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My Fertility Journey with a Uterine Septum

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February 10th 2013, the day we found out we were expecting. The same day, one year later, was my first appointment with my fertility specialist.

After my water broke, and I delivered my daughter seven weeks early, I often wondered why. Did I do something wrong? Would it happen again if I were to get pregnant in a few years? Most women who experience preterm labor ask themselves these same questions. Many times there aren’t answers. For me, I didn’t have any answers until my daughter was almost three months old.

About two months after my daughter was born, I had some postpartum complications that required a D&C (Dilation and curettage). During this procedure, the doctor happened to discover that I had a uterine septum. In the simplest terms, a uterine septum is a wall in the middle of the uterus. Many women, like myself, can have this condition without ever knowing.

A uterine septum can vary in size and can be hard to detect with just an ultrasound. Usually a diagnosis will require more invasive measures because it can easily be confused with a heart shaped uterus. In fact, it is so difficult to tell, the doctor who performed my c-section of my second daughter’s birth thought that I had a heart shaped uterus during surgery.

A septum can cause problems with both fertility and pregnancy. Many women who have a uterine septum can still get pregnant like I did. However, it can cause miscarriage if the embryo settles on the wall’s lining. The lining does not have the same abilities or blood flow as the outer walls of the uterus to support and grow a baby. According to my doctor, it was a miracle that I was able to get pregnant at all with my daughter because my septum was extremely large.

A uterine septum can also cause problems later in pregnancy because the wall creates a much smaller space for the baby to grow and move. This can cause preterm labor or it can cause a baby to be in a breech position.

After my diagnosis, I was referred to a fertility specialist to undergo more tests. I had an MRI and an HSG along with a few ultrasounds to confirm the septum and it’s size. Then my doctor scheduled me for a hysteroscopy, an outpatient surgery to remove my septum. My doctor told me going into the surgery that they would not be able to remove the entire wall. She explained that removing too much of the wall, once you begin to reach muscle, can cause complications later on.

My procedure went really well and my doctor was very confident in my future fertility. In fact, we were blessed with a surprise pregnancy just three months after my surgery. I was able to carry my second daughter to just over 38 weeks, although she was breech. If you have any more specific questions about my diagnosis or treatment, please feel free to contact me.

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! I had a very similar situation in 2013 and hadn’t met anyone else that had. My daughter was born at 29weeks because of the septum nobody knew I had. My OB though I had a heart shaped uterus too and that was not it. I ended up having 2 procedures to have the septum removed. I was able to carry my son to 37weeks after the surgery. So good of you to share your story!

    • Brittany ShivesBrittany Shives says:

      Thank you much for sharing your story with me too! It was a lonely time going through the process since it is so rare. I am so glad everything worked out for you!

  2. Hi Brittany –

    Thanks for sharing your story. I gave birth to my son, via emergency c-section, in July 2013. I was only 29 weeks pregnant. My water broke at 26 weeks, and I remained on hospitalized bed rest for three weeks until I began having contractions and developing an infection. During my c-section, it was discovered that I, too, have a uterine septum.

    After 10 long and traumatic weeks in the NICU, my son was released. He is now 2 1/2 and he is healthy and amazing in every way. My husband and I are terrified of trying for a second child, however, as our experience with our first child left us somewhat broken for a long, long time. I somewhat recently found out about the Hysteroscopy procedure and I’m thinking about scheduling an informational appointment. Do you know, is this a procedure that is typically covered by insurance or is it considered elective? Does an OB/GYN perform the procedure, or a specialist? I don’t even know where to begin.

    I’m so happy to hear that it was successful for you. Your story is gives me hope that I, one day, will also be able to experience the joy of a long and healthy pregnancy.

    • Lisa- I had to have 2 surgeries to remove my septum totally and both were covered by insurance after my deductible. My OB did the first attempt and wasn’t happy with the results. He then sent me to a feterility specialist because that dr was used to seeing “interesting” things. He did the surgery as a outpatient procedure and released me to try for baby 2 after 4mths.

