Placenta Definition

Placenta refers to the temporary vascular organ found in mammals, which attaches the fetus to the uterus of the mother during pregnancy.

The placenta is the passage that unites the fetus to the mother. The placenta facilitates the exchange of nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. It is also responsible for collecting carbon dioxide and waste materials from the fetus. In appearance, the placenta is disk-shaped and measures up to 22 cm in length. The placenta is also rich in blood vessels.

The placenta is exclusive to mammals. The umbilical cord connects the foetus to the placenta, facilitating the transfer of materials. The placenta is usually attached at the top, bottom, side, front or back of the uterus. In extreme cases, the placenta gets attached to the lower part of the uterus resulting in a condition known as placenta previa.

Main Article: Name the organ which connects the placenta to the embryo. – Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions on Placenta


Define placenta.

The placenta is defined as an organ that develops during pregnancy in mammals. The placenta provides oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus in the uterus of the mother.


What are the types of the placenta?

The placenta in mammals is divided into two types, namely yolk sac placenta and chorioallantoic placenta.

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