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The Case of the Double Uterus

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A few months ago, I read an article on CNN.com (see link below) about a woman with two uteruses. She was pregnant in each uterus, and no, the babies are not considered twins! My first reaction was – how can that happen?

So while doing some research on another subject, I ran into some information on, of all things, the double uterus. The medical term for this condition is uterus didelphys. Interestingly enough, when the female fetus is developing, something (doctors don’t know exactly what) prevents the womb from forming correctly. Under normal circumstances, the uterus starts from two tubes that connect into one, making the womb. However, with uterus didelphys, the separate tubes remain separate and develop into two distinct organs.

Some women discover the fact that they have a second uterus only during a pregnancy or a routine pelvic exam. The doctor may detect a second cervix or he may notice the odd shape of the uterus itself. According to the Mayo Clinic, not only do some women have separate wombs with its own cervix, but each may have its own vagina as well!

Can you have a normal sex life then? Yes, many women do. However, with some, this rare condition can cause problems. Complications may include pelvic pain, miscarriages or infertility. On the other hand, this condition is not even thought to be a problem at all if there is no pelvic pain or other complications noted.

When symptoms are present, they may include multiple miscarriages with no clear medical reason as to why, unusual pain before and during menstrual periods as well as abnormal bleeding during periods, even though you are wearing a sanitary pad or tampon. Seek an opinion from a qualified professional. And finally, if you are having extreme problems and uterus didelphys is found to be the problem, surgery is the only option.

Best in health!

Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer and poet. I am so glad fall is almost here – one of my favorite seasons!

Woman pregnant in both uteruses – article from CNN.com

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This is the response I received:

Maryann Gromisch RN HERWriter Guide
Your experience is very moving. You and your husband have been blessed for your determination to have children inspite of such overwhelming odds. Has your gynecologist/ obstetrician offered any preventative advice ? All that I was able to find was that there is a high risk for miscarriage. Let's pray that there is a reader out there who may have a similar experience or a specialist who has some new and promising information.

September 28, 2011 - 8:50am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi, I am 25 years old I found out when i was 18 that I had a double uterus. Mine just happens to be a complete doubling, including double cervix and a vaginal spetum that seperates my vagina in to two shafts. It does not cause any problems during intercourse the septum is very soft and simply falls to one side or the other. My husband and I are very blessed to have to two beautiful daughters. My oldest, who is almost 4, I carried in left uterus. She was breech, and I did have a lot of complications in carring her to full term. I spent weeks on bed rest, in out of the hospital on magnesium drips, and finally ended up with T-pump to keep my contractions under control. By the grace of God we carried her to 36 weeks. About 12 months after her birth we suffered out first miscarriage which was intially demeed a blighted ovum miscarriage. This pregnancy was in the left uterus. Then 6 months later we were successful in concieving our second child, and to our surprise I carried her in the right uterus. We also found out at that time that my right uterus is severly tilted. We suffered a lot of bleeding during the pregnancy and spent twice the amount of time on bedrest, in the hospital and on the T-Pump. We were only successful in carrying her to 34 weeks which was a blessing since my contractions started at 20wks. She spent a couple weeks in the NICU but is a perfectly healthy happy 21month old now. She was not breech. However, my cervix never dialted in all that time, so we ended up with our second c-section. In June we suffered our 2nd unexplained miscarriage and are not sure as to which uterus I was carrying as it was a very early miscarriage. We just suffered our 3rd unexplained miscarriage at 9 weeks carrying in the right uterus and I needed a D&C today, for fear of hemorrage if my body tired to pass everything on its own. Women with a double uterus have a higher rate of hemorraging during labor. We are going through a gamit of tests right now and they are all coming back negative. I am writting this, one to give hope to anyone who has found out that they have this anomally as we have 2 perfectly healthy happy beautiful little girls, we had some trouble getting them here but they are here and that counts as success. I am also writting this in hopes that someone else may have a experienced a similar situation and be able to help us pinpoint what we may need to do to prevent further miscarriage!

September 21, 2011 - 8:35pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.