Commonly known as womb, a uterus is an inverted pear shape organ located in the pelvic region. Dimensions of a normal womb are – 7.5cm long, 5cm wide and 2.5cm deep. Sometimes, the uterus develops into an unusual shape, this is known as uterine abnormality or abnormality of the womb. Most women don’t come to know if they have one until they get pregnant and have an ultrasound done.
Generally, an abnormal uterus doesn’t affect your ability to become pregnant, but the chances of miscarriage increases.
The good news is that in most cases you will be able to get pregnant even if you have one of these uterine abnormalities:
In this, the inner uterine wall (called the septum) extends into the womb, dividing it into two halves. Around 1 woman in 45 is affected by this.Commonly, the septum extends into the uterus only partially (subseptate) but sometimes it can even extend up to the cervix (completely septate uterus). There is an increased risk of ﬁrst-trimester miscarriage and preterm birth in this case.
The arcuate uterus is a look alike of normal uterus. The only difference is of a slight dip at the top (fundus portion of the womb). It is a relatively common abnormality affecting 1 woman in 25. This doesn’t lead to premature birth of baby but chances of miscarriage still persist.
Bicornuate (heart-shaped) uterus:
A bicornuate womb has a deep indentation at the top. Both the inner and outer uterine walls dip in to form a heart shaped structure rather than a pear one. This type of abnormality is seen in one out of 250 women. There is a slightly higher risk of miscarriage and preterm birth in this situation.
It is the rarest of all uterine abnormalities affecting 1 out of 1000 woman. A woman with unicornuate womb, though, has two ovaries but only one of them is connected to uterus as one fallopian tube fails to develop in this condition. The womb is half the size of original womb. There is an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, late miscarriage or preterm birth in such a case.
Uterus didelphys is quite uncommon abnormality in which uterus is split in two halves, with each half having its own cavity. This duplication affects uterus as well as cervix and vagina. This affects about 1 in 350 women. Women with this abnormality uterus generally have two cervix and vagina as well. It only increases the risk of having a preterm baby.
How will uterine abnormality affect the pregnancy?
It depends on some factors like- type and extent of the abnormality, how many pregnancies you’ve had etc.
All the abnormalities listed above (except arcuate uterus), do carry a higher risk of premature labour. And unfortunately, some abnormalities do increase the risk of early or late miscarriage.
- Your waters might break early, because there might not be enough room for your baby to grow any more.
- Over-stretching of your womb can trigger labour.
- Due to the uterine abnormality your cervix will not be strong enough to keep the baby inside the womb.
- And if the cervix opens too soon, you might go into premature labour or experience a late miscarriage.
- If your womb is not the usual pear shape, it might make it difficult for the baby to settle into head-down position.
If at any time you feel that something is not right, contact your doctor immediately and make sure that things are going as smoothly as possible.
Have a safe pregnancy and for all pregnancy related information download Pregnancy Health, Diet and Fitness by Ango!