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The health condition that led Kim Kardashian to hire a surrogate

Kim and Kanye West are expecting their third child via surrogate

by Chloe Best

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are said to be "over the moon" to be expecting their third child via a surrogate. The couple, who are already parents to daughter North, four, and Saint, who turns two in December, decided to hire a surrogate due to a potentially life-threatening condition that Kim suffered from in both of her previous pregnancies.

STORY: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West expecting third child via surrogate

The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star suffered from placenta accreta, which means the placenta's blood vessels attach too deeply to the uterus' wall, and can lead to complications such as blood loss and the inability to conceive again.

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are expecting their third child via surrogate

Kim has been open about her experiences with the condition, saying it had been "the most painful experience of my life" having the placenta removed following the birth of her daughter North in 2013. Writing in a blog post shortly after, Kim explained: "Right after delivery, the placenta usually then comes out. Mine did not. My placenta stayed attached inside my uterus, which is a condition called placenta accreta.

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"My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails. How disgusting and painful!!!"

The same thing happened again when she gave birth to her son Saint in December 2015, and she underwent surgery to allow her to conceive again, but the procedure was unsuccessful. So just what is placenta accreta? We've rounded up what you need to know...

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Kim is already a mum to daughter North and son Saint

What is placenta accreta?

Placenta accreta is a serious pregnancy condition that occurs when blood vessels and other parts of the placenta grow too deeply into the uterine wall, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is also possible for the placenta to invade the muscles of the uterus (placenta increta) or grow through the uterine wall (placenta percreta).

What are the symptoms of Placenta accreta?

There are often no signs or symptoms of placenta accreta during pregnancy — although vaginal bleeding during the third trimester is possible. The condition is often detected during a routine ultrasound.

What are the complications of placenta accreta?

Placenta accreta can cause serious complications such as severe bleeding after delivery, and can cause labour to begin early. If the condition causes bleeding during pregnancy, the baby may need to be induced early.

See the latest health features here.