Q&A: What Is a Bicornuate Uterus?

I was recently diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus. Can you tell me more about this condition and what methods should we use in hopes of success?
Save article
ByDr. Joseph Hill
Cardiologist
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image

There are many uterine (womb) abnormalities. Bicornuate uterus literally means “two horns,” and refers to a congenital uterine formation problem.

Embryologically, the uterus is formed beginning at five weeks of gestation. It starts out near the kidney as two separate structures called horns, then migrates down into the pelvis as the two horns fuse into one. The area of fusion is a septum dividing the two, and is reabsorbed to make a normal intrauterine cavity. Sometimes, however, this normal progressions does not occur.

A true bicornuate uterus is one in which the two horns migrate down but do not completely fuse to make a normal uterus. A more common abnormality is a septate uterus. This is an abnormality in which the uterine horns fuse completely, but the intervening septum is not completely absorbed. The uterus then appears as two horns internally, but externally looks to be unified.

A septate uterus may be associated with miscarriages, while a true bicornuate uterus is generally associated not with miscarriages, but a higher risk of preterm laborand birth. A noninvasive procedure called a pelvic MRI can differentiate these two conditions and other uterine congenital abnormalities.

Both abnormalities can be approached surgically. A septate uterus can be repaired with a day surgical procedure called an operative hysteroscopy with septum resection. A true bicornuate uterus can only be approached through a more major surgery called a Strassman procedure, which requires an abdominal incision.

Related Video
Save article

8 Signs of Fertility to Look for Each Month

Temeka Zore, MD
OB-GYN and Infertility Specialist

10 Things to Avoid When Trying to Conceive

Temeka Zore, MD
OB-GYN and Infertility Specialist

Peanut App Launches TTC Platform to Help Women Find a Safe Community

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
11/18/2019

How to Get Pregnant Fast

Stacey Feintuch
Contributing Writer

How to Boost Your Fertility in Your 30s

Anna Davies
Contributing Writer

Men Should Go to Bed by This Time if They’re Trying to Conceive

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
06/26/2019

Researchers May Have Found an Easy Way to Treat Endometriosis

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/01/2019

Can Herbs Boost My Fertility?

Wayne S. Maxson, MD, medical director, reproductive endocrinologist, and founder, IVF Florida Reproductive Associates
Fertility Specialist
Article removed.