Mullerian Anomaly is a “congenital condition” which means that it is present at birth. It can affect 4% of females. Usually, the uterus looks like an upside-down pear. However, in some women, the uterus and sometimes the cervix is misshapen due to Mullerian Anomalies. This condition is uncommon but is treatable.
Mullerian ducts are a critical part of the female reproductive system. These ducts differentiate to form the uterus, uterus cervix, the fallopian tubes, and the vagina. When the ducts develop abnormally, it disrupts the development of the female reproductive system. These ducts can develop abnormally in different ways. Each way results in another kind of Mullerian anomaly.
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What are the different types of Mullerian Anomalies?
The common types of Mullerian Anomalies are explained below:
- ● Unicornuate uterus: As we discussed earlier, if there is a failure when Mullerian ducts are forming, it results in Unicornuate Uterus. In this, one duct fails to develop, resulting in a half-uterus. Usually, this anomaly is accompanied by kidney problems or even a missing kidney. However, this is a rare anomaly.
- ● Bicornuate Uterus: This is defined by a womb with two horns. The womb looks like an upside-down pear in ordinary circumstances. In this condition, it is heart-shaped with an indentation in the upper region.
- ● Uterus didelphys: This is commonly called ‘double uterus’. In this anomaly, there is a duplication of the cervix, uterus, and vagina. A ligament of connective tissue might divide the two halves. This anomaly usually presents the least pregnancy complications.
- ● DES-related uterus: DES is a synthetic form of estrogen prescribed to women between 1945 and 1971 to prevent miscarriages. The practice was stopped when it was realised that it caused cancer and uterus malfunction. The DES-related uterus is characterised by a uterine cavity that is T-shaped, a malformed cervix, and dilated horns.
- ● Septate uterus: This happens when a wall or the septum divides the inner part of the uterus.
- ● Arcuate uterus: This anomaly is quite normal. The anomaly is characterised by a slight indentation in the inner and outer part of the uterus.
What are the Causes of Mullerian Anomalies?
What are the Symptoms of Mullerian Anomalies?
- ● Infertility
- ● Recurrent miscarriage
- ● Pelvic pain
- ● Preterm labour
- ● Delay in periods
- ● Difficulty with intercourse
- ● Difficulty in using tampons
How is Mullerian Anomalies Diagnosed?
The condition is usually diagnosed by using imaging technology. Diagnostic tests such as Pelvic ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI, 3-D Ultrasound, Laparoscopy, Hysterosalpingogram or HSG, Hysteroscopy are done. Doctors may recommend a combination of these steps for an accurate diagnosis.
How is Mullerian Anomalies Treated?
Women who fail to conceive within six months of trying should see a fertility specialist skilled in the area of reproductive surgery.
The outlook is usually very positive in case of surgery. Successful surgery can alleviate symptoms, repair defects, eliminate discomfort during intercourse, and improve pregnancy outcomes.
What are the Risks Associated with Mullerian Anomalies treatments?
- Heavy bleeding
- Damage to adjacent organs
- Anaesthetic complications
- Blood clots