Kim Kardashian pregnant with risks: What is a retained placenta?

Kim Kardashian, photographed in 2010

(Everett Collection /

Kim Kardashian’s doctors say that a third pregnancy would be unsafe for the reality TV star, in part because they could be at risk for a serious pregnancy complication called retained placenta.

In the last night (Nov. 13) episode of the show ‘ Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Kardashian visited two doctors, who both advised her not to get pregnant again, given the complications she experienced in her other pregnancies, according to People Magazine.

“You never know whether you might be with the same type of problem would be more serious this time,” Dr. Paul Crane, Kardashian, OB-GYN, said during the show. “You are always a bit of a chance. There are situations where a retained placenta can be life or death.”

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In her first pregnancy, Kardashian had preeclampsia, which high blood pressure, as well as placenta accreta, which is a type of retained placenta.

A retained placenta means that the placenta is the organ that nourishes the fetus in the womb — is not delivered from the body of the woman within 1 hour after the baby is born, according to the World Health Organization. Typically, the placenta is delivered shortly after birth, and the passage of the organ is considered as the third stage of labour. [9 Uncommon Conditions That Pregnancy May Bring]

In women with placenta accreta, the placenta grows deeply into the uterine wall and does not separate as it should after birth, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition can be life-threatening because it can lead to serious bleeding.

Risk factors for the situation in which a previous operation to the uterus, being over the age of 35 and giving birth before, the Mayo Clinic says. Kardashian is 36 years old, has given birth to two children and had a surgery after her first child to remove a piece of the placenta.

Sometimes doctors can diagnose placenta accreta for a women gives birth, through blood and imaging tests. Women who are suspected to have placenta accreta during pregnancy will likely need a C-section, as well as the surgery to remove the uterus after the birth, the Mayo Clinic says.

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