What Is a Septate Uterus?

What exactly is a septate uterus? How can it affect pregnancy?
profile picture of Peter G. McGovern, MD, director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark; medical director of University Reproductive Associates, Montclair, NJ
ByPeter G. McGovern, MD, director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark; medical director of University Reproductive Associates, Montclair, NJ
Fertility Specialist
Updated
Feb 2017
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Way back when, when you were a developing fetus, your body was formed in such a way that two ducts (called the Mullerian ducts) joined together to form what is now your uterus. In some women, however, a wall of tissue remains between the two halves of the uterus, dividing it either fully or partially into two separate cavities. (There are also cases where the womb is divided into more of a heart shape, called a bicornuate uterus, and others where the uterus is only half the size of normal, called the unicornuate uterus, or there are two separate uteruses altogether, called uterus didelphys.)

Some women who have a septate uterus don’t realize there’s an issue until pregnancy, when an ultrasound can point to the problem. Unfortunately, there’s a higher risk of miscarriage, so recurrent pregnancy loss may also be what made you realize there was an issue. The good news is that the wall itself is relatively easy to remove surgically, which will expand the size of the uterus so your baby has more room to grow.

 

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