What Causes Premature Aging of the Placenta In Pregnancy?

By Julie Ackendorf ; Updated June 16, 2017
Pregnant woman holding her belly

Premature aging of the placenta is a serious condition that can occur in pregnancy. Premature aging of the placenta can lead to the baby not getting the nutrients it needs to survive requiring the baby to be delivered prior to term. Often the placenta is calcified causing parts of the placenta to die and not longer be useful in premature aging of the placenta. There are a some reasons why a placenta may age faster than it should, although in some cases there is no known cause for premature aging of the placenta.

Causes of Premature Placental Aging

Smoking during pregnancy may cause placental calcification. As this calcification occurs the placenta begins to age faster as parts of it die. Research studies have shown that small bacteria known as Nannobacteria can also lead to placental calcification. This is the same type of bacteria that can lead to kidney stones. As the calcification occurs the placenta will age prematurely putting the mother and the baby at risk. Other risks for premature placental aging are diabetes and high blood pressure in the mother.

Preventing Premature Aging Placenta

There are a few steps women who are at a higher risk of premature placental calcification can take to prevent premature placental aging. It is very important that women make sure they are getting enough antioxidants via prenatal vitamins and food intake. It appears that antioxidants may be able to help prevent premature aging of the placenta. Vitamins E, C and beta carotene are of particular importance and may need to be taken in greater doses with the permission of a doctor.

About the Author

Julie Ackendorf has been a writer since 2007. She has contributed health, legal and parenting articles for various online publications. Ackendorf graduated from SUNY Empire State College, earning a Bachelor of Science in community and human services with a minor in child and adolescent development.