Septate uterus represents the most common müllerian anomaly. In this condition the uterus is divided by a fibrous septum and instead of one cavity there are two cavities inside the uterus. The septum may extend to the internal opening of the cervix and this is known as a complete septum. On the other hand, the membrane may not extend completely to the internal opening of the cervix. This septum is known as partial septum.
Septate uterus develops as a mistake in intrauterine development of the uterus. The exact cause of this anomaly has not been identified yet.
Consequence of Septate Uterus
The presence of the septum does not interfere in the process of fertilization and implantation of the egg. However, it can interfere in the course of pregnancy. Septate uterus may be a cause of miscarriage or can be related to certain complications during pregnancy. Women who have septate uterus usually face early miscarriage. This can be easily explained by the fact that the blood-starved median septum is covered by endometrium of lower quality comparing to that of the blood-rich sidewalls. It may occur that the egg is implanted into the septum and lack of nourishment is what leads to early miscarriage. Apart from early and late miscarriage, septate uterus may cause premature labor, premature birth, intrauterine growth retardation and fetal malpresentation at birth.
Diagnosis of Septate Uterus
In case, there is not a vaginal septum or double cervix the gynecologist simply cannot diagnose the condition during gynecological examination.The condition may stay undiagnosed until the woman experiences repeated miscarriages. The perfect method for setting of the diagnosis of septate uterus is hysterosalpingogram. This examination includes injection of a dye into the uterus and taking of the X ray of the uterus and accompanying reproductive organs. Septate uterus may be also visualized with ultrasound, MRI and hysteroscopy.
Surgery for Septate Uterus
This medical condition can be easily treated by a simple surgical procedure. After the surgery the woman is able to conceive and give birth to full-term baby without any fear of repeated miscarriages caused by the septum.
Metroplasty is a surgery performed in women suffering from septate uterus. This surgery used to be performed through an abdominal incision. Now there is hysteroscopic metroplasty which is less invasive comparing to abdominal approach. Metroplasty is performed in women who have suffered from recurrent abortions. The goal of the surgery is removal of the septum. This is a very successful surgery and up to 80% manage to carry a baby to term.