A double uterus is a rare condition that is present at birth in some women. In a female fetus, the uterus starts out as two small tubes. As the fetus grows, the tubes typically join to create one larger, hollow organ. This organ is the uterus.
Sometimes the tubes don't join completely. Instead, each one develops into a separate organ. A double uterus may have one opening into one vagina. This opening is called the cervix. In other cases, each uterus has its own cervix. Often, there's also a thin wall of tissue that runs down the length of the vagina. This divides the vagina in two, with two separate openings.
Women who have a double uterus often have successful pregnancies. But the condition can make you more likely to have a miscarriage or premature birth.
A double uterus often causes no symptoms. The condition may be discovered during a regular pelvic exam. Or it may be found during imaging tests to find the cause of repeated miscarriages.
Women who have a double vagina along with a double uterus may first see a health care provider for menstrual bleeding that isn't stopped by a tampon. This can happen when a tampon is placed in one vagina, but blood still flows from the second uterus and vagina.
When to see a doctor
Seek medical advice if you have a menstrual flow despite using a tampon. Or if you have severe pain during your periods or you have repeated miscarriages.
Health experts don't know exactly why some fetuses develop a double uterus. Genetics may play a role. That's because this rare condition sometimes runs in families.
Many women with a double uterus have active sex lives. They also may have routine pregnancies and successful deliveries. But sometimes a double uterus and other uterine factors can cause:
- Premature birth.
- Kidney problems.