Woman With Double Uterus Gives Birth to Twins

Imagine being pregnant and discovering that you have not one but two wombs (or uteri) and each of those wombs contains a baby. Such was the case of Andrea Barbosa of Clearwater, Florida. On September 15th, she delivered a baby boy and girl who had developed in two separate wombs. Thankfully, mother and both children are doing well.

Although twins are fairly common and represent 1 in 32 births, the type of twin pregnancy that Barbosa had occurs only 1 in 5 million chances in a condition called uterine didelphys or a double uterus.

Uterine didelphys falls under the category of Mullerian disorders and occurs in approximately 1 in 2,000 women. It is the result of a failure of the early female reproductive system (aka Mullerian ducts) to fuse between 9 to 11 weeks after fertilization. Mullerian disorders are usually undetected until a woman becomes pregnant, has pelvic pain when they begin to menstruate or has difficulty becoming pregnant. Although Barbosa had 2 separate wombs, some women have one but it  is divided by a membrane called a septum. This condition is known as a Septate uterus and is associated with an increased risk of miscarriages. Other forms of Mullerian disorders include a heart-shaped uterus (aka bicornuate) or the absence of a vagina. The cause of these disorders is unknown because affected women have normal female genes. Sometimes problems such as pelvic pain, menstrual problems including delayed period and painful intercourse are the first clues of this disorder. Other women may experience difficulty becoming pregnant, repeated miscarriages or have an ectopic pregnancy.

Mullerian disorders can also affect the outcome of a pregnancy because it is associated with frequent miscarriages in the first and second trimesters, poor growth of the fetus (aka fetal growth restriction), prematurity, or a ruptured uterus. Pregnant women with Mullerian disorders should have at least one consult with a maternal fetal medicine specialist to minimize adverse complications. Barbosa’s successful twin pregnancy and delivery with a double uterus is nothing short of a miracle and keeps the medical community humble. We wish the Barbosa family well.

Remember, a healthy pregnancy doesn’t just happen. It takes a smart mother who knows what to do.

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18 thoughts on “Woman With Double Uterus Gives Birth to Twins

  1. was told a month ago i was going to be a grandma of twins and my sons girlfreind has this disorder, two of everything in her reproductive system, the babies were each in their own womb, i dont feel she was getting the special care she needed for a women with this diorder, she wasnt feeling well and went to the ER and they told her the babies are died, so sad, should she be getting special care when pregnant ?

    • First, my sincere condolences regarding your loss. Yes, she should definitely receive care from a high-risk maternal fetal medicine specialist the next time she becomes pregnant. Thanks for sharing your comments and please “Like” me on Facebook.

  2. When i had my daughter they had to cut a septum and 6 weeks latter has surgery to fix it…. I was told then I had a double uterus.. I always thought something was wrong because when i would us a tampon there was still blood flow. Then I go to a doctor today and she thinks it is a bicornuate uterus… Im so confussed and ready to know whats wrong… what do you think??

    • Hi Marrisa,
      Before you conceive again, it would be helpful to have a hysterosalpingogram (aka HSG) to determine if you have a bicornuate or a double uterus. It is a procedure that involves inserting contrast material through the cervix to look at the anatomy. There is also a procedure called hysteroscopy that could also visualize the anatomy. Thanks for your comment and good luck with your procedures.

  3. After having an MRI, I was diagnosed this week with 2 separate and distinct uteri and 2 separate and distinct cervices, all appearing normal. We have been trying to conceive for 5 years. Would IUI be the next step and does my condition still make IUI possible?

  4. Hi Dr. Galloway. I’m collecting cases for a case report of a woman who delivered “dicavitary” twins with uterus didelphys vaginally. Do you happen to know if the woman you discuss in this article delivered by C/S or vaginally?

    Thanks,
    Danae Steele, M.D. (MFM, Green Bay, WI)

    • Hi Dr. Steele,
      I’m not certain what the mode of delivery was but left a message with Ms. Barbosa’s physician, and hopefully someone will return my phone call. The physician involved was Dr. Patricia St. John and her phone number is 727-447-7786. Hope this helps.

      • Dr. Steele, Ms. Barbosa’s MD confirmed that she had a LT C/S. Hope you’ll recommend my book to your high-risk patients. It was voted #2 by the Pre-eclampsia Foundation this year and would help them tremendously.

        Best.

  5. I am pregnant with twins. they are in two separate sacs and in their own uterus. Any suggestions on things I can do to continue having a successful pregnancy?

    • Congrats on your pregnancy, Sara. I would strongly encourage you to seek the professional services of a high risk ob doctor known as a maternal fetal specialist. Twins are high risk but the good news is that they’re in separate sacs. Greatest risk factors include premature labor. I would not drink soda during pregnancy because they contribute to bladder infections which contributes to preterm or early labor. Please note this is not medical advice but just suggestions. More of this advice can be obtained from The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy which is downloadable as an e-book, http://www.smartmothersguide.com/ Wish you the best with the pregnancy and keep us posed on how things are going.

  6. I just got back from the dr and was told I am having twins and have a double uterus. Each baby is omits own. I have been referred to a specialist to go next week. Do you address how to handle situations like this in your book? How common are miscarriages?

    • Hi Madalyn,
      So happy you’re going to a specialist this week. You didn’t mention how many weeks you are. You’re biggest concern will be preterm labor and your specialist should guide you regarding do’s and don’ts. I strongly encourage you not to do things that increase your chances of developing a urinary tract infections such as drinking soda. If you’re intimate with your partner, empty your bladder after intercourse to get rid of the sperm that can be an irritant to the bladder. There is a chapter in the book that addresses preterm labor. Hope you’ll get a copy from my website. Have a happy and safe pregnancy.

      • I am 7 weeks 4 days so still very early. I have cut out all caffeine from my diet and I am scared to have sex. I thought I would be seeing a specialist this week but they want to wait until I am 11-12 weeks. I have ordered your book and it should be here this week.

      • Hi Madalyn,

        I like the way you’ve taken control of your diet and are pro-active. That helps a lot during pregnancy. Your appointment with the specialist at 12 weeks is okay because it is too early to hear the fetal heart tones at this stage of your pregnancy but you should be able to hear them at 12 weeks at the specialist’s office. Thank you so much for purchasing the book. Where did your purchase it from? It’s also available on my website and you could have received an autographed copy from me but no worries. I hope the information helps you.

        Here’s a link to a website where you can talk to a woman who was pregnant and had uterine didelphysis. And of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. In the appendix of my book are a list of great resources for pregnant women. Fee free to use the appendix as well. Here