How do uterine malformations occur?
During the development of the foetus, the uterus is initally composed of two small tubes. Throughout foetal life, both tubes join together to form a larger, empty organ: the uterus. Occasionally, however, both tubes fail to join together properly in the centre of the pelvis, and this is when uterine malformations appear.
What are the most frequent types of uterine malfomation?
The most frequently occuring types are: double uterus, with a single or double vagina; bicornuate uterus; with or without one of the horns of rudimentary aspect; unicornuate uterus.
Some women, even after becoming mothers, never realize that they have a uterine malformation.
Others may find out on noticing any of the follwing symptoms:
- A lump in the pelvis
- An unusual pain before or during menstruation
- Pain experienced during sexual relations
- Irregular blood loss via the vagina
- Miscarriage, premature birth or infants with some anomaly at birth
If any uterine malformation is suspected, we have the following diagnostic means at our disposal:
- Ecography. An abdominal or vaginal ultrasound enables us to determine the shape and interior condition of the uterus.
- Hysterosonography. As a complement to the previous examination, by injecting a saline solution into the uterine cavity.
- Hysterosalpingography. Instead of saline solution,we introducean iodinatedcontrast material into the uterine cavity and with x-ray images we are able to see clearly inside this cavity.
- Hysteroscopy. This provides a direct view of the inside of the uterus with a fine telescope connected to a TV camera.
- Nuclear magnetic resonance. Provides us with imagesof the pelvic organs across a range of sections.
- Laparoscopy. Enables us to see the pelvic organs directly by a miniature TV camera inserted through the navel.
A uterine malformation that exhibits no symptoms rarely requires treatment.
Different types of surgical treatment are available (removal of a vaginal septum or a uterine septum, join two uterine cavities together into one, etc) by endoscopic surgery or open abdominal surgery.
Should you have a double uterus or any other uterine malformation and you are pregant, you should see your doctor to prevent any possible miscarriage or premature birth, thereby preparing yourself and your child for a successful pregnancy and birth.