The uterus is a pear-shaped organ. When you’re not pregnant, it measures about 3 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1 inch deep. During pregnancy, the baby grows in the upper portion of the uterus, called the fundus. The lower part of the uterus dives a little ways into the vagina, and creates an opening called the cervix. This is the opening that dilates to let the baby pass through during delivery.
Some women are born with an abnormally-shaped uterus. A bicornuate uterus is heart-shaped. The fundus has a sharp indentation at the top, with two “horns” that connect to the Fallopian tubes.
This abnormality is not very common. About 1 in 200 women are estimated to have a bicornuate uterus. Most of these women don’t realize they have the condition until they get pregnant.
Pregnancy Complications with a Bicornuate Uterus
If the deformity is slight, there’s a good chance that the shape of your uterus won’t affect your pregnancy at all. Many women who have this condition carry their pregnancies to full term or nearly full term.
However, there are some risks for complication, including:
If your baby grows too large for the space your uterus allows, the uterine walls might overstretch, causing your water to break early. This sometimes results in preterm labor.
When your cervix is too weak to keep the baby inside, it may start to open prematurely. Your Ob/Gyn can strengthen your cervix with cerclage.
Your uterus’s shape may make it more difficult for the baby to get into the ideal position for birth. Experts do not recommend attempting to correct the baby’s position in an abnormally-shaped uterus, and because of this, you may need to deliver by C-section.
What Should I Do if I Have a Bicornuate Uterus?
It’s understandable to feel anxious about your pregnancy, especially if you have a history of miscarriages. The best possible thing you can do for your baby is to keep every prenatal appointment so that your Ob/Gyn can keep a close eye on your baby’s development.