The degree of maturity of the placenta

Update: October 2018

The placenta is a unique organ that binds the fetus and mother throughout.
gestation time. It is through her that the baby receives all the necessary
substances, therefore, a safe outcome depends on the state of the placenta.
of pregnancy. One of the indicators of the placental complex
is the degree of its maturity.

What is a placenta?

Translated from the Latin placenta – cake, cake. Such
the name of this body was due to its discoid
flattened form. It is formed only during pregnancy, and
after the birth of the baby is displayed along with the fruit membranes.

Functions of the placenta:

  • Respiratory (oxygen supply to the baby, elimination
    carbon dioxide)
  • Nutrient (transport of nutrients from mother to
  • Derivative (all waste products of the fetus are displayed
    It is through the placenta)
  • Barrier (protection of the child from harmful substances in the blood
  • Hormonal (placenta produces many hormones,
    allowing pregnancy to develop)

How does the placenta develop?

The formation of a full-fledged “children’s place” begins far from
первых дней of pregnancy. For a period of 4 weeks, the whole egg
surrounded by a special villous tissue – chorion. By week 9-10
the early placenta is formed – the remaining choronal villi,
penetrated the upper layer of the uterus and connected with its blood
vessels. By the end of pregnancy, the baby and mother binds
semilogram body with a diameter of 15-20 cm

Up to 32 weeks gestational permeability
membrane increases. Growing baby demands more
oxygen and nutrients. To maintain his health
the number of vessels in the placenta is growing, and the placental membrane itself
getting thinner. After this period, the placenta stops
develop, its aging begins.

What is aging placenta?

After 33 weeks in the placental tissue, the processes begin.
�”Aging”. This is the absolute norm, provided by nature. By
One of the hypotheses is that the onset of labor is associated with the maximum
maturity of the placenta. She by the end of the term ceases to perform its
functions, the fetus’s body releases stress hormones into the mother’s bloodstream,
that starts the scrum.

What does the maturity of the placenta mean?

All changes depending on the duration of pregnancy is determined by
using ultrasound (see calculation of
pregnancy). There are a number of special parameters for which the doctor
exposes this or that degree of maturation of the placenta.

  • 0 degree – up to 30 weeks of pregnancy
  • I degree – at 27 – 36 week
  • II degree – at 34 – 39 week
  • Grade III – after 36 weeks of pregnancy

To determine the aging placenta, an ultrasound specialist evaluates it.
thickness, the presence of cysts and calcium deposits. Despite the high
information content of ultrasonic methods in determining maturity
excessive diagnostics takes place.

Until recently, it was believed that prematurely aged
placenta causes miscarriages, antenatal death and birth
lightweight children. Byсле проведенных исследований эти предположения
not confirmed. Women with III degree of maturity of the placenta to 35
weeks just enter the group of increased attention.


Placental maturity table by week

Хориальная часть (прилегающая к fetus) Placental structure The presence of calcium deposits
0 degree (up to 30 weeks) Completely smooth Homogeneous Hardly ever
I degree (27-36 weeks) Wavy Small amount of seals Microscopic
II degree (34-39 weeks) There are recesses Seals Visible
III degree (after 36 weeks) Recesses reach the basement membrane Placental cysts Lots of

 Factors contributing to the early aging of the placenta

  • Hypertension pregnant

Most often, gestational hypertension (elevated pressure at
pregnancy) is associated with the function of the placenta. By разным
For reasons, the latter forms defective vessels, which affects the
condition of the fetus and mother. A pregnant woman may suffer from
edema, hypertension and even preeclampsia. Baby being in
the womb cannot get enough oxygen through the inferior
arteries. Byэтому плацента работает на полную мощность, старея
ahead of time.

  • Infection during pregnancy

Any infection during pregnancy, including banal ARVI,
causes the placental tissue to work actively. It filters
maternal blood from viruses, skips to the child protective
antibodies and increased amounts of oxygen to more quickly cope with
a disease. It causes accelerated ripening and aging.

  • Excessive calcium intake

One of the main signs of physiological changes “childish
places “are calcium deposition. By the end of pregnancy such
calcifications in the placenta is becoming more and more. If in
the future mom’s body receives an excess amount of calcium (with
uncontrolled intake of large doses of vitamins, for example), then
placental tissue is gradually replaced by it, ripening earlier
of time.

Prognosis for premature aging of the placenta

All pregnant women need to remember an important fact: by itself
the maturation of the placenta does not threaten itself complications for mom and
baby Only when combined with the “old” placenta with other signs
suffering of the fetus can talk about the threat to health. To these features

  • Violations of the uteroplacental and fetal placental
    blood flow
  • Severe intrauterine growth retardation
  • Severe hypertension in pregnant women
  • Signs of rhesus conflict in the fetus
  • Diabetes of the mother (decompensated)

All of the above states are dangerous in themselves, even without
signs of overripe placenta. Byэтому требуют особого внимания,
special treatment, and sometimes urgent delivery.

What is dangerous immature placenta?

Placenta, not reached by the end of pregnancy II-III degree
maturity is considered immature. Such состояние встречается редко, и
often caused by diagnostic errors. For example, when
rhesus-conflict of mother and fetus placenta can “swell.” Her
increased edema smoothness on ultrasound looks like a 0 degree
maturity. Byэтому сама по себе несозревшая плацента неопасна, но ее
признаки зачастую маскируют серьезные осложнения of pregnancy.

Additional research methods

Doppler ultrasound

Assess the condition of the fetus according to data on the degree of maturity of the placenta
is impossible. Byэтому главным критерием нормальной беременности
are normal indicators of Doppler. This method
based on the reflection of ultrasonic waves from various biological
environments, allows us to estimate the blood flow through the placenta. When ok
pregnancy is reduced after 20 weeks
blood resistance in the vessels connecting the uterus, placenta and fetus.
This stable resistance ensures admission to the child.
oxygen and nutrients. Even if placental tissue is on
Ultrasound looks older than it should be, good results
dopplerography discards all fears. Conversely, the placenta
normal maturity can not cope with its task that
immediately affect the condition of the fetus.


CTG – a method to assess the condition of the baby in real
time, here and now. Special sensors pick up
fetal heartbeat, count his movements, register
uterine contractions. All this helps to determine the minimum violations.
in the work of the placenta.

If the placenta is prematurely aged on an ultrasound scan,
then the only way to know the condition of the child will be
doppler sonography and CTG.

How to slow down the maturation of the placenta?

Usually after the conclusion of a doctor ultrasound on premature maturation
placenta, expectant mothers begin to worry and look for ways
�“Rejuvenate” her. This is a meaningless and hopeless occupation. Everybody
pregnant women need to know the following facts:

  • In itself, the early maturation of the placenta does not pose a threat to mother and
  • When determining the maturity of the afterbirth very often
    diagnostic errors.
  • Byстаревшая плацента – повод провести допплерографию и КТГ, но
    no reason to worry
  • При нормальных показателях blood flow в плаценте и сердцебиения
    fetus, you can forget about the degree of maturity of the “children’s place”
  • In severe hypoxia baby (CTG and doppler) is required
    either observation or cause treatment or emergency
  • Medications that slow down the aging of the placenta, does not exist.
    Actovegin, chimes, pentoxifylline, multivitamins and others
    drugs have no evidence base

Prevention of early aging of the placenta

  • Pregnancy planning
  • Quitting smoking, drinking alcohol
  • Moderate exercise, walking in fresh air
  • Timely screening, Doppler and CTG
  • Folic acid intake
  • Iron intake for anemia
  • Avoiding crowds of people (for the prevention of ARVI).

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