How Do Physical Uterine Problems Affect Fertility?

I have a physical uterine problem. Do I need to know anything special before I get pregnant?
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profile picture of Lowell T. Ku, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Dallas IVF
Updated March 2, 2017
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Unfortunately, some wombs can be a little wacky. About 5 percent of all women are born with some kind of uterine congenital abnormality, meaning they’re born with a certain condition or problem in their uterus, and the way that may affect fertility depends on each woman’s own specific problem. Many others develop a problem like fibroids or polyps along the way, which can affect their ability to get pregnant. Most of these acquired issues can be treated with minor surgery. Some congenital issues, such as a  septate uterus (a uterus with a narrow wall in the middle), can also be treated with a relatively minor operation. Then there are other types of physical problems, including a heart-shaped bicornuate uterus; a unicornuate uterus that’s only half the size of normal; or uterus didelphys, in which there are two separate uteruses. Most of these cannot be treated, and while many women with one of these conditions can still conceive on their own, they may suffer from recurrent pregnancy loss or  preterm labor and delivery. If you do get pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor about your uterine condition. Many times women with a physical uterine problem will also have kidney or spinal issues such as scoliosis, which can have an impact on your pregnancy.

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Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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