The bicornuate uterus is related to a congenital malformation. It is characterized by the presence of two uterine cavities instead of one, an anomaly that can have consequences on the proper conduct of the pregnancy.
Table of contents
- What is a bicornuate uterus?
- Getting pregnant with a bicornuate uterus
- How is the delivery going?
- Symptoms of a bicornuate uterus
What is a bicornuate uterus?
Also called bifid uterus or Hemi-uterus, the bicornuate uterus comprises two partially separate or distinct uterine cavities. It is a congenital malformation, which occurs during embryonic development, between the 6th and 9th week of pregnancy, when the female genital tract becomes distinct in the form of ducts called the Müllerian ducts. These ducts naturally merge from the 14th week of pregnancy to form the uterus. In the case of a bicornuate uterus, they retain a double shape.
Getting pregnant with a bicornuate uterus
A bicornuate uterus is not usually a cause of infertility. It is, however, smaller, making it more difficult for the egg to implant and develop after fertilization. This increases the risk of recurrent miscarriage, premature delivery, and fetal growth retardation. These complications are not inevitable, as some women carry their pregnancy to term without even being aware of this malformation.
How is the delivery going?
If the uterine malformation is detected, the pregnancy will be monitored further to prevent possible complications. A delay in the development of the unborn baby – low weight or stagnation of growth – may require labor induction.
In the case of a bicornuate uterus, it is also common for the baby to be breech rather than head down at the end of the pregnancy. It is because the space is smaller, and this position is more comfortable for the fetus. A cesarean section will generally be performed, although vaginal delivery is not necessarily excluded.
Reassuring information: a second pregnancy will improve because the uterus will already have gained in volume.
Symptoms of a bicornuate uterus
This type of anomaly is often asymptomatic. In some women, however, one can observe :
- Pain during sexual intercourse;
- Pain in the lower abdomen;
- Pain during menstruation.
These symptoms are common to many diseases, and the diagnosis can only be made through in-depth examinations, such as vaginal ultrasound or MRI.
Having a bicorn uterus probably won’t affect your fertility. It could lead to problems such as miscarriage and early birth, though you may still be able to have a successful pregnancy and delivery.
It’s essential to surround yourself with an excellent medical team that will monitor your pregnancy carefully.