Identifying and Removing the Barrier to Pregnancy Formed by a Uterine Septum
A uterine septum is a congenital (present from birth) abnormality. It is the presence of a large fibrous band in the uterine cavity. This type of malformation is also called a müllerian anomaly or defect. A uterine septum (or septate uterus) is the most common uterine abnormality associated with reproductive failure, although some women with this condition conceive without any problems. You can be confident that the physicians at Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates are experienced in treating women with this problem.
How Does Having a Uterine Septum Affect Fertility?
A uterine septum affects women during pregnancy much more often than it affects their ability to conceive. Women with a uterine septum may experience repeated miscarriages because the uterus is shaped abnormally (the uterine septum causes the inside of the uterus to be shaped like a heart rather than a triangle, while the outside of the uterus appears normal).
There may also be instances in which the uterine septum may cause problems with conception because the defect limits the blood supply available to the uterine wall, sometimes making it difficult for an embryo to implant.
A uterine septum may also cause additional problems once a woman becomes pregnant, including preterm labor or malpresentation during the birthing process.
How Is a Uterine Septum Diagnosed?
Upon physical examination, the uterus often appears normal, so the fact that a uterine septum is present may not be suspected until a woman has problems with infertility or recurrent miscarriage. At Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates, we use several different tests to diagnose uterine abnormalities such as a uterine septum (or septate uterus), including:
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)—a special type of x-ray
- Ultrasound or MRI of the uterus
How Is a Uterine Septum Treated?
The uterine septum (or broad fibrous band of tissue) is removed using a minimally invasive procedure called operative hysteroscopy. For most of our patients, this is an outpatient procedure performed in a day surgery center. It can also be performed in a hospital using local, regional or general anesthesia, depending on the circumstances. There are very few complications, and this procedure has proven to be very successful in treating fertility problems which are due to a septate uterus (or uterine septum).
Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates will work closely with you to determine the cause of your infertility problems using individualized infertility testing, diagnosis and treatment. Contact our Dallas or Southlake office to schedule a consultation with one of our board certified fertility specialists.