Having a Bicornuate Uterus

I have a Bicornuate Uterus. What the heck does that mean? Well I will tell you. Where a “normal” uterus is sort of shaped like an upside down pear, a bicornuate uterus is more heart shaped, in that it has two sides of it. Heartshaped is a very nice way of putting it, as if you look at the image on the Wikipedia page it is not quite as romantic looking as “heart shaped” sounds!

courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I never realised until recently that actually there can be many different shapes of uterus, you can have a unicornuate uterus too, which means that you only have a one-sided uterus. Bicornuate uteri come in a variety of shapes and sizes as the term can be used to describe a uterus with a slight dip in the top, all the way through to a uterus that is literally divided into two. It is even possible for each side of the womb to have it’s own cervix, and even it’s own vagina.

The weirdest thing is that these variations can be quite common, but there is no real way of knowing you have such a uterus, unless you have a problem (though I suppose you may know it if you had 2 vaginas!). We found out that I have a bicornuate uterus because Monkey was a breech baby and we had to have a c-section. It was during my surgery that the consultant saw my uterus and realised there is no way Monkey would ever have had room to turn around, as my uterus is divided into two parts. This had not shown up on any scan, and we had even tried the ECV (External Cephalic Version), where they try to forcibly turn the baby. that would never have worked with Monkey and will never be tried again with any of my future pregnancies.

I would never have known this and I certainly never knew that in some cases bicornuate uteri can come with fertility problems and can be a cause of early miscarriage because there is simply not enough room in whichever side of the uterus they are in. I am actually really glad I didn’t know about that until I had carried a baby to full term as I would have worried over it. As it is i have been really lucky and it has not caused me any fertility problems.

So what does this mean for me? Well, again it varies from person to person, so they cannot say for definite what it means for each individual. Because the baby will grow in one side of the uterus, there is generally less room, and therefore is a higher chance of the baby being breech. Our initial consultant said to me there is a 50/50 chance of a breech baby, however the consultant we have seen this time said that it is much harder to quantify and that actually the chance of another breech baby is much higher. Initially the baby can turn around like normal, however eventually (and it varies from person to person and they cannot say when this is) there is likely to come a time when baby cannot turn, and they will become stuck in that position. Be it head down or breech.

courtesy of freedigitalimages.net

courtesy of freedigitalimages.net

The reason there is a higher chance that they will get stuck in a breech position is because most babies do not turn head down until the end of pregnancy and so it is very likely that they will not try to turn head down until it is too late to do so. There is still a chance though, particularly as my uterus has been stretched once and is stretching again, so there may be more time for this baby to turn, or she may turn down early enough.

Monkey was breech from really really early on last time, and although at the time I had no idea why, I always felt he was on my left side and while I would get feet kicking very low down on the right side, I never felt movement high up on the right side. Whenever I mentioned anything to friends/family it was dismissed, and to be honest I dismissed it, as I didn’t even know it was possible to have a baby only on one side! My bump was round all over but I only ever felt big movements on one side and then lower kicks on my right, as if he was diagonally across my tummy.

Even late on when his head was clearly visible at the top of my tummy, it was only ever really in the middle or over to the left, never on my right!

WP_000200

Monkey trying to get out the wrong way! Don’t I look happy about it! :)

 I am even more aware of it this time and once again this baby is on my left side. I get kicks (the sharper jerkier movements) in my pelvis and then bigger movements of head and elbows higher up, but all on my left side. Because I now know about my bicornuate uterus I suppose it is easier to feel what makes sense, but when I press the left side of my tummy, it is very firm and solid, whereas on my right side, it is much more soft and pliable. It is quite bizarre and looking at me I don’t think you could see the difference, but I can definitely feel it!

This is affecting my Pelvis and SPD as for some reason my right side is usually my weaker side, and early on the pain was definitely focussed on that side. Now though, I guess with the weight of the baby growing more on the left, the left side of my pelvis is far more painful now, so where I was working more on strengthening my right side, I now have to catch up and strengthen my left side more!!

Only time will tell whether or not our baba will have the space to turn face down when the time comes. If she does I am hoping to go for a VBaC. If not, it will be another C-Section, which I am not exactly looking forward to but is the safest thing for the baby at that point. We have an appointment with the consultant at 35/36 weeks and if she is Breech then, we will get booked in for the C-Section.

Anyone else out there with  a Bicornuate Uterus? What did it mean for you?

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54 thoughts on “Having a Bicornuate Uterus

  1. Yep I have a Bicornuate Uterus and had my eldest by c-section as she couldn’t turn….They said the chances are slim of having non-breech baby but my youngest managed to turn in the last few weeks somehow….They couldn’t explain it as she was breech all along until those the last couple of weeks….They’d told me I#d be having a c-section all along and I wasn’t mentally prepared for a normal birth so carried on with the section.

