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A pregnancy in bicornuate uterus is when a woman’s uterus is shaped like a heart. Hence this syndrome is also named a heart-shaped womb.
The uterus is an organ of the female body where the fertilized egg develops into a baby. The uterus’ shape is rather significant when the woman is trying to conceive and also during her pregnancy. This shape of the uterus determines how the baby is lying in the uterus.
A woman having a bicornuate uterus may see that the baby is not in a regular position, which might affect the birth of the child. However, when speaking of a bicornuate uterus, it must be noted that-
- There is still no proof of the bicornuate uterus affecting fertility.
- Surgery for correcting the womb’s shape is the only option to treat the condition.
- Some other kinds of abnormalities can affect the womb.
Continue to read to know more about how the doctors diagnose the bicornuate uterus and what pregnancy in bicornuate uterus is like.
You may also read: Tilted Uterus Pregnancy Or Retroverted Uterus
Bicornuate Uterus: Effect On Fertility
One of the most common questions is, does the bicornuate uterus have any effect on fertility?
According to experts, the size of a woman’s womb makes no difference in her ability to conceive. A heart-shaped uterus is unlikely to have a significant influence on the embryo.
On the other hand, earlier researches have pointed out that uterine abnormalities are more prevalent among women who are not able to conceive. Due to pregnancy in the bicornuate uterus, there is a higher risk of miscarriage in the final pregnancy stages and also if the birth is premature.
These abnormalities are thought to be because of irregular uterine contractions or due to decreased uterine capacity created by the uneven shape of the uterus.
Bicornuate Uterus: Miscarriage
The exact numbers on the increased possibility of a miscarriage and an early delivery are difficult to know. The wide range of these statistics makes it difficult for a woman to predict her odds of giving birth prematurely.
According to a study, the repeated miscarriages in women having uterus issues could be between 1.8 & 37.6 %. A woman with a normal uterus has a lower chance of conceiving than that of a woman having a bicornuate uterus which is kind of strange.
The risks of birth deviations from the norm in kids born to a woman with the bicornuate uterus were four times greater than in babies delivered to a woman without the issue, according to one study.
However, a baby born to a woman having the bicornuate uterus can have 4 times more abnormalities than a baby born to a woman with a normal condition, revealed a report.
A pregnant woman having a bicornuate uterus may be at a higher risk of having a difficult delivery. This would mean that there will be more checkups and the health of the woman will be regularly monitored along with the progress of the child in case to notice any problems and reduce risks.
In the end, at the time of delivery, if it is noticed that the baby has reached the breech position, the only option at that time is a cesarean.
Common Bicornuate Uterus Symptoms
There are about 3% of women have an irregular uterus. The abnormality can be anything from the structure of the womb, its size, or also the symptoms which are not unusual. Pregnancy in the bicornuate uterus is the most common type of abnormality.
Nonetheless, there is a possibility for a woman having a bicornuate uterus to experience the following related symptoms.
- Pain in the abdomen
- Painful intercourse
- Pain in periods
- Irregular bleeding from the vagina
- Repeated miscarriages
Pregnancy in Bicornuate Uterus: Causes
When a woman is in her own mother’s womb, her uterus develops. A uterine defect might occur if her womb does not produce consistently. It’s usually called a congenital abnormality which means that the woman is born with it. There is no way this condition can be prevented or stopped from occurring.
The paramesonephric ducts develop irregularly, resulting in a bicornuate uterus.
The uterus becomes segregated into two projections when the conduits fail to merge together correctly, resulting in a heart-shaped appearance.
Other Abnormalities Of The Uterus
Following are some of the abnormalities of the uterus:
The septum is a strip of muscle or tissue that divides the uterus in two. This might result in a woman having several miscarriages. The uterus is repaired only by surgery.
This is also called a one-sided uterus. Usually, a uterine deformation is one in which half of the uterus forms.
