What are Uterine Malformations & How do they Impact Fertility

June 2023 (3 min read)

Uterine malformations are congenital defects in the shape of the uterus. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic mutations, environmental toxins, and infections. These defects can make it difficult for sperm to reach the egg or for the fertilised egg to implant.

There is no exact number of UK women who suffer from uterine malformations, as many cases are undiagnosed. However, it is estimated that around 1 in 40 women have a uterine malformation.

The most common type of uterine malformation is a septate uterus. This is a condition in which the wall of the uterus is divided by a thin membrane or septum. Other types of uterine malformations include bicornuate uterus, unicornuate uterus, and didelphys uterus.

Uterine malformations can cause a variety of problems, including infertility, miscarriage, and preterm birth. They can also make it difficult to have a vaginal delivery.

Diagnosis

There is no single test that can definitively diagnose uterine malformations. However, there are a number of tests that can be used to help diagnose uterine malformations, including:

  • Pelvic exam: A pelvic exam can help your doctor to look for signs of uterine malformations, such as a misshapen uterus or a septum in the uterus.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound can be used to look for signs of uterine malformations, such as a misshapen uterus or a septum in the uterus.
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): An HSG is a test that uses X-rays to look at the uterus and fallopian tubes. This test can help to diagnose uterine malformations, such as a septate uterus or a bicornuate uterus.
  • Laparoscopy: A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a small incision is made in the abdomen and a camera is inserted to look for signs of uterine malformations. This is the most accurate way to diagnose uterine malformations.

Treatment

The treatment for uterine malformations will depend on the type of malformation and the woman’s individual needs. Some women with uterine malformations may not need any treatment, while others may need surgery, medication, or fertility treatments.

Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment for uterine malformations. The type of surgery that is performed will depend on the type of malformation. Some common surgical procedures for uterine malformations include:

  • Septoplasty: This is a surgery to remove a septum in the uterus.
  • Hysteroplasty: This is a surgery to correct the shape of the uterus.
  • Hysterectomy: This is a surgery to remove the uterus.

Medication

Medication may be used to treat uterine malformations in some cases. Some common medications used to treat uterine malformations include:

  • Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy can be used to suppress the growth of uterine tissue.
  • Pain management medications: Pain management medications can be used to help relieve pain caused by uterine malformations.

Fertility treatments

Fertility treatments may be used to help women with uterine malformations who are trying to get pregnant. Some common fertility treatments include:

  • In vitro fertilization (IVF): IVF is a procedure in which eggs are fertilized outside of the body and then implanted in the uterus.
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): ICSI is a procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.
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