed straight to bub hub for advise and help. Being from a medical back ground I wanted the hard facts (some of which were grim) and most of which did little to allay my fears that my baby might die. If you google VP (which I suggest you dont!!) there are more than a dozen web sites dedicated to little angles who have lost their lives to VP. Its absolutely devestating and impossible not to freak out
So... I'm now 32 weeks and have found out that what they thought was a vasa previa has indeed, shifted, and may even have been as simple as the baby's cord being misdiagnosed as a vessel overlying my cervix. After trying for this little one for 4 years, spending $100,000 on 7 IVF cycles and an eventually successful egg donor cycle in the US, I can't tell you how stressful the last 10 weeks has been. I am thrilled to have this great news but thought I would share what I now know about VP so that other women in the same boat get some facts
To anyone who happens upon this post while searching for reassurance I found comfort in the following facts available from the following really great articles
- VP is an uncommon condition where blood vessels in the umbilical cord develop a separate route away from the cord and placenta itself and are found just above the cervicle opening
- In MOST cases, there is no problem with this aberrent vessel until labour starts (you won't be allowed to go into a natural labour if they know about it so it's far better to know!)
- Risk factors for VP - IVF, a low lying placenta, an extra placental lobe, previous uterine surgeries, multiple pregnancies.
- the incidence of VP after IVF is 1:202 compared to 1:2200 in non IVF pregnancies
- knowing about VP antenatally is the best way to avoid fetal bleeding and death
- of those women diagnosed with VP antenatally, the risk of fetal death is only 3% compared to 66% in those who didn't know they had VP when they went into labour.
So my advise is to try not to panic!!!!! I know its really REALLY hard. Just follow the advise of your O&G - rest up, don't have sex of have internal US's keep exercise gentle and seek urgent attention if you have any bleeding. Beyond that just hang on, and pray, until your next scan.
- As in my case, no ultrasonographer should be making the sweeping statement that a VP exists at a 20 week scan!!! It's far too early to tell. Remember that alot of placentas move a long way between 20-30 weeks and in about 10% of cases, the vessel (if it actually exists) can move upward with the placenta
- some cases of VP are mis-diagnosed and are not present at later scans
Hope this helps