    • Brittany ShivesBrittany Shives says:

      Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for your comment! I am so sorry about everything you had to go through, it is so scary. I am so glad your son is thriving! The insurance piece was very tricky. When my septum was discovered, I was referred by my OB to a fertility specialist for the testing and surgery. It was SO hard getting the appointments, prescriptions and other things covered by my insurance. I didn’t have “infertility” coverage at all, so since everything I was doing was technically through an infertility clinic, things had to be coded just right. I would be happy to help you in any way if you want to send me your direct email. Good luck with your decision!

  3. I have the same issue and I am on my 4th pregnancy. This issue has caused a lot of problems and I wish I had known earlier it could be taken care of quite easily. Thanks for sharing your story. Glad to know someone else is like me! Going to ultrasounds is always fun since they look at me like I’m an alien for having a unique uterus!

    • Brittany ShivesBrittany Shives says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story too! I never knew such a thing even existed before having my daughter. Good luck with your pregnancy!

  4. Wow! Your story is almost me to a tee! So happy to hear the good results 🙂

    If you don’t mind contacting me I would love to ask you a few questions! carriekirby927@hotmail.com.

  5. Hi,

    I have a complete septum in my uterus but I don’t want to do the surgery for fear of becoming infertile. Me and my husband are going to ttc and see what happens :/. Thanks for sharing your story. Gives me hope that I can have a healthy baby even with the septum.

  6. Kristina says:

    Wow great story! A year ago, at 10.5 weeks I was diagnosed with blighted ovum and complete septum uterus. Had to do a pill abortion. The doctor at the time didn’t even say much about the ubbornality in uterus said its no problem and that blighted ovum happens only once in a lifetime. So I didn’t seek any other help or advice. A week ago I had another blighted ovum, this time at 9 weeks and they couldn’t tell why and didn’t even point out the uterus abnormality. I panic over the fact it’s a 2nd blighted ovum and today went to a specialist and moment he heard I have septum uterus he said it needs to be removed and it’s definitely what’s causing the miscarriages. He didn’t do an ultrasound because the tech who has an expertise in septum uterus wasn’t there so he ordered me to do a whole lot of blood work and asked to come back Thursday. He is not covered by my insurance (HMO) so worried it’s goin to cost a fortune. I’m also going to my regular OBG and also see what she will say. I’m a little worried cz I read online the surgery can cause infirtility 🙁

  7. Hi!
    I’m going in for a hysteroscopy tomorrow and was just googling around to see other people’s experiences. Were you in any pain after?

    I delivered my 1 year old son via emergency c-section at 29 weeks– 2 days after my water broke unexpectedly. My doctors keep telling me that my water breaking isn’t related to the uterine septum, but I feel like they are. Did your drs confirm for you that the two were connected? I know you said you had a surprise pregnancy but did you see high risk doctors or anything during that pregnancy? I’m scared of going early with a 2nd but I definitely want more children. Would love to hear more about your experience if you could email me or respond here!

    Thanks!

  8. I miscarried early and when I went in for the first ultrasound they discovered they didn’t see the baby they were supposed to but did see what they thought were two uteri. Fortunately there was only one with a complete septum. Since November I’ve had two surgeries, the first one they thought went perfect and got it all but upon post op visit there was still more septum than they wanted to leave so I went in today for a second hysteroscopy to remove the rest. He still wasn’t able to get all that he wanted today but has gotten almost all of it. Now I’m trying to decide if I should try to conceive and hope I can maintain a healthy pregnancy with the 6 mm of septum left of have another procedure. Can any of you offer advice? I don’t know where to go from here?

    • Brittany ShivesBrittany says:

      I’m so sorry Ashley! I’m glad they were able to remove a lot of the septum. My doctor wasn’t able to completely remove mine either. I’m not sure exactly how much is left but I know it’s there. I’m sure that’s why my second daughter was breech and came at 38 weeks. I did take progesterone and see my doctor often but it was a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I think 6mm still leaves plenty of room for a healthy baby to grow!

  9. I just had my surgery yesterday Dr said everything looks good I have a follow up in about 6 weeks. I don’t feel any cramp and there wasn’t much bleeding. When there was bleeding which was the day off if seemed light in color like the salinethey used. I get a quick pain here and there but no real cramping. I cannot wait to start trying, have a successful pregnancy and grow our family. The septum was found las year August, but I didn’t want think it was serious plus the doctor diagnosed me with PCOS which he said would make it hard to conceive. So we was shock when we found out we got pregnant and even more shock, sad and scared when I miscarried at 8-10 weeks. Love reading successful stories.

