New treatments for women with two vaginas
| By Dana Sparks, May 2, 2019
| Mayo Clinic News Network – A double uterus is a rare congenital abnormality.
In a female fetus, the uterus starts out as two small tubes. As the fetus develops, the tubes normally join to create one larger, hollow organ — the uterus.
Sometimes, however, the tubes don’t join completely. Instead, each one develops into a separate structure.
A double uterus may have one opening (cervix) into one vagina, or each uterine cavity may have a cervix.
In many cases, a thin wall of tissue runs down the length of the vagina, dividing it into two separate openings. Even Virgins Are Getting This STD
Women who have a double uterus often have successful pregnancies. But the condition can increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
It’s not clear why some fetuses develop a double uterus and others don’t. A genetic component may be a factor because this rare condition sometimes runs in families. If You See These Genital Signs, Show A Doctor
A double uterus often causes no symptoms. The condition may be discovered during a regular pelvic exam or during imaging tests to determine the cause of repeated miscarriages.
Women who have a double vagina along with a double uterus may initially consult a health care provider for menstrual bleeding that isn’t stopped by a tampon.
In these situations, the woman has placed a tampon in one vagina, but blood is still escaping from the second uterus and vagina.
Seek medical advice if you have a menstrual flow despite the insertion of a tampon, or if you have severe pain with menstruation or experience repeated miscarriages.
Many women with a double uterus have normal sex lives, pregnancies and deliveries. But sometimes a double uterus and other abnormalities of uterine development are associated with:
- Premature birth
- Kidney abnormalities
A double uterus may be diagnosed during a routine pelvic exam when your health care provider observes a double cervix or feels an abnormally shaped uterus.
If your health care provider suspects an abnormality, he or she may recommend any of the following tests:
Ultrasound. This test uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of your body.
To capture the images, a device called a transducer is either pressed against your abdominal skin or inserted into your vagina (transvaginal ultrasound).
Both types of ultrasound may be done to get the best view. A 3-D ultrasound may be used where available.
The sonohysterogram (son-o-HIS-ter-o-gram), an ultrasound scan, is done after fluid is injected through a tube into your uterus by way of your vagina and cervix. This allows your health care provider to look for problems in the shape of your uterus.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI machine looks like a tunnel that has both ends open. You lie down on a movable table that slides into the opening of the tunnel.
This painless procedure uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of the inside of your body.
Hysterosalpingography. During a hysterosalpingography (his-tur-o-sal-ping-GOG-ruh-fe), a special dye is injected into your uterus through your cervix.
As the dye moves through your reproductive organs, X-rays are taken to determine the shape and size of your uterus and whether your fallopian tubes are open.
If you have a double uterus but you don’t have signs or symptoms, treatment is rarely needed.
Surgery to unite a double uterus is rarely done — although surgery may help you sustain a pregnancy if you have a partial division within your uterus and no other medical explanation for a previous pregnancy loss.
If you have a double vagina in addition to a double uterus, you might be a candidate for an operation that would remove the wall of tissue separating the two vaginas. This can make childbirth a little easier.
This article is written by Mayo Clinic Staff and can be found with other health and medical information on mayoclinic.org.
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