How Uterine Septum Can Cause Infertility

There are many possible causes of infertility and miscarriages, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and endometrial polyps. These typically involve several warning signs including pain. But one potential cause for your pregnancy challenges may not have any symptoms at all — a uterine septum.

If you have a septate uterus that’s causing you to miscarry, chances are good that we can help you reach your family planning goals. Our team of fertility experts at University Reproductive Associates specializes in all types of fertility issues and can help you find out exactly what’s causing your challenges. Here’s what you need to know about a uterine septum.

What is a uterine septum?

Just like your nose has a divider down the middle called a septum, some women have a similar divider in their uterus. Although the septum in your nose is made of cartilage, the one in your uterus is a membrane made of muscle and fibers, but they both do the same thing: they separate your anatomy into two sections. 

Does a uterine septum cause infertility?

A septate uterus doesn’t normally cause problems with conception, but it does interfere with your ability to carry your baby full term. In fact, up to 40% of women with septate uteri have miscarriages. 

You may not even know you have a uterine septum until you miscarry and we investigate the reason. Once we discover it, we can do something about it.

Having a uterine septum is very common and is often the culprit in many pregnancy complications, including C-sections, premature labor, breech deliveries, and excessive post-delivery bleeding. 

Why do I have uterine septum?

The exact cause of septate uteri is unknown, but it’s believed to be genetic. In your own early fetal development, the two tubes that eventually form your uterus by fusing together never made a full connection and resulted in a septate uterus. But because the condition is generally asymptomatic until you mature and conceive, you go through life not knowing you have it.

Once we suspect a uterine septum, we confirm the diagnosis with an ultrasound and an MRI. The good news is that most cases can be successfully treated.

How we treat a uterine septum

If you don’t plan on having children or are past your childbearing years, there’s no need to treat your uterine septum. But if you’re trying to get pregnant, we can treat your condition with a procedure called a hysteroscopic metroplasty. 

This minimally invasive surgery does not involve an abdominal incision. Instead, we use instruments that can be inserted into your vagina, including a light and a camera, so we can correct the problem without damaging muscle and other soft tissues. This means:

There is no guarantee that a hysteroscopic metroplasty will eliminate your fertility issues. But if you have a history of miscarriages related to your uterine septum, you have an 80% chance of carrying a baby to full term after this procedure.

Don’t let a uterine septum deter you from pursuing your dreams of carrying a child. If you are experiencing recurrent miscarriages or any other reproductive or fertility problems, call us for a consultation or a telemedicine appointment. We have three locations in New Jersey and a team of six fertility experts to help you.

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