Aged placenta: causes and risks for the fetus

Source: Shutterstock

Aged placenta

One of the problems that can arise during pregnancy concerns the placenta aged, technically called “calcific placenta". What are the causes and what are the possible ones consequences? In general, towards the end of pregnancy it is normal to observe a more calcified placenta, therefore aged, and no intervention should be made. Conversely, if placental aging occurs during pregnancy, it is good to keep fetal growth under control. Let's try to understand more.


Ultrasound in pregnancy | PHOTO

Ultrasound in pregnancy | Examples of ultrasound scans during the 40 weeks of pregnancy

Aging of the placenta, symptoms

One of the symptoms of the aged placenta is one poor growth of the fetus. In the past, a diagnosis of calcified placenta was only made at the birth of the baby when the placenta was examined by the doctor or midwife. Small are evident in the aged placenta calcificazioni white in color resembling semiprecious stones. Observing the child, however, we notice:

  • longer nails,
  • peeling skin
  • scarce presence of hollow varnish, that thin layer that covers the child's body and protects the skin during its stay in the amniotic fluid.

How can we see the aged placenta

Until recently it was not believed that the aged parental could be a problem for the fetus, also because, as mentioned, there was no way to diagnose it during pregnancy.

Today of course with modern technology and with ultrasounds in high resolution we can diagnose at any time of pregnancy a placental calcification. Broadly speaking this phenomenon only goes monitored carefully and does not necessarily represent a risk serious, especially a late pregnancy when an aging process of the placenta is more physiological.

The situation is different for one early pregnancy: an aged placenta could lead to fetal growth problems and compromise the correct course of pregnancy.

If placenta calcification is associated with other medical problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease, medical intervention may be required.

Causes of Aging Placenta

One of the main causes of placenta calcification is related to duration of pregnancy: a gestation that extends beyond 40 settimane may be more affected by calcifications of the placenta. But in this case it is a physiological event, on the contrary there are others factors which contribute to the aging of the placenta and are:

  • smoking: cigarettes not only increase the risk of miscarriage and placental abruption, but also of placental aging.
  • Gestational diabetes
  • hypertension: which is closely connected with gestosis, a very serious complication of pregnancy that must be treated promptly.

How not to age the placenta

During pregnancy, the nutrition of the expectant mother is of great importance and it is essential to ensure the maternal and fetal organism the right amount of calcium, necessary for the health of bones, teeth, blood clotting, nervous, muscle and heart function.

A pregnant woman needs more calcium than usual, approximately 1200 mg per day. Here are some tips to prevent placenta aging:

  • make sure you are getting the right amount of calcium every day even with the help of multivitamin supplements;
  • check your blood pressure regularly because hypertension can lead to an increased risk of calcification,
  • do not smoke during pregnancy.

That risks can lead to an aged placenta?

An aged placenta does not allow the baby to receive the right amount of oxygen e nutrients by the maternal organism. An exchange that occurs right through the placenta.

I calcium deposits could cause the formation of fibrous tissue in the placenta (which is useless tissue for the purpose of nourishing the fetus), but they can also increase the risk of blood clots in the placenta, harden the blood vessels and thereby reduce the oxygen supply to the baby.

In most cases, however, the complications related to calcification of the placenta are almost non-existent and not dangerous for the fetus.

Read also: Detachment of the placenta: causes, risks and remedies

Placenta aged at 35 weeks

Typically if you diagnose aging of the placenta around the 35th week the expectant mother is prescribed some rest and careful monitoring of fetal growth and the condition of the placenta. Arrived at 37 settimane do not have to worry too much: there is no reason to induce labor or perform a caesarean section. Simply follow the fetal growth and calcification of the placenta in order to possibly intervene in the worst case becoming more dangerous.

Placenta aged at 40 weeks

What to do if an ultrasound examination a late pregnancy highlights one calcification of the placenta? In reality there is no need to worry because the gestation is coming to an end and it is quite normal for the placenta to begin to age because it is about to lose its function. What should be done? The evolution of the situation is followed with careful monitoring and in case of worsening of the condition of the placenta it is possible to decide to deliver the baby.

add a comment of Aged placenta: causes and risks for the fetus
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.