The Relation of Female Infertility and Uterine Abnormalities
Uterine abnormalities are typically present from birth and may never present any sort of symptoms until you try to conceive. Some uterine conditions can make it difficult for you to conceive, while others can result in miscarriage or premature birth. At the Center for Fertility and Gynecology, our doctors can tell you if your female infertility is caused by uterine abnormalities during an appointment at our Los Angeles, CA office. We offer a variety of infertility services to treat uterine abnormalities and improve your ability to conceive.
Types of Uterine Conditions
Nearly three percent of women are born with a uterine defect, affecting its size, shape, or structure. During fetal development, the Mullerian ducts in female fetuses join together and form the uterus. In some cases, these ducts, or small tubes, do not completely join, resulting in defects.
This is the most common uterine abnormality and is characterized by muscle or tissues that divide the uterus into two. A septate uterus often causes women to have repeat miscarriages. To prevent future miscarriages, surgery is typically required.
Also referred to as a heart-shaped uterus, a bicornate uterus has two distinct spaces rather than one.
Also known as a double uterus, there are not only two separate spaces, as with the bicornate uterus, but there are also separate cervices, or openings into the uterus.
With this condition, the uterus does not form completely. It is also referred to as a one-sided uterus, because only half of the uterus develops.
How Uterine Conditions Affect Fertility
Uterine abnormalities typically do not cause any discomfort or any other indications of a defect until a woman tries to conceive. Although some women can conceive and have a complication-free pregnancy with a uterine abnormality, others may experience complications. These complications may include the following.
- Difficulty conceiving
- Two or more consecutive miscarriages
- Premature birth
- Birth defects caused by restricted room for growth and development
- Slow fetal growth and development
- Problems with the baby’s positioning prior to birth
- The need for a cesarean (C-section)
Surgery is the most common treatment option for a septate or bicornate uterus. After surgical treatment for a septate uterus, most women can begin trying to get pregnant soon and can typically have a successful vaginal delivery. A woman who has undergone surgery for a bicornate uterus should wait three months or more before trying to conceive and most require a C-section for delivery. Unfortunately, there are no viable treatment options, surgical or otherwise, available for didelphic or unicornate uterus conditions.
Uterine abnormalities are not always the sole cause of female infertility. As such, our doctors will look at all other possibilities. By addressing any other potential causes of infertility, they can enhance your ability to conceive, even if your uterine defect is not treatable.
Learn More about Our Infertility Services
If you are trying to get pregnant but have struggled to conceive, or have suffered through multiple miscarriages, contact our fertility center to discuss your treatment options.