British TV recently aired a story with double the pleasure – two vaginas, two cervixes and two uteruses.
Hazel Jones, a 27-year-old High Wycombe resident, is challenged with the rare, overlooked condition known as uterus didelphys.
“It’s not that crazy at all, even though it sounds like a sci-fi thing,” stated Vincenzo Berghella, leader in maternal fetal medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “We see many couples, maybe one a month or more.”
What is uterus didephys? Two vaginas are divided by a septum or wall, which occurs during the natural development in the womb. According to the World Health Organization, the condition occurs in about 1 in 3,000 women.
Berghella went on to add, “You do the math – probably more than 100 million women in the world have it.”
Resultant of the external genitalia appearing normal, many circumstances of reproductive tract duplication are likely never diagnosed. Jones got her diagnosis at 18 after a pelvic exam.
In women, the irregular development of the Mullerian ducts results in a double set of reproductive tract organs - two uteruses, two cervixes, and two vaginas. Typically, one vaginal opening is blocked and the external appearance of is normal.
The irregular development can also contribute to uterus duplex bicollis, when a woman has two each of the uterus and cervix, but only one vagina. When there is a duplication of the uterus but only one cervix and vagina, it is defined as bicornuate uterus.
It is possible to have abnormal growth in only one of the two Mullerian ducts, which can lead to an abnormality called unicornuate uterus, resultant of only one normal Fallopian tube.
In some cases, these structural irregularities can lead to complications during pregnancy such as incompetent cervix, breech or other abnormal fetal positions, and an increased incidence of miscarriage.
Deviations in development of the reproductive tract may be linked to congenital malformations of the kidneys and urinary tract.
Complete duplication of the reproductive tract organs can be treated by a modest surgical procedure if to remove the septum, if the patient is in severe pain or has multiple miscarriages.
To learn more about reproductive tract duplication, contact a Gynecologist (OBGYN) near you.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.