The human reproductive system plays a big role in a person’s life. You may think it is more about ensuring the continuity of the human population but this system plays more than that. This system helps to maintain the human body system to work well due to the hormonal system. This is why it is important to get regular health screening to ensure that this system and many other systems in the body works properly. Arcuate uterus is one of the conditions that may raise concern after getting a health screening.
Before going through an arcuate uterus, what exactly is a uterus? The uterus is an organ specifically in the female. This organ is part of the female reproductive system. The uterus looks like a pear upside down. It is responsible for many functions relating to the reproductive system such as pregnancy and menstruation. The uterus is located between the bladder and the rectum, sitting in the middle of the pelvis. There are 3 sections of the uterus which are the top known as fundus, the main body itself and the lower part known as cervix.
Now that you have understood a bit more on the uterus in general, what is an arcuate uterus? The arcuate uterus has a dent in the top portion of the uterus. This is the opposite of the typical uterus which is rounded or straight at the top of the uterus. Although it is different from the general known shape of the uterus, it is considered a normal variation of the uterus.
Speaking of variation of the uterus, an arcuate uterus is certainly not the only variation. This includes unicornuate uterus (womb with half of the normal size), bicornuate uterus ( heart shaped with deep dent to the top of the uterus), didelphic uterus (a divided uterus with its own cavity) and septate uterus (uterus splits into 2 areas by a muscle wall). Since there is variation of the uterus, it can be a concern especially if a person is planning for a pregnancy.
In most cases, people would not realise to actually have a different uterus that is not typical as many other women. The only way to know is by getting checked by doctors. Most people will know that they do have a different womb when they are faced with reproductive problems not limited to pregnancy difficulties, menstruation issues or experience discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse. Doctors usually will run additional tests such as ultrasounds, specifically transvaginal ultrasound. In some cases, doctors may suggest MRI scans or other scans to evaluate the uterus more clearly.
Back to our main focus of arcuate uterus, it is actually not a rare case. It is estimated that 11.8% of women do have this condition. Arcuate uterus is a result from the genetic mullerian anomaly. Mullerian itself are ducts that are typically fused together to form the fallopian tube, uterus and vagina. Hence, mullerian anomaly causes malformation of the uterus in the case of an arcuate uterus. The good thing is, in most cases, this genetic mullerian anomaly does not pose a problem to the reproductive potential of the woman.
Arcuate uterus is classified into 3 categories: Mild, moderate and severe arcuate. The classification is made based on the measured indentation lies. Most women do not experience symptoms and many found out that they do have this uterus shaped after imaging tests such as ultrasounds. However, in severe cases, they may experience symptoms such as pain during menstruation, excessive vaginal bleeding and difficult pregnancies.
Women with an arcuate uterus may be greatly concerned if they can get pregnant normally and healthily like other women do. That depends on how serious this case is. Studies suggest that certain cases might have higher risk for preterm birth and fetal growth problems. This means that they are likely to experience pregnancy complications.
The question now is, do you need surgery if you have an arcuate uterus? No surgery can actually fix these issues. Not to mention, there are also no medicines that can fix this issue. Hence, the best way to deal with this condition is to get checked by a doctor and to follow recommendations by the doctor. Doctors may suggest hormone therapy in severe cases. Surgery is only provided when it causes recurrent miscarriages and infertility.
It can be concluded that the arcuate uterus is part of the variation of the uterus. Most people who have it typically do not have symptoms. When there are symptoms, most likely it is a sign of a severe arcuate uterus. The only way to know if a person has an arcuate uterus is when they undergo imaging tests such as ultrasound. There is no specific treatment of the arcuate uterus. Recommendation by doctors regarding arcuate uterus will depend on the symptoms and the aim such as to have a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery. It is important to get medical advice to reduce the risk of pregnancy or delivery problems that can pose danger to the baby or mother.