I had my annual with my "woman" doctor a couple of weeks ago. As DH and I are "talking about talking about" having kids sometime in the near term, I brought up a couple of concerns and questions. They were normal things like, When do I start taking prenatal vitamins? and How does it work for going off the pill? but I had one unique question for her and the answer has created some angst in my life and is the subject of this post.
Several years ago I found myself in the ER with terrible pain in my abdomen--diagnosis: a ruptured ovarian cyst. I was sent home on powerful painkillers and told to schedule a couple of ultrasounds to check things out...namely make sure there weren't more cysts or something worse. Well, went for the ultrasounds and good news was that there weren't any more cysts and nothing worse so pretty much a clean bill of health....until the technician said, "Huh."
Okay, "Huh" is never a great comment when someone is performing a medical test, right? Then she says, "Your uterus is heart shaped on the inside." My response, understandably, was "What?" She says "Well, the lining of your uterus dips down in the middle. It's not normal, but it happens. So, nothing to worry about." Great. Thanks for the pep talk. It was also an Air Force tech doing the scan, so I blew it off.
Until I met with my new doctor and asked about a heart shaped uterus and how that affects getting and staying pregnant. She scheduled me for a new ultrasound since we don't have the original films and sure enough...I have a bicornated uterus. And unfortunately it's a little bit more severe/important than I was originally led to believe.
My whole uterus is heart-shaped, not just the lining. So instead of looking like an upside-down pear, mine has 2 horns that connect at the bottom. Some women have such a severe separation that they have two completely independent uteruses (some even have 2 vaginas, 2 cervixes, everything!). Thankfully, my situation is not nearly that bad.
In theory, it shouldn't affect my chances of getting pregnant, but carries significant risks for pre-term labor. As a preemie myself and having dealt with the resulting health challenges of being premature, this freaks me out on a certain level. Apparently the pre-term labor happens due to the reduced amount of space the baby has to grow. So basically, my pregnancy will be termed high-risk from the start and I'll have a ton more appointments and I'll see a specialist instead of an OB for many of the visits.
How scary is that, to know that no matter what I do and how much I take care of myself, that it'll be a high-risk pregnancy? Part of me says, "Okay, well now I know and we'll just have to keep an eye on it, and cross any bridges when we get there." But then there's a part of me that's grieving and scared.
**Update** Well, as a little bit of time has past, I'm feeling better about things. There are tons of women who have this same condition and they didn't even find out about it until their 3rd baby and for whatever reason they have a c-section and the Dr is like "Whoa, look at that!" when they get in there. And most of their pregnancies went like clock-work, full-term, yada-yada.
So, I've decided not to worry about things until I get there, especially since we don't KNOW that I will have any problems. We know about the situation, so we can keep an eye on it when I do decide to get pregnant. Not much else I can do at this point.