A retained placenta is typically treated through ‘active management’ or ‘physiological management’. Active management involves using a synthetic version of the natural hormone, which is injected to encourage the uterus to contract and hence deliver the placenta. Delivery of the placenta using active management typically occurs within 30 mins.
Physiological management involves not using medication, but waiting until the body expels the placenta naturally; this can take up to 1 hour.
If the placenta (or part of it) remain in the uterus, surgery may be required to remove it fully.