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    Uterus Didelphys: Understanding Symptoms, Risks and Treatment Options

    Women Specific Issues

    Uterus Didelphys: Understanding Symptoms, Risks and Treatment Options

    Updated on 3 January 2024

    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    As women, having a uterus is a gateway to experiencing life’s greatest joy and at the same time, a string of pesky problems. A uterus allows a woman to grow a baby but it also puts her through recurring periods, the pain and PMS that comes with it and much more. But what happens when a woman has a double uterus?

    Uterus didelphys is a rare congenital condition characterized by the presence of two separate uteri, each with its own cervix and sometimes even two vaginas. While this condition may sound intriguing, it can pose various challenges for women, impacting their fertility, menstrual cycles, and overall well-being.

    In this article, we will understand what a double uterus means, the difference between normal and didelphys uterus, didelphys uterus vs bicornuate, implications of a uterus didelphys pregnancy and treatment options available for this condition.

    What is Uterus Didelphys?

    Uterus didelphys, also known as double uterus, is a congenital abnormality that occurs when a woman develops two separate uterine cavities. Unlike the normal uterus, which is a single, pear-shaped organ, a woman with uterus didelphys has a uterus that is divided into two distinct sections, each with its own cervix.

    The development of uterus didelphys happens during embryogenesis when the Müllerian ducts, which eventually form the uterus, fail to fuse properly. As a result, two separate uterine structures form, leading to a double uterus. This condition is relatively rare, affecting approximately 1 in 3,000 women.

    You may also like: Bulky Uterus: What You Need to Know About this Common Gynecological Issue

    What are the Symptoms of Uterus Didelphys?

    The symptoms of uterus didelphys can vary from person to person. In some cases, women may not experience any noticeable symptoms and may only discover their condition during a routine pelvic examination or when seeking medical help for infertility.

    However, for others, the following symptoms may be present:

    1. Painful periods

    Women with uterus didelphys may experience more severe menstrual cramps compared to those with a normal uterus. This can be attributed to the additional uterine tissue and the increased surface area where the endometrial lining sheds.

    2. Abnormal vaginal bleeding

    Some women with uterus didelphys may experience irregular or heavy vaginal bleeding. This can occur due to hormonal imbalances or the unique structure of the double uterus.

    3. Recurrent miscarriages

    Uterus didelphys has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriages. The division of the uterus can lead to abnormalities in the shape and size of the uterine cavity, making it more challenging for a pregnancy to implant and develop properly.

    You mat also like : Bulky Uterus with Fibroids: Understanding Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

    Uterus Didelphys vs Bicornuate Uterus

    Let us now understand the difference between bicornuate uterus vs didelphys. These are two distinct conditions that involve abnormalities in the structure of the uterus. While both conditions are characterized by a division of the uterine cavity, there are some key differences between them.

    In uterus didelphys, the uterus is completely divided into two separate structures, each with its own cervix. On the other hand, a bicornuate uterus is characterized by a single uterus that has a partial division, resulting in a heart-shaped appearance.

    Another notable difference is the risk of pregnancy complications. Women with uterus didelphys may have better pregnancy outcomes compared to bicornuate uterus. Ultimately, the specific pregnancy outcomes for each individual will depend on various factors, including the severity of the uterine abnormality, any associated complications, and the overall health of the woman.

    What are the Chances of Pregnancy in Uterus Didelphys?

    The chances of achieving a successful uterus didelphys pregnancy can vary depending on various factors, including the severity of the condition and any associated reproductive health issues. While getting pregnant with uterus didelphys is possible, it may present some challenges.

    The presence of a double uterus can make it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant and develop properly. However, with proper medical care and monitoring, many women with this condition can still go on to have healthy pregnancies and give birth to healthy babies.

    It is essential for women with uterus didelphys who wish to conceive to consult with a reproductive specialist. These experts can provide guidance on fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), which can increase the chances of successful pregnancy.

    What are the Risks of Uterus Didelphys Pregnancy?

    Pregnancy in women with uterus didelphys comes with certain risks that need to be carefully managed. Here are five potential risks associated with such a pregnancy:

    1. Miscarriage

    Women with uterus didelphys have an increased risk of miscarriage, particularly during the first trimester. The abnormalities in the uterine structure can make it challenging for a pregnancy to implant and develop properly.

    2. Preterm birth

    Uterus didelphys is associated with a higher risk of preterm delivery. The unique structure of the double uterus can cause mechanical issues that may lead to premature labor.

    3. Malpresentation

    Babies born to women with uterus didelphys may have a higher chance of being in a breech or transverse position. This can increase the likelihood of complications during delivery and may necessitate a cesarean section.

    4. Retained placenta

    Uterus didelphys can increase the risk of placental abnormalities, such as retained placenta. These conditions can have serious implications for both the mother and the baby. In uterus didelphys, the presence of two separate uterine cavities can hinder the coordinated contractions needed to expel the placenta after childbirth.

    5. Uterine rupture

    In rare cases, the presence of a double uterus can increase the risk of uterine rupture during labor. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical intervention.

    Uterus Didelphys Treatment Options

    Uterus didelphys usually does not need any treatment as most patients are asymptomatic. Even in pregnancy, just monitoring is enough and most patients rarely ever required surgery. The choice of treatment depends on various factors, including the individual's reproductive goals and any existing complications.

    1. Surgical intervention

    In some cases, surgery may be recommended to correct certain uterine abnormalities associated with uterus didelphys. This can help create a more favorable environment for pregnancy by enhancing the shape and structure of the uterus.

    2. Fertility treatments

    Assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), can be used to increase the chances of pregnancy in women with uterus didelphys. IVF involves the fertilization of eggs in a laboratory setting and the subsequent transfer of embryos into the uterus.

    Also read : Embryo Transfer

    3. Regular monitoring and care

    Women with uterus didelphys require close monitoring throughout pregnancy to identify and manage any potential complications. This includes regular prenatal check-ups, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic tests to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby.

    Final Thoughts

    Uterus didelphys is a rare congenital condition that affects the structure of the uterus. While it can present challenges, with proper medical care and management, many women with uterus didelphys can still have successful pregnancies. It is important for women with this condition to consult with a reproductive specialist to discuss their options and receive personalized care.

    References

    1. Rezai S, Bisram P, Lora Alcantara I, Upadhyay R, Lara C, Elmadjian M. (2015). Didelphys Uterus: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Case Rep Obstet Gynecol.

    2. Ćwiertnia A, Borzyszkowska D, Golara A, Tuczyńska N, Kozłowski M, Kwiatkowski S, Cymbaluk-Płoska A. (2022). The Impact of Uterus Didelphys on Fertility and Pregnancy. Int J Environ Res Public Health.

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    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

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