Many women have uterine abnormalities with no negative effect on their fertility. In some cases, however, an abnormality of the uterus can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term.
- Scarring of the uterine cavity (aka Asherman syndrome) — Scarring can result from uterine surgery (e.g. a D&C) or infection.
- Septate uterus – The uterus is divided in half by a thin wall.
- Bicornuate uterus—The uterus is heart-shaped and the cavity is divided into two chambers by a thick muscular wall.
- Unicornuate uterus—Only half the uterus has formed. The uterus is small and located on one side of the pelvis only. There is usually only one Fallopian tube.
Symptoms and tests:
Often, women have no symptoms of a uterine abnormality aside from difficulty in getting pregnant or recurrent miscarriages. Some women will have painful or heavy periods. Physicians have several tests they can use to diagnose these conditions, such as a hysterosalpingogram , laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, ultrasound and MRI. CausesUterine abnormalities can be genetic or drug-induced. In the 1950s, the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) was prescribed to prevent miscarriages, and many of the daughters of women who took DES were born with these uterine defects. Currently, very few women of reproductive age have been exposed as DES was withdrawn from the market in the early 1970s.
Some uterine conditions can be corrected with surgery; however, for others, there is no treatment that can improve fertility or pregnancy outcomes