    • Oh interesting, and completely understandable! I am trying to keep an open mind as I would prefer a VBac if I get the opportunity and am hopeful she may randomly be able to turn… but we will have to wait and see if that is possible or not! xx

  2. Oooh I’ve never heard of it before! How amazing that really you only need half a uterus to grow a baby! I was imagining you with a wonky bump until you said you look round all over, lol! That pic of Monkey is amazing- you can see his head poking out so much! Hope baby turns for you lovely!! X

    • Yeah I never had before either, it’s so crazy when you think about it isn’t it? haha yeah thankfully it is not so obvious from outside! I know, at the time I wasn’t happy about a picture being taken but hubby insisted we capture it as it was so hard to explain how crazy it was without photographic evidence! xx

  3. I have a bicornuate uterus too. I carried my 1st son in my right (emergency section) miscarried 2nd child in my left then successfully carried my youngest in my left and had a planned section. I wont ever try a vbac after my 1st traumatic birth. My bladder was attached to one uterus and was damaged during the section. Day to day I have no problems but when pregnant it presents issues.

    • Gosh you have been through it and I don’t blame you for not wanting a Vbac after a previous negative experience! I am glad it causes you no problems outside of pregnancy! xx

  4. It seems so crazy doesn’t it that you can have something like that and never know unless someone actually goes in for a look! I hope that this little one obligingly gets stuck in the head down position but if not at least you know the why she can’t turn; perhaps avoiding an ECV is the tiny silver lining – I got very close to having one with Elma, it was only doing the checks pre-procedure that they realised she had turned head down again and sent me home!

    • Doesn’t it just? So crazy.. Thank you, fingers crossed and you’re right, i am very glad I never have to have another ECV, that wasn’t much fun! xx

  5. This is absolutely fascinating. I never realised a uterus could come in so many different shapes and sizes – or the two vaginas thing! And how incredible to be able to see so clearly the shape of the baby under your bump in that picture. You don’t look happy at all – and nor do I blame you, it looks very uncomfortable! Thanks for linking this interesting post up to the #BlogBumpClub, lovely to see you there again. xx

    • It’s crazy to think about isn’t it as you never really get old this sort of thing and assume these abnormalities are really rare, when i don’t think they actually are! Thanks for hosting lovely :) xx

  6. I hadn’t heard of this before but did want to say I was hoping to have a VBAC with my second but ended up having a planned section and it was a lovely experience. No scary rushing around and a much easier recovery. Im now planing my third baby with a planned section and I’m actually looking forward to it :) I hope you get whatever birth you want but whatever happens I hope it all goes well for you x #BlogBumpClub

    • Thank you and really glad all went so well for you, I have to say my planned C section was lovely, it was just the few days in hospiatl afterwards I found really hard, but I got through it once so will do so again if necessary :) xx

  7. Wow! Amazing you could feel a difference before you even knew. Anything is possible in pregnancy so don’t rule out a VBAC, you just never know what baby might do. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy x #blogbumpclub

    • You’re absolutely right and I am trying to keep an open mind all the way along as like you say, you never know! xx

  8. Me too! It’s great to find someone else with a Bi-cornate!
    We found out when I had a miscarriage in January. I’ve since had further scans to find out the severity (not too bad, but enough to raise issues) and I have a kidney scan on Saturday. Apparently there is an increased chance of you only having one functioning kidney if you also have a bi-cornate uterus but it shouldn’t affect you in any way.
    We’re now trying again to get pregnant. I’m nervous because of the previous miscarriage, but at least I know there is a potential issue and I’ll get earlier and more frequent scans thoughout.
    I’m following you now so we’ll have to let each other know how we get on!! #PoCoLo

    • Aww happy to have found you too! Sounds like you have already been through it so far, and know more than me! I am really surprised to hear about the possible Kidney complication too! Best of luck with everything and I shall be following you too to see how you get on!! xx

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I had heard of this condition when you described it as a heart-shaped uterus. In the only case I’d ever heard of, it did cause infertility. I’m glad for this reason for you that you do have Monkey and are preggo with a new baby. I hope her arrival will be safe and she wo’n’t be a breech. #PoCoLo

    • Thank you, I know I am so lucky as it could be a lot worse, I’m sorry to hear about the case you know of that led to infertility. Fingers crossed all continues to go well with this pregnancy :) xx

  10. Hi Hun,
    so glad you wrote this. My story is the same as yours. I have a bicorniate uterus which was only picked up when I had an emergancy c-section. I had never heard of it before, had no idea what it was. I then read up on it and was so shocked to find it can carry so many fertility issues with it. My little man was always on my left handside first time. This time baby is on the right hand side and I can tell it feel lots different.

    I have growth scans every 4 weeks to make sure baby is growing normally as baby does not have as much room as a baby in a normal uterus. Its amazing that our stories are identical.

