A Heart Shaped uterus might sound Sugar and Spice but it definitely isn’t everything nice. If your doctor informed you that you have a Heart-shaped uterus or you are suspecting it or just wondering about what it is, here is a complete guide to satisfy your curious self! This article covers it all- what it actually is, the causes and the effects!
What is the Uterus?
The uterus is the organ in your body which makes you capable of giving birth. It is the organ where your baby spends is formed. Right from Ovulation to Parturition (or childbirth), the Uterus handles it all!
What is a Heart-Shaped Uterus?
The Uterus normally is of the shape of an inverted pear. A Heart Shaped Uterus is a type of Congenital Uterine abnormality in which the Uterus looks Heart-shaped instead of the normal inverted pear.
Why does it occur?
The female reproductive organs start forming at the embryonic stage and are almost complete before birth. So even if you are diagnosed with a Heart-Shaped Uterus, do not blame yourself, the shape of the uterus isn’t in your hands at all. In fact, it is not even hereditary.
Also known as Bicornuate Uterus, a Heart-shaped Uterus looks so due to its two paramesonephric ducts failing to fuse together. When not fused together, the ducts give the appearance of a heart shape, i.e., divided at the top.
While the exact cause behind the condition is not known yet, several reasons have been linked to it, including medications. If the mother takes Diethylstilbestrol medication during pregnancy, the baby may develop a Heart-Shaped Uterus.
What are the effects of having a Heart-Shaped Uterus?
Although a heart-shaped uterus isn’t the best thing, it is certainly not the worst. Your days will be pretty normal and in most cases, it won’t even affect your fertility. You will also have an absolutely normal menstrual cycle without any worries.
However, about pregnancy, Heart Shaped Uterus can cause some problems. Women with a Heart-Shaped Uterus have higher risks of miscarriages, preterm births, and Breech births. Do not worry, these happen only in some cases. Most women have a pretty normal pregnancy and spend their whole life without knowing about their Bicornuate uterus!
If you have a Bicornuate uterus and are planning for a baby, just be under proper observation and guidance of your doctor and you will have a healthy and normal pregnancy. At most, you might have to opt for caesarean delivery due to the positioning of the baby.
How do I identify a Heart-Shaped Uterus?
A Bicornuate Uterus isn’t usually associated with any assured symptoms. However, if you have any of the following you might want to get tested:
- Repeated miscarriages
- Pain during sex
- Painful periods
Tests To Be Done
The condition can be identified using the following tests:
- Standard or 3D Ultrasound
- Hysterosalpingogram ( HSG)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Although most women won’t need treatments, a surgery called Strassman Metroplasty can be performed in extreme cases.
Strassman Metroplasty is a safe surgery and is completed in around 180 minutes. Blood loss is minimal and the risks of any harm are pretty low. The surgery has been proven to significantly improve chances of pregnancy outcomes in women with Bicornuate Uterus. Yet, it is suggested that unless you absolutely need it, do not go for the surgical procedure. Healthy pregnancy is absolutely possible and is very common. Since it is a special condition, visit a doctor with prior experience.
Bicornuate Uterus is the most common type of Müllerian Duct Anomaly consists of 25% of the total number of cases. Being such a common condition, medical support in the field is also very advanced which leaves with you no reason to worry.
If you have a heart-shaped uterus don’t consider it a curse, it was just a responsibility given to you by nature. You are as blessed as any other woman and are special in your own way. We all have some kinds of medical conditions and yours is this- a completely normal and treatable one. Follow up with your doctor in cases of doubts and enjoy a happy pregnancy!