4 Uterus Problems That Can Cause Miscarriage

The uterus is the fetus' home and a place of protection for your baby. If there are any uterus problems with the uterus either before or during the pregnancy, then it could be very difficult to keep the baby. How many uterus problems can there be? How can we solve these problems? Let us take a closer look together.

1) Cervical Incompetence

The cervix is opening well before it's time to give birth

uterus

The cervix is a 4cm long tube that connects the vagina and the uterus and performs a very important role in your pregnancy. When you are experiencing your contractions, your body is releasing hormones that help soften and slowly open the cervix to form a passage for your baby to pass through. During your labor, your cervix will actually help push the baby out.

During the middle term of your pregnancy, you have a small risk of miscarriage and early labor so more care is needed

The womb is made up of the uterus where the baby lives while you are pregnant and your cervix which resembles a small tube. Cervical incompetence, one of the uterus problems, is the weakening of the cervix muscles so they are unable to perform contractions and help push the baby out and this condition can lead to a miscarriage or onset of an early labor.

The closer you are to giving birth, the heavier and heavier the baby is and it pushes against the cervix. For a normal pregnancy as this pressure increases, the cervix will relax and open slightly to allow the water to break. So far there is no known way to prevent cervical incompetence and a woman must rely on a doctor’s diagnosis to discover the condition.

If you are in your mid-pregnancy and you believe you may be experiencing a miscarriage or you feel like you are going into an early labor before 8 months pregnancy, particularly 28 weeks, then you need to consult with a doctor about the possibility you have cervical incompetence.

Possible reasons for middle term pregnancy miscarriages

Due to a congenital condition with your cervix or because of previous miscarriages or abortions, your cervix will have lost some of its muscular tightness and will loosen easily while pregnant. As the baby in your tummy gets bigger and the amniotic sac expands, it will place pressure on the cervix and it will widen. Any stimulation of the sack could cause it to break and lead to a miscarriage. This condition is one of the most common causes of a miscarriage.

2) Cervical Cerclage

Long before you give birth during your routine pelvic examinations and ultrasounds, if it is found that your cervix is getting shorter and may even begin to open, the doctor might recommend you have cervical cerclage. After about 16 weeks, this procedure will ensure that the cervix will remain closed. This surgery only takes about 20 minutes and is considered a simple procedure. In some rare cases, a woman may require the procedure at around 37 weeks and therefore must be prepared to give birth if necessary.

The surgery does not mean you are now 100% in the clear

After having the surgery, it’s not guaranteed you will not have a miscarriage or go into an early labor. You must still be very cautious until you give birth. The surgery does come with a small risk of infection that might result in losing the baby so you must talk to your doctor about all the implications before going ahead with the surgery. After the surgery, it is better that you no longer do any active sports or stand for too long.

Repeating the surgery for your second pregnancy

If you have experienced cervical incompetence during your first pregnancy, then the chances of having this happen again are very high. Most will have to have surgery around 14 to 16 weeks to prevent the possibility of a miscarriage.

3) Abnormal Uterus

Shape is abnormal

If you are unfortunate and the shape of your uterus is not normal, then this can easily lead to a miscarriage or an early labor. Also, there is a much higher chance if you do reach full term, you will need a c-section to deliver your baby. Due to the high risk nature of this condition, you will have to be more careful while you are pregnant and keep a peaceful mind and always keep in contact with your doctor. You must avoid doing any exercise, housework (a few light chores are OK) and definitely no sex later in your pregnancy.

Many cases where people are not even aware of their abnormal uterus

According to experience, an abnormal uterus will have period pain, sex pain or repeated miscarriages. But different types of abnormal uterus will all have different symptoms. Most people don't even know or don't even care about this condition. Many mommies will only discover they have an abnormal uterus when they have their first ultrasound.

