Placental calcification or the placenta This is a normal condition that occurs in every pregnancy, especially in the final trimester or pregnancy that has passed the estimated time of birth. Even so, this condition can also indicate a problem with the womb.
Placental calcification occurs when there is a buildup of calcium in the placenta or placenta, causing the placental tissue to gradually become harder and harder. This condition occurs naturally as part of the aging process of the placenta as the gestational age approaches the day of delivery.
Placenta Calcification Factors
Calcification or calcification of the placenta is divided into four levels based on gestational age, namely:
- Grade 0 (before 18 weeks of gestation).
- Grade I (between 18-29 weeks of gestation).
- Stage II (between 30-38 weeks of gestation).
- Grade III (when the gestational age reaches 39 weeks or more).
This level of placental calcification is only detected through routine pregnancy ultrasound examinations.
The level of calcification or calcification of the placenta can be influenced by various factors, including:
- Smoking habit.
- Hypertension or severe stress during pregnancy.
- Bacterial infection of the placenta.
- Placental abruption, which is a condition when the placenta separates from the uterine wall.
- Environmental factors, including radiation exposure.
- Side effects of certain medications or supplements, such as antacid medications or calcium supplements, especially if taken too long or in high doses.
Risks of Calcification of the Placenta
You need to remember again that calcification of the placenta is a common thing. However, if this change in the placenta occurs not according to gestational age, for example the level of calcification is advanced but the gestational age is still young, then this may be caused by problems in the womb.
Based on the gestational age, the following are some of the health problems that can occur if the calcification of the placenta is formed too early:
- 28-36 weeks gestation
It is recommended that you have regular prenatal checkups with your obstetrician, especially if you experience complications during pregnancy, such as placenta previa, diabetes, high blood pressure, or anemia.
- At 36 weeks of pregnancyExcessive placental calcification that occurs at the 36th week of pregnancy is thought to increase the risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women. In addition, babies can be born with low weight.
- At 37-42 weeks of gestationAs many as 20-40 percent of normal pregnancies will experience calcification of the placenta at 37 weeks of gestation. However, this is considered harmless.
The effect of calcification of the placenta will be very different from one pregnancy to another. This depends on how early calcification occurs and is detected, its severity, the condition of the pregnancy, and the steps the obstetrician will take to treat it.
The placenta has a very important function, namely protecting the fetus and providing nutrition to the fetus while in the womb. Various disorders of the placenta, including early calcification of the placenta, can interfere with fetal growth and development.
So that problems with the placenta can be avoided, you need to take care of your health and have regular check-ups with your obstetrician. The doctor will monitor the condition of the placenta at each visit, including the level of calcification of the placenta. In addition, avoid cigarette smoke and do not take any drugs during pregnancy.