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arcuate uterus and getting pregnant


If you have been diagnosed with an arcuate uterus, it's not the end of the world. Many women with uterine abnormalities go on to have healthy full term pregnancies. I was diagnosed with an arcuate uterus. I had a normal pregnancy and normal delivery even at the age of 44. There are many factors which may affect how a uterine abnormality will affect a pregnancy. The severity of the abnormality may be a factor and where the pregnancy implantation occurs may also be a factor. This article addresses the different types of uterine deformities:

All Uteruses Are Not Alike
By Kevin Schmiterson

Only about 3 to 4 percent of women have an abnormal uterus. But that just means detecting the problem is that much more difficult. And it can be a problem with serious consequences, including miscarriage.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine lists seven kinds of abnormal uterus. They all derive from defects in two tubes, called the Mullerian ducts that are responsible for shaping the uterus during fetal development. If the Mullerian ducts don't form or perform as they should, the result is an abnormal uterus.

Here are the seven kinds of abnormal uterus and ways to have a healthy pregnancy in spite of them.

Arcuate. A small "dent" in the top of an otherwise normally shaped uterus distinguishes this condition. The Mullerian ducts have fused but have not reabsorbed completely. The problem does not seem to have much effect on normal pregnancy so seldom requires treatment.

Septate. The uterus takes on a Y shape because of tissue extending part way or all the way down the middle. It can cause reduced blood flow to the fetus and hinder development. A procedure called a hysteroscopic metroplasty can repair the problem in outpatient surgery.

Unicornuate. In this case, one Mullerian duct fails to form and the uterus takes on a horned shape with just one fallopian tube. If the embryo winds up in the partly formed horn and the horn is not attached to the uterus, the horn might rupture when the embryo gets too big. If surgery is done, about half of women with the condition will be able to have a successful pregnancy.

Bicornuate. A heart-shaped uterus is the result when the Mullerian ducts do not join at the top. Because of the large "dent" at the top of the uterus, the fetus does not have as much room to develop. Miscarriage or premature delivery could occur. The uterus can be repaired surgically.

Didelphys.Although the two Mullerian ducts develop, they do not fuse and create the uterus. Instead, two smaller uteruses form. The restricted space can result in miscarriage or premature delivery. The problem can be surgically repaired.

DES-related. The drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), taken during pregnancy, increases the chance of having a baby girl with an abnormal uterus. Premature delivery and miscarriage can result. Cervical cerclage can prevent early delivery in affected women.

Agenesis or Hypoplasia. Women with this condition cannot carry a fetus because they are born without a vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes and, possibly, no uterus at all. However, it is possible for these women to have children by surrogate using eggs from their ovaries.

Although an abnormal uterus is rare, fertility doctors recommend that women experiencing infertility rule out the possibility with a thorough physical examination. Such an exam can prevent problems during pregnancy and increase the chances of carrying a baby to term.

The Reproductive Resource Center provides in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation and other services in Kansas City and the surrounding area, helping women and couples with infertility reach their reproductive goals.

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