Bicornuate Uterus: Diagnosis
Because the symptoms are mild, a woman with a bicornuate uterus may not be aware of her condition until she gets an ultrasound when pregnant or for other reasons. It’s possible that it’ll go unnoticed at times.
When Should You See A Doctor?
If a woman has recurrent miscarriages, sporadic bleedings, or very painful periods, she might consider seeing a doctor.
The following tests can be used to examine the bicornuate uterus:
- A pelvic examination.
- Once a special dye has been injected, a hysterosalpingogram or X-ray of the womb and fallopian tubes are done.
- An ultrasound in which high-frequency sound waves are used to generate an image of the uterus.
- MRI is a type of imaging that uses a magnetic field and radio frequency to provide exact images of the uterus.
Bicornuate Uterus: Identification
It’s vital to contact a doctor and get yourself examined if you’re experiencing any symptoms from the above negative symptoms. The doctor can do testing to discover if there are any uterine abnormalities.
Following are some of the diagnostic tools:
HSG or the Hysterosalpingogram Test
After the doctor has injected a special dye into the uterus, an X-ray of the uterus is taken. This special dye can help the X-ray pictures show the exact form of the uterus more clearly. With this assistance, the bicornuate uterus seems to look the same as a septate uterus, this is when a group of tissues divides the uterus into two. They need various treatments, so the doctor might have to do further testing.
Bicornuate Uterus On Ultrasound
Ultrasound sound waves are used in this examination to develop an image of the uterus. Most doctors will perform this if the HSG test reveals the bicornuate uterus, because a bicornuate on ultrasound may also notice renal abnormalities, which can happen to women having uterine anomalies. Along with MRIs, 3D ultrasonography which is done transvaginally can provide very clear results.
MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging
MRI uses radio waves & radio frequency waves for a detailed image of the uterus. If a woman has a bicornuate uterus and also excess bleeding, the doctor will most likely carry out an MRI to make sure there is no endometrial cancer.
While those with these abnormalities are less likely to have endometrial cancer, there is more possibility of having false-negative reports from the uterine biopsy, if an unhealthy tissue is not taken from the uterus but a healthy one is taken.
Bicornuate Uterus: Surgery And Treatment
A woman with a bicornuate uterus may never need treatment. However, if it is needed, surgery is performed to repair the abnormality which is called the Strassman metroplasty.
This procedure may be advised if a woman has had several miscarriages and the bicornuate uterus is suspected to be the reason.
The effectiveness of this method as a means of overcoming infertility is debatable, as the research suggests that a woman who has a bicornuate uterus will have a complete chance of getting pregnant.
Is It Possible To Correct The Bicornuate Uterus?
In most cases, it is not necessary to “correct” the bicornuate uterus. A lot of women having this issue have no problem conceiving and giving birth to healthy infants, just like those without the condition.
In these circumstances, you’ll likely undergo a few more checks throughout the pregnancy to diagnose any potential issues early.
If you’re one of the many women who suffer from infertility, ineffective labor, or both, you’ll need to explore surgical options. Then you have to undergo Strassman metroplasty, in which the two small uterine cavities are merged into a single cavity which is more spacious.
According to research, women who use this method to correct the bicornuate uterus had more successful pregnancies. But, you’ll have to wait at least 3 months after the surgery if you want to conceive. If you do become pregnant, you will need a cesarean to deliver your child. Typically, women who have had uterus surgeries are more likely to experience uterine cracking during vaginal childbirth. Bicornuate uteruses are very rare, & even when they do result, a lot of women go through life not knowing that they have the condition. They can, however, occasionally create a few complications, so the doctor will need to test for one if you’re having trouble becoming & staying pregnant. The good thing is that surgery can usually fix the condition & get you on your road to a successful pregnancy.
Pregnancy In Bicornuate Uterus Final Conclusion:
Some reports point towards issues like miscarriages and premature birth are expected in women with the condition, although there are total chances of a successful pregnancy and natural birth. Women having the condition of the bicornuate uterus and getting pregnant should be monitored more and checkups during their pregnancy to reduce risk and catch any problems early.