Bicornuate Uterus and it’s impact on a woman’s fertility
Uterus, normally called ‘womb’ of a woman is the place where the baby grows. Typical shape of a normal utereus is like a menstrual cup (to give you an idea) but a Bicornuate uterus is in the form of a heart (autin shaped), though not exactly a heart, it resembles that shape. Only 3% of women suffer from abnormal shape of uterus. Uterus having the right shape is important because, it provides the space and environment for the foetus to develop into a baby. Read on to know how bicornuate uterus affects the fertility of a woman.
Symptoms of bicornuate uterus:
Generally, women with bicornuate uterus are born with it. They wouldn’t know until a gynecologist finds it out when checking for pregnancy problems or any other issues. Symptoms seen by women with bicornuate uterus include:
- Irregular Vaginal Bleeding
- Multiple Miscarriages
- Painful periods (usually women experience menstrual cramps but women with bicornuate uterus experience even more painful periods)
- Pain during intercourse
Since the woman has been having the problem from the beginning, she wouldn’t know how normal periods would look or feel like which is a real problem. A woman doesn’t become infertile because she has a bicornuate uterus. However, many women who had fertility issues had a bicornuate uterus.
How a bicornuate affect pregnancy of a woman?
- Due to the abnormal shape of the uterus, uterus will not be accommodative for the growing foetus and can result in miscarriage. The contractions of the uterus also add to the miscarriages. Such women may even end up delivering babies prematurely.
- The babies born to women with bicornuate uterus are prone to developing birth defects. The probability of developing congenital defects of such babies is 4 times higher than those born to women with normal uterus.
If you know that you have a bicornuate uterus, you will have to be extra careful and keep in constant touch with your gynecologist. You may be scanned more frequently to assess the growth of the foetus and it’s position inside. In some cases, the foetus may be inverted with feet down. (Normal baby’s position will be head down inside the womb). In such cases, doctors perform a caesarean operation to deliver the baby.
What causes bicornuate uterus?
Bicornuate uterus is a birth defect. The uterus doesn’t develop normally in a girl child’s body. This condition can’t be avoided.
How is a bicornuate uterus diagnosed?
As said, no woman would expect her uterus to be abnormally shaped until she has the symptoms (that helps her figure out). Otherwise, a gynecologist may recognize the problem from scans or reports that were taken for a completely different purpose. When a woman has repeated miscarriages, her doctor would ask her to go for:
- An ultrasound scan
- An MRI
- Pelvic Exam (can be physical or using a device).
Ultrasound scan report or the MRI report will reveal the abnormal shape of the uterus to your doctor.
Treatment for bicornuate uterus
Women with bicornuate uterus are generally not infertile but they may have problems carrying the foetus till successful delivery. In very few cases, women with abnormal uterus will be able to deliver babies normally. Other women who have miscarriages will undergo a surgery called ‘Strassman Metroplasty’ that corrects the shape of the uterus. 88% of women who have undergone the Strassman Metroplasty were able to give birth to a baby normally.
If you are female and once you attain the age of adolescence, talk to your mother or friends about the amount of bleeding and pain you have. That’s one way to know if your periods are normal and just like others’. In case of any excruciating pain during your menstrual cycle, or too many abdominal cramps, get in touch with a good gynecologist. Chances of having a bicornuate uterus are very small but there may be other problem(s) that may be the cause.