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    Bicornuate Uterus: Meaning, Symptoms & Risks

    Women Specific Issues

    Bicornuate Uterus: Meaning, Symptoms & Risks

    Updated on 15 May 2023

    Bicornuate Uterus, also known as a heart-shaped womb, is a condition where the uterus is heart-shaped. About 3% of women worldwide have this congenital abnormality, which means it is something they are born with.

    Most women usually don’t figure out they have this condition until pregnancy because most bicornuate uterus cases usually don’t show any symptoms. It’s a natural condition that cannot be prevented from happening. Let us find out the details of the condition.

    What Is a Bicornuate Uterus?

    The simplest meaning of bicornuate uterus is an abnormality that divides your uterus into two separate parts, or "horns," by a septum to give it a heart shape.

    The exact cause of this condition is not well understood, but it is thought to occur during the early development of the uterus in the womb. Some research suggests that it may be caused by a failure of the uterus to fuse properly during fetal development, while other studies have suggested a genetic link.

    1. Bicornuate Unicollis Uterus:

    It is a subtype of bicornuate uterus characterised by a septum dividing the uterus into two "horns", and the cervix is fused to the septum. It is considered a rare variation and posses a lower risk. It can still cause problems during pregnancy, and a higher risk of miscarriage or preterm labour.

    2. Bicornuate Bicollis Uterus:

    It’s another subtype that divides the uterus into two "horns", and the cervix is in two separate parts. This condition is also a rare variation that causes similar issues but is less severe than the bicornuate uterus.

    What Are The Symptoms Of a Bicornuate Uterus?

    Some women with a bicornuate uterus may have no symptoms at all and may not even be aware of the condition. However, in some cases, it can cause the possible symptoms:

    • Menstrual cramps or pain during periods.
    • Heavy or irregular periods.
    • Pain during intercourse.
    • Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area.
    • Difficulty getting pregnant.
    • Miscarriage or preterm labour during pregnancy.

    Complications Of Bicornuate Uterus Pregnancy

    The condition can cause numerous complications during pregnancy including:

    1. Miscarriage:

    Increases the risk of miscarriage, especially in the first three months.

    2. Preterm labour:

    A condition when labour begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

    3. Placental problems:

    Placenta is a temporary organ that develops to provide oxygen and nutrients to the baby. Bicornuate uterus can cause bleeding during pregnancy and even separate the placenta from the uterus.

    4. Breech position:

    The baby could be in a breech position. This could require a cesarean delivery.

    5. Umbilical cord prolapse:

    A rare but serious complication where the umbilical cord drops through the cervix ahead of the baby.

    What To Do If You Have a Bicornuate Uterus?

    Upon diagnosing, work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your condition. You can minimise risks by taking these steps:

    • Maintain a regular prenatal care schedule with regular ultrasounds and check-ups.

    • Take medicines prescribed by the doctor to help prevent preterm labour and manage any pain or discomfort.

    • The doctor may suggest surgery to correct the uterus’s shape or remove the septum.

    Most importantly, be strong! The condition cannot be treated completely but consider taking help from a counsellor or seeking specialised care during pregnancy. They will help you plan the course correctly based on individual conditions.

    How Is a Bicornuate Uterus Diagnosed?

    Ultrasound is the most popular and widely performed technique to observe the uterus during pregnancy. Several ultrasound tests may be needed to monitor the condition. Other tests can include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Hysteroscopy.

    Some women figure out the condition with their first ultrasound, while others live their whole life without realising that they have Bicornuate Uterus.

    Precautions To Take Having Bicornuate Uterus Pregnancy

    If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus, take certain precautions to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

    • Receive regular prenatal care to monitor any complications.

    • Take prescribed medications to help prevent preterm labour, pain or discomfort.

    • Work with the doctor to monitor the baby’s position. Head-first is an ideal position.

    • Report contractions to the doctor, as there is always a higher risk of preterm labour.

    • Prepare a delivery plan in advance.

    Remember, a bicornuate uterus can cause complications during pregnancy. But many women with this condition have successful pregnancies with proper management.

    Risks Associated With a Bicornuate Uterus Pregnancy

    Along with complications with the baby, a bicornuate uterus pregnancy also increases the risk and difficulties for the mothers. The risks include:

    • Heavy bleeding during pregnancy.

    • Anaemia. It is a condition where blood doesn't have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body's tissues.

    • Postpartum bleeding, especially after c-section.

    • Rare cases can result in uterine prolapse. It's a condition where the uterus muscles and tissue become weak.

    An obstetrician or maternal-fetal medicine specialist who has experience in managing this condition can help minimise these risks.

    We believe the Bicornuate Uterus meaning is clear now. It doesn’t always cause severe complications. With proper management, you can have successful pregnancies and deliver healthy babies.

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