DEAR DR MITCHELL,
I had a vaginal septum which was surgically removed. I also have a uterine anomaly (no uterine horns). Will this prevent me from conceiving?
A vaginal septum is when the vagina is split into two parts by a band of tissue. It happens during foetal development. The removal of the vaginal septum will allow you to be sexually active without any significant pain or discomfort.
The nature of the uterine abnormality is important. Sometimes if it is just a septum which divides the top of the uterus into two parts, this can interfere with the implantation of the fertilised egg and contribute to recurrent pregnancy losses and premature delivery. If this is the case, it can be removed by an operation.
In some women this can be associated with a weak or incompetent cervix and a stitch must be put in at 14 weeks to prevent a pregnancy loss.
If it is the case of complete duplication of the body of the uterus, which means you have two separate cavities, then this can allow for a successful pregnancy that may be taken to full term without any problems.
It is important to get a proper evaluation done and discuss the options available to you. The resection of the septum in the uterus can be done by doing a hysteroscopy and removal of the septum under direct vision. This is usually an outpatient procedure with a very good outcome.
It is also important to establish that you are ovulating regularly by doing a 21-day progesterone test. Your spouse should also be investigated by doing a semen analysis to ensure that he does not have underlying problems. Normal Fallopian tubes and a uterine cavity can be confirmed by doing an x-ray called hysterosalpingogram (HSG). This will confirm if you can become pregnant without having to do invitro fertilisation (IVF).
Consult your doctor who will advise you further.
Dr Sharmaine Mitchell is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5 or fax to 876-968-2025. All responses are published. Dr Mitchell cannot provide personal responses.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and must not be relied upon as an alternative to medical advice or treatment from your own doctor.