Most Pinays, especially those with a regular menstrual cycle, do not know they have fertility issues until the time comes when they decide to get pregnant—and discover that it is not as easy for them. One of the most common reasons a woman may have difficulty getting pregnant is an abnormal uterus.
The uterus is a hollow, muscular organ in the female pelvis where the fetus develops during gestation. It is pear-shaped and has four parts: the fundus, the uppermost part, which is connected to the fallopian tubes; the corpus, or the body; the cervix, or the lower end of the uterus that is connected to the vagina, and the cervical canal.
In some cases, a woman’s uterus may be shaped differently, and although it often does not affect one’s ability to conceive, an “abnormal uterus” as it is called, may pose some risks during pregnancy.
The different types of uterine abnormalities
1. Arcuate uterus
An arcuate uterus is shaped mostly like a normal uterus except that it has a slight indentation on top.
2. Bicornuate uterus
Like the arcuate uterus, a bicornuate uterus has an indentation on top of the uterus but is more defined. This type of abnormality makes the uterus look heart-shaped.
3. Septate uterus
In a septate uterus, the uterus is divided by fibrous walls called septum either partially or in full, which extends to the cervix. A woman with a septate uterus may find it difficult to get pregnant.
4. Unicornuate uterus
From the root word “uni” which means “one,” a unicornuate uterus has only one fallopian tube and has an elongated shape similar to a horn. It is said to be a rare abnormality that affects one in every 1,000 women.
5. Uterus didelphys
This type of abnormality results in the uterus having two inner cavities that each has a separate vagina and cervix. This condition where a woman has two cervixes and two vaginas is rare and affects one in every 350 women.
Risks of an abnormal uterus
When a woman has an abnormal uterus, she may be prone to any of the following risks when trying to be pregnant or during pregnancy.
- premature labor
- water bag breaking early
- a breech birth (where the baby is born bottom first)
A woman with an abnormal uterus is likely to have a weak cervix as well. This increases risks for premature labor or a late miscarriage (where the baby is lost between the 14th and 24th weeks of pregnancy).
To diagnose an abnormal uterus, your ob-gyn may recommend that you undergo several tests, including a pelvic exam or a transvaginal ultrasound, among others.