When 2 become 1: Bengaluru woman with double uterus delivered a healthy baby after innovative surgery

Double uterus is a rare congenital condition in which a woman is born with two separate uterine structures instead of a single uterus.

ByChetana Belagere

Published Oct 25, 2023 | 8:00 AMUpdatedOct 25, 2023 | 8:00 AM

Uterine unification surgery is the typical way to treat a double uterus condition. (Wikimedia Commons)

A miscarriage is one of the most physically and emotionally draining situations a woman can undergo. When 29-year-old Bhanu (name changed) suffered repeated miscarriages, she had to find an answer to this problem that perplexed her and her family.

And the diagnosis left her even more confused: She had a double uterus, a rare congenital anomaly.

But despite being a rare case, renowned gynaecologist Dr B Ramesh and his skilled team from a private hospital in Bengaluru were able to offer her a permanent solution — a unique laparoscopic surgery that would unite both uteri and make it one, allowing her to carry a pregnancy to term.

Speaking to South First, Dr Ramesh said, “Women with this anomaly typically experience recurrent miscarriages and many have trouble even conceiving. This has a physical as well as an emotional impact on them.”

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What is a double uterus?

Congenital anomalies of the female reproductive system. (Shutterstock)

Congenital anomalies of the female reproductive system. (Shutterstock)

Double uterus, medically known as “uterus didelphys”, is a rare congenital condition in which a woman is born with two separate and distinct uterine structures instead of the typical single uterus.

This condition occurs during foetal development when the two tubes that normally fuse to form a single uterus fail to merge completely.

As a result, the individual has two uteri, each with its own cervix, and, in some cases, two vaginas as well.

A double uterus is a Müllerian anomaly, which involves abnormalities in the development of a woman’s reproductive organs.

Women with a double uterus may encounter fertility problems, recurrent miscarriages, increased risk of preterm birth, painful menstruation, and complications during pregnancy and delivery.

“This rare condition of double uterus affects one to six women out of every 1,000,” Dr Ramesh of Altius Hospital, Bengaluru, explains.

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How did the hospital treat it?

Called a uterine unification surgery, this surgical procedure is the typical way to treat a double uterus condition.

“This innovative and laparoscopic surgery provides new hope for women grappling with fertility issues due to uterine irregularities,” explains Dr Ramesh.

With laparoscopic unification of the uterus, doctors can fix the unusual shape of the uterus. While women with this condition don’t typically experience any noticeable symptoms, it is only when they face repeated pregnancy loss or infertility that they are diagnosed.

Dr Ramesh says, “We have seen a few cases of women who have had six to seven abortions due to a double uterus. Altius Hospital is one of the few hospitals in India that is equipped to perform these uterine unification surgeries.”

After the unification surgery, Bhanu had a healthy pregnancy and birthed a healthy baby.