Monday, November 19, 2007

What the hell is a Bicornuate Uterus anyhow?

A Bicornuate Uterus is also referred to as a heart-shaped uterus. You may have been diagnosed with this. That diagnosis may have happened during a miscarriage. You may have only had an ultrasound to make this determination. You probably never knew this about yourself. It was probably told you you by a doctor you would never see again. That doctor may have created a rudimentary drawing on a scrap piece of paper for you to show you the shape, then wrote it down, B-I-C-O-R-N-U-A-T-E, then told you to go home and look it up on the internet. They might have tapped you on the knee and said, "don't worry, many women have this and have very uneventful pregnancies. You'll have lots of kids!"

At least this is how it happened to me.

In a follow up visit to see a midwife, I was told we should just try again. Not only that, there was no need to wait, no reason to investigate the diagnosis further. No biggie - just try again.
So we did, and in 2 cycles I was pregnant again. At that point, I was in the begin research Mullerian Anomalies. I was just learning the what, why and how I was born like this (and you can too if you click here.)

Before I knew I was knocked up again I had made an appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist - here on and ever referred to as simply, an RE. Arriving in her office pregnant was frowned upon, for the RE is meant to help you get pregnant-- once pregnancy occurs the RE gives you the boot. So my RE was pretty casual with me, said congrats and warned me that we would not be getting to know each other very well. But I felt really scared about this one, and she could tell I was not feeling like this pregnancy was a taker.

A month later during my 7 week ultrasound, the first time I was supposed to see the heartbeat, the shit hit the fan. "Sorry, this pregnancy is not going to work out. There is no heartbeat." So I guess me and this RE were going to get to know each other.

I was a mobile coffin for about a week, then scheduled a D&E. The worst part is that you have these little moments where you let yourself think for just a second that everything is ok-- That the little packet of cells inside you was just playing peek-a-boo, that your ovulation date was off, that the ultrasound machine was busted. Nope, this really was happening to us.

So what I meant to get to is that my diagnosis, done at a hospital during an emergency room visit, with ultrasound as the only imaging, was starting to look like it might be wrong. And what I learned very soon is that the diagnosis of "BICORNUTE" is a kind of catch all for any type of uterine anomaly that appears as though the uterine cavity is divided when seen on ultrasound. Thing is, bicornuate's have pretty good outcomes with pregnancy. More specifically, when they do suffer losses it tends to be second and third trimester. I was having first trimester losses. It just didn't jive.

So I was back where I should have been 2 months prior if any of the small army of OB's, Midwife's or Gyno's that I saw would have even lightly suggested a follow up or second opinion. Here I was, no less than 4 months in to trying to make a roomie. Two were gone, and I was left in limbo. Yeah for our health system!


Anonymous said...

hi there
just wondering how you went with any future pregnancies?
i am researching as I have this problem too.
i have a ultrasound of my uterus, I was just wanting to find out how severe it really is (I haven't yet asked the doc as I'm not pregnant but planning in the coming months)

admin said...

Yes. I have 2 children now. But please read further. It is highly likely that you may have a uterine septum, not a bicornuate uterus. That was what happened to me. They look very similar on ultrasound, but act very different in pregnancy. I'd suggest MRI or laproscopy to confirm. It may be a battle with your doctor, but worth it.