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Placental Abruption

Causes of Placental Abruption

In most cases—other than in direct traumas to the uterus, such as in a car accident—the causes of placental abruption are unknown. However, there are a handful of conditions that researchers have associated with placental abruption. These risk factors include:

  • A previous pregnancy with placental abruption
  • Hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure)
  • Multiple pregnancy (i.e., a pregnancy of two or more fetuses)
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy (more than 14 drinks per week)
  • Cocaine use
  • Blood-clotting disorders
  • Diabetes
  • A large number of previous deliveries
  • An older mother (over the age of 35)
  • Uterine fibroids
  • The mother’s water breaks prematurely

Locations for Placental Abruption