If you do have an abnormal uterus then you will need to have regular checkups at the hospital and possibly have either an endoscopy or laparoscope to check your uterus. The examination for an abnormal uterus is similar for those concerned with a kidney problem as a deformed uterus is sometimes related to a kidney or urinary tract condition. It is often necessary to check your kidneys if it is discovered that you have an abnormal uterus. Another possible symptom of an abnormal uterus is impaired hearing as a third of women with an abnormal uterus suffer from high frequency hearing impairment.

Some uterus deformities won't affect delivery

A small deformity in the uterus won't affect your ability to give birth however, a serious deformity may lead to an early labor, miscarriage or if the baby is malposition, you will need to have a c-section. Due to problems with the uterus, some mommy's will require cervical cerclage to prevent an early labor and although some deformities of the uterus will allow for a natural birth, most mommies will be advised to have a c-section particularly if the baby is malpositioned.

It is common for some mommies to have retroversion of the uterus (a tipped uterus). The mommy won't feel any different and this condition will not affect your daily life and will not cause any problems when you delivery your baby.

Different types of abnormal uterus

Having a deformity of the uterus will not affect the mommy's daily life but may cause complications when you come to giving birth and these complications depend on the deformity and the severity of the condition. Below are some of the more common conditions:

Uterus didelphys

This is where the uterus effectively is split in the middle forming two uterine cavities (a double uterus).

Unicornuate uterus

A unicornuate uterus is half the size of a normal uterus and there is only one fallopian tube connected to the uterus.

Bicornuate uterus

This happens when the top of the uterus drops down so low that it appears that you have two uteri.

Septate uterus

This is where the inside of the uterus is divided by a muscular or fibrous wall called the septum. The septum extends into the uterus and may reach the cervix.

4) Molar Pregnancy

When the villus tissue inside of the uterus grows abnormally

The villus tissues are what form the placenta when you become pregnant and the placenta will provide oxygen and nutrients to your baby, as well as process the waste your baby produces. However, if a non-viable fertilized egg implants into the uterus, then the tissue around the egg will start to grow in clusters, resembling grapes, and will absorb the egg, this is called a molar pregnancy. The procedure for removing the egg is called dilation (or dilatation) and curettage and after this procedure, you will be able to try and get pregnant again.

Heavy morning sickness and brown vaginal discharge

If your uterus is enlarged due to a molar pregnancy, then you may experience serious morning sickness. At about 11 weeks, you will start to have brown vaginal discharge and have a heavy feeling in your tummy. The wall of the uterus is getting thinner and softer and at around 5 to 6 weeks, you will be able to detect no heart beat. After 12 to 18 weeks, if you start bleeding without pain, then you need to be concerned about the possibility you have a molar pregnancy, especially now if the blood you are losing is black.

The fetus is dead before it can grow

In most molar pregnancies, the baby will have died before it could grow. Sometimes the villus tissue will continue to grow while the baby is growing but the baby will still die later and this is called a partial molar pregnancy.

Ultrasound or urine test for early detection

A molar pregnancy can be discovered by ultrasound or urine test at a very early stage. When discovered, you will have the procedure to remove the egg immediately. After the procedure, it is very important to have regular checkups with your doctor for the next year, and you must not get pregnant within the first year as the chances for developing uterus villus cancer is much higher. The chances of having a normal pregnancy after a molar pregnancy are over 90% so you should be prepared to try again after a year.

Tips Box: Uterus Surgery (Uterus Problems)

If you suffer from miscarriages, difficult periods or can’t get pregnant due to an abnormal uterus, then you need to have surgery. In the past, this surgery would require cutting open your tummy but now with modern methods such as laparoscope or uterus endoscopy (depending on the corrections needed), the doctor will only make a small hole. These procedures are normally used to correct a deformity to allow the mommy to get pregnant and as these conditions are not too common, you need to seek out the best professional doctors in this field to carry out these procedures.

So those are the details you need to know regarding uterus problems that a pregnant woman may encounter.

Sandra Henderson
 

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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