Double uterus is a congenital uterine malformation that results in formation of two uteri. During development of a female fetus, the uterus starts to develop from two small tubes. These tubes merge together and create the uterus as one large and hollow organ. However, in some cases the tubes create separate structure because didn’t completely join. That results in a condition known as double uterus or uterus didelphys in medical term. The prevalence of double uterus is rare and estimated to be 7% in the world population, but this percent is higher in women with history of miscarriage and preterm labor. Sometimes, this condition is not even diagnosed.
Symptoms of Double Uterus
Women with double uterus may not even realize their condition, even during pregnancy or childbirth because it may not affect fertility and ability to give birth. Both uterine cavities may have its own cervix and some women may have divided vagina as well. Signs and symptoms that may be associated with double uterus include:
- Strong pain before or during menstrual period
- Abnormal bleeding during a period
Causes of Double Uterus
The exact cause of double uterus is still unknown. Double uterus is often associated with kidney abnormalities, which suggests that it can influence the development of related tubes before birth.
Complications of Double Uterus
Although many women with the condition don’t experience any complications it may sometimes affect fertility and lead to recurrent miscarriages. Double uterus can lead to premature delivery as well as unusual positions of the fetus in the uterus.
Most commonly, double uterus is diagnosed during routine pelvic exam. If suspects any abnormality of the uterus, a doctor may suggest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that helps to observe inside of the body with the use of magnetic fields and radio waves. Ultrasound can also help in diagnosing double uterus. It uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of inner organs of the body. Finally, a doctor may recommend hysterosalpingography, which is an X-ray examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes. This medical test involves injection of a special dye into the uterus to enable observation and assessment of female reproductive organs.
Treatment for Double Uterus
Treatment for double uterus is commonly needed only for women that experience signs and symptoms of the condition. Surgery for correction of double uterus deformity is rarely performed but it can help to sustain pregnancy in women who had previous miscarriages due to condition.