    • Brittany ShivesBrittany says:

      I am so sorry about your miscarriage. It sounds like your surgery and recovery is going really well. Please let us know about your growing family! I will be thinking and praying for you!

  10. My name is Marisa, I am currently 12 weeks pregnant with a partial uterine septum. I had a rough road. I lost my son last year at about 21 weeks, but the cause of my preterm labor was me having an infection. I had a lot of issues with my pregnancy with my son. Bleeding and passing clots at 6 weeks, 14 weeks and 17 weeks. I had a low fluid scan at about 20 weeks and each and every time my old OB thought everything was normal and my son was growing on track and his heartbeat always strong. About a week and a half after my low fluid scan – I went into labor in my home. I delivered my son in my toilet. It was the worst experience on my life. I had a long recovery; two hospital stays, two week long rounds of IV antibiotics, with each time being sent home with oral antibiotics, two D&C’s, a laparoscopic surgery (which this is where my OB focused on my septum and said it is very muscular and flexible -not fibrous). I begged my new OB to remove my septum, but she talked me into not doing it. Although the cause of losing my son seems to aim more towards infection rather than my septum being the cause, it is still in the back of my mind.

    I am 12 weeks and thus far I have had zero complications, I am much more calm this time around, but in the back of my head I keep thinking about this septum. This time around I am monitored more closely, I have been going every two weeks. Starting at 14 weeks they will start to measure my cervical length (at my anomaly scan with my son, they distinguished I did not have an incompetent cervix), but because I went into preterm labor they do not want to rule it out. Also from 16 weeks to 36 weeks I will get progesterone shots.

    Apart of me feels, like I wish I would have it removed, but I trust my OB with everything. She saved my life last year when losing my son. I just pray everyday everything is smooth sailing from here.

    • Oh Marisa thank you for taking the time to share your story. I am so sorry about your son! I know what it feels like to have the septum always in the back of your mind, but it sounds like your doctor feels confident about this pregnancy. I will be praying everything goes smoothly for you and please keep us updated on your pregnancy!

    • Thank you for sharing your story! I too miscarried with my first pregnancy but I was earlier than you, only around 6 weeks. It was during my first ultrasound I discovered I was miscarrying and that I have a uterine septum. I had two surgeries to remove the septum but still have 6mm left, my ob says that may be enough but to consider another surgery. I am now around 5 weeks pregnant and that septum is always in the back of my mind. I have has zero cramping or bleeding this time, unlike last time so I am hoping things will be better this time. I’m praying for peace of mind for you and for the health of both you and your baby!

      • Thank you for your reply! It is so weird to come to find out of my uterine abnormality and not realize there are many women with the same issue. It stinks, always having the thought in the back of my head, but everything is going so amazingly well. From what I read miscarriage early on is the main concern and I guess people always believe the baby will push the septum out of the way, especially since mine is partial and a lot
        more flexible. My OB actually told me that last week she delivered someone with two uteruses and two cervix. The baby actually pushed the other uterus all the way to those side! She went to term. I just pray everyday that in the end I deliver a term baby that is just healthy. The same with You.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story! I also had a miracle baby (in 2014) without knowing that I had a septum. My water broke at 28 weeks and I was able to stay pregnant until 30 weeks on bed rest at the hospital until infection set in. Last year I miscarried at 7 weeks and then was unable to get pregnant after. My doctor convinced me to have an SIS ultrasound and that was when we discovered the septum. I had my surgery just last week and will have a repeat SIS in 3 months (after which we can TTC). I found your post because I have become somewhat consumed with the whole thing. This waiting around truly is the hardest part and I find it very encouraging to see other successful stories! Did you also do progesterone with your pregnancy?

    • Thank you for your comment Karen! I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage but I’m glad you are on the road to recovery and getting the treatment you need. Please let us know how everything goes! I did do progesterone with my second pregnancy! My doctor prescribed it for the first trimester and then from about 20-37 weeks.

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  1. […] If you would like more information about my journey of removing my septum, you can read my original post here. […]

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