Double Uterus

What is a Double Uterus?

Though considerably rare, it is possible for a woman to be born with a double uterus. It occurs as a result of abnormal development in the embryo’s pair of Mullerian ducts, which starts off as two small tubes. Normally, they fuse together early in the pregnancy. The organ disappears in males and becomes the vagina, Fallopian tubes, and uterus in females. When an abnormality results in a double uterus, it is medically referred to as bicornuate uterus.

In most cases, external genitalia appear normal in newborns with a double uterus, so the condition often goes undiagnosed during the person’s early years. Duplication does not make it anymore difficult for a woman to conceive. However, it results in a heightened risk of various pregnancy complications, including premature birth and miscarriage. It is unknown why some fetuses are born with a double uterus, though it is thought that genetics may play a part since the condition seems to pass through families.

What are the Symptoms of a Double Uterus?

Women with a double uterus rarely experience any symptoms. Rather, a doctor may discover the condition while performing a pelvic exam or using imaging tests after recurrent miscarriages.

Symptoms include

Some patients might notice unusually severe pain during the menstrual period. Women who have developed a double vagina alongside a double uterus may visit the doctor when they notice menstrual bleeding that does not stop when using a tampon. When this happens, the tampon is absorbing from one vagina while the other continues to allow blood to drain.

How is a Double Uterus Treated?

Women with a double uterus will likely not require treatment if they are not experiencing any symptoms. Surgery is rarely done unless there is a partial division of the uterus that can be corrected to help maintain a pregnancy. For those who also have a double vagina, surgical operations can remove the extra wall of tissue, making childbirth a bit easier.

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Last Reviewed:
September 20, 2016
Last Updated:
September 06, 2017