Chronic Illness & Endometriosis Health

Excision Surgery: Why a Heart-Shaped Uterus Is Not Cool

One week ago today, I had my laparoscopic excision surgery performed. During the surgery, the gynecologist discovered that my uterus was heart-shaped and determined, due to my husband and I expressing a desire to conceive within a year, that resection was necessary.  This made me look into why have a heart-shaped uterus was something that needed corrected, I mean heart-shaped anything usually means good, right?

Turns out, wrong! When it comes to the uterus, you want a nice upside-down pear shape.  The heart-shape or bicornuate uterus is a birth  deformation in which the fusion process of the mellurian ducts does not form correctly.

The pain from the corrective surgery has been intense, yet the more I read about the deformity the more it makes sense that I’ve had this all along!

Bicornuate Uterus symptoms include:

  • difficulty conceiving,
  • abdominal pain, cramping,
  • painful ovulation,
  • painful menstrual cycle

bicornuate-uterus-picturePresently only 1%  of all women in the United States have a bicornuate uterus, although this is not always diagnosed until there is a fertility issue. Of those women, 63% will have a spontaneous abortion, the remainder will have a 15-25% chance of having a pre-term pregnancy.  There is HOPE, though! 

By receiving progesterone shots or simply close monitoring by a reproductive specialist, a woman with a heart-shaped uterus may be able to make it past the safe thirty-four (34) week mark.

Will my heart-shaped uterus cause fertility issues?

Research in this area is lacking (as with most areas of women’s health) yet it currently does not show a direct correlation between bicornuate uterus alone and difficulty becoming pregnant. Although, most women with heart-shaped issues have issues once they become pregnant.

  • Risk for recurrent miscarriage goes up in women with a heart-shaped uterus. The reproductive potential for women with bicornuate uterus is measured by the live birth rate, which has been estimated at 63% for women with this condition.
  • Women with a bicornuate uterus have a 15-25% chance of preterm delivery. This can be dangerous for the baby’s survival, especially if the mother goes into labor before the baby is fully developed.
  • In a partial bicornuate uterus, 40-50% of all babies present as breech (feet first) during labor and delivery. Women with a complete bicornuate uterus had 0% breech presentation. Breech presentation increases potential complications for labor and delivery for the mother and child. Babies presenting breech are considered slightly higher risk and may end up in cesarean section.
  • Higher risk of cervical incompetence. If cervical incompetence is present, a cervical cerclage may be necessary. A cervical cerclage is where the cervix is stitched closed at a certain point in the pregnancy, usually during the second trimester. The cerclage is then taken out at the end of pregnancy in preparation for labor and birth. Source Natural Fertility Info

health-uterineWhat can I do to improve my  Uterine Health?

If you are like me and wanting to TCC in the near future, you are probably concerned with making your internal body as healthy, as possible. Now that you know you have a heart-shaped uterus you will want to talk to your doctor about your options.  For me, my doctor was able to do a uterine resection to reform my uterus during my laparoscopic surgery; however, this may not be right for everyone.  Luckily there are other ways to improve uterine health without surgery:

  • Diet and exerice: By eating a wholefood, nutrients-rich diet and getting 30-minutes of exercise each day (walking or Yoga are excellent options) you will be able to maintain uterine health.
  • Self Fertility Massage and Maya Abdominal Massage:  his video is the best way to explain this technique.
  • Herbs: some herbs such as Raspberry leaf and evening primrose oil help the uterus to contract to maintain uterine muscle tone. There have been shown to be safe for daily use.

Although my uterus is now the correct shape, the focus is now on strengthening the muscle. I will continue forward improving my body and mind going forward, no matter the sacrifice! I will not be in this position again if I have control of it.

Have you heard of a bicornuate uterus?

Would you change your diet if it meant less pain?

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