Uterus Didelphys: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
- Published on August 12, 2022
Uterus didelphys is a rare congenital condition where a female baby is born with two uteruses. Also known as the “double uterus”, each uterus has a separate fallopian tube and ovary.
The formation of the uterus typically starts as two ducts in the foetus. As the foetus begins developing, the ducts are supposed to join together.
In most cases, the foetus develops just one uterus, which is a hollow, pear-shaped organ. But in rare cases, the two ducts don’t end up joining together. Each duct creates a separate uterus. In some cases, the baby may be born with two cervixes and vaginal canals as well.
When there are two uteruses, the uterine cavities develop to be much narrower and resemble bananas rather than an upside-down pear shape.
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Symptoms of uterus didelphys
Since the uterus is located inside the body, any symptoms associated with issues are not recognizable immediately. However, as the baby grows into adulthood, uterus didelphys symptoms manifest in different ways.
In the case of miscarriages, or other menstrual conditions, your physician might perform a routine pelvic exam and discover the condition. However, there are some internal symptoms to watch out for:
- Pain experienced during sexual intercourse
- Painful cramps during menstruation
- Heavy flow during menstruation
- Frequent miscarriages
- Premature labour during pregnancy
Causes of uterus didelphys
The development of uterus didelphys occurs when a female baby is in the fetal stage.
The two Mullerian ducts do not proceed to fuse, which is normal. Instead, they stay independent of each other and then grow into two separate uteruses.
Medical science has not been able to determine why the ducts do not proceed to fuse.
Diagnosis of uterus didelphys
A number of tests can be performed to diagnose uterus didelphys symptoms. Though the symptoms are not exclusive to uterus didelphys, this condition is one of the potential ones.
The first step is a routine pelvic test, after which your doctor may recommend imaging tests so that they can get a clearer visual look:
- Ultrasound: Your medical care provider will perform either an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound. The latter is conducted by inserting a wand inside the vagina.
- Hysterosalpingography: A type of dye solution is inserted into each uterus. Your medical care provider then uses an X-ray to get images while the dye travels through the cervix and into the uterus. You may experience mild discomfort.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This is a type of scanner which produces extremely high-quality images using a magnetic field and radio waves. It gives a clear visual of a double uterus.
- Sonohysterogram: A thin catheter is inserted into each uterus. Saline is injected inside the respective cavities. A transvaginal ultrasound is done to get images of the insides of the cavities as the fluid travels through the cervix and into the uterus.
Treatment of uterus didelphys
One does not necessarily experience any symptoms if one has a double uterus. However, it is best to consult an expert who can recommend the right course of action in case of any symptoms.
For instance, in rare cases, a specialist may recommend corrective surgery to join the two channels to form one uterus, or remove tissue from a double vagina, to create one vagina.
These routes may be recommended in case of multiple miscarriages and other menstrual issues, which cannot be solved without surgery.
It’s always a good idea to know if you have uterus didelphys, as it helps you be equipped with the knowledge and the right treatment through various important life events.
If you observe any uterus didelphys symptoms, it is advisable to visit a specialist who can perform the relevant tests. Choose one with extensive experience and the ability to handle conditions related to uterine anomalies.
If your infertility is a consequence of uterus didelphys, it does not mean that it cannot be treated. Consult with fertility specialists who can diagnose the problem and work with you to help navigate through your pregnancy goals.
To seek the best treatment for infertility concerns, visit Birla Fertility and IVF, or book an appointment with Dr. Rachita Munjal.
1. What is uterus didelphys?
Uterus didelphys is a rare condition where a female has two uteruses instead of just one.
Each uterus may come with its own fallopian tube and ovary. The formation of the uterus starts off as two ducts in the fetus. Typically, these fuse as the fetus grows. When the ducts do not fuse, it results in a doubling of the uterus.
2. How rare is uterus didelphys?
Research indicates that uterus didelphys malfunction affects one in 3000 women. This particular anomaly accounts for 8 to 10% of all Mullerian anomalies.
3. Can you get pregnant with uterus didelphys?
Yes, women with a double uterus can have a completely normal life. This includes sexual intercourse, pregnancy, as well as delivery.
However, there are cases when a double uterus may result in multiple miscarriages. Those with a history of abortion are at a higher risk of infertility. It is best to consult a fertility expert to devise a plan to enhance fertility potential and safe delivery.
4. Can you give birth naturally with uterus didelphys?
Yes, you can give birth naturally even if you have uterus didelphys. However, it depends on multiple factors.
Both uteruses do not develop to the same degree in all cases. It depends on the development and functional level of the uteruses. There have been cases when the doctor decides to go for a cesarean surgery during the labour process, only to discover the occurrence of a double uterus on the operating table.
5. What are the symptoms of uterus didelphys?
Uterus didelphys symptoms usually manifest during an event such as sexual intercourse, abnormal periods, pregnancy, and premature labour. These can include pain during intercourse, heavy bleeding, and difficult labour.
Uterus didelphys complications can include repeated miscarriages, preterm labour, and tearing of vaginal tissue in case of two vaginas during labour. In cases of breech baby, the doctor may immediately perform a C-section.
6. Can you get pregnant in both uteruses?
Yes, at times, women can conceive in both uteruses and have two babies, born minutes from each other.
Dr Rachita Munjal
Consultant – Birla Fertility and IVF
Dr Rachita Munjal completed her MBBS from Dr D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre, Pune and MS (Obstetrics and gynaecology) from Dr. D.Y Patil Vidyapeeth Pune. She has also completed her DAGE (Diploma in Advanced Gynae Endoscopy) from Germany and MRCOG-I (Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, UK) Membership Examination.
Over 14 years of experience
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