    This time im having a planned section :0

    Would be fab for you to come link up with our pregnancy linky hun. I do a new week every Sunday if you fancy it #:)

    xxxx
    here is the link to this weeks linky if you fancy linking up
    http://bloggingmummy.com/uncategorized/2442/

    • Hey and wow we really do have such a similar story, it is crazy to hear so many people have it but noone has ever heard of it before! Glad to hear you are having growth scans to make sure all is ok and I don’t blame you for having a planned section after an emergency one. Ooh thank you yes I will pop over tomorrow! xx

    • No it was a planned and honestly it’s not the C-section itself that bothers me, mine was smooth and calm… I didn’t have a very good time in hospital during the 3 days after (though that’s another story I will be blogging about soon) but even that should be better this time with my second child. I really just hope for a VBac to have the experience. I know to some people that sounds bonkers, but it’s how I feel. I will be fine with whatever happens for the best for the baby though. :) Thanks for the link i shall have a read :) x

  11. This is fascinating Caroline and your tummy just looks such a weird shape in that pic! I hope baby girl does a nice somersault for you head down eventually so that you can experience a Vbac but if not, then I’m sure C-section will be fine too X

    • Thanks Sam and I hope so too, but like you say what will be will be and I am not worrying about it too much as I have no control over it! xx

  12. This is really interesting. I’ve never heard of it but I find it fascinating to tell the truth. Aren’t our bodies amazing?! Would something like spinning babies help at all do you think? And have you got a birthing ball to try to encourage baby into the right position? I am bouncing on mine as we speak- so want my VBAC! x x x

    • It’s crazy isn’t it really? I really don’t know as they can’t say when there is enough room to turn and when there isn’t anymore. I spend a lot of time on the birthing ball as it is good for my pelvis and keep wondering whether to try positions to make her turn, just not sure if it will work. Got to be wortha try though! xx

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  15. I just came across your blog and will be following your pregnancy progress from now on. This is my first pregnancy, at our 12 week scan I was told I have two separate wombs – which was very scary as I had gone 28 years not knowing this! I only learned afterwards it could cause fertility issues. Then at my 17 week scan the hospital called it Bicornuate Uterus, although they were not sure if the two uterus had just grown bigger so looked to be sitting side by side. Three weeks later the second part just seemed to disappear and all that could be seen was one uterus slightly misshapen. They think the second part got smaller to make room for the first! I only feel my baby on the left side and lower down on the right like you, also I am starting to see a physio for pelvic pain and have been told my left pelvic is out of line, which probably all makes sense! No word about baby being breached yet. Anyway great to find you, I will be keeping a close eye on your progress. Thank you for the post x

    • Wow well I am glad you have found me and thank you for commenting. Isn’t it crazy to think that you can live your life without knowing this? I never even had it mentioned at the scan and they only found out during the c-section, which I find even more bonkers. Amazing how they can’t seem to work out whether you have one or two wombs! I also find it really interesting what you have said about your pelvis as we have often wondered whether the two are related in my case as well, though so far noone has suggested that is possible. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly and I would love to hear how you are getting on! xx

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  23. I have a bi-cornuate too with one kidney which is working for two (thats what the doc said). I found out when i started having my periods, around 13 years old, and had terrible cramps. My folks consulted the gynac then and they found out that i have a bi-cornuate but i was not aware of the problems and issues with it conceiving. I’ve conceived now normal and i’m 29 weeks pregnant with my LO and she is doing good :) i was worried about breech presentation and was researching into it and found your article (thanks so much for sharing). I’m hoping that she would turn during the last few days and i have a normal delivery but do have an open mind and i’m fine with a c-sections or a vaginal as long as she is doing well.

  24. I just wanted to tell you that I knew a lady that had a bicornuate uterus. She also apparently had partial twin vaginas because she spoke about needing 2 tampons & putting 1 up each…but from the outside, all appeared “normal”. But…who’s actually normal? I’m nearly 6′ tall, & have been told all my life that I have ” them WIDE birthin’ hips”. Actually it didn’t work like that. Wide hips, per SE…but it turns out my pelvic bones were nearly FLAT. Neither of my 2 babies EVER dropped. While my son was just too big to drop down in the 1st place, my daughter, born 1st, was initially induced & never progressed. She lay head down on my pelvic bones. When she was born by c-section, her forehead was flat ! It spooked the docs til her head rounded up….quickly. I think it’s just terrific all of us with unusual pelvic construction have been able to be mothers at all ! :) Who cares how we got on the Mommy train…we’re on it & I’m glad all of us are. I know way too many who were never able to be mothers.

  25. I also have bicornuate uterus x they seemed shocked with my pregnancy as I am 21 and managed to get pregnant within a month of coming off of the implant no issues and completely naturally x I am concerned about the ecv with a bicornuate uterus x it is my first baby and she is still breech atm and I am 34 weeks in 2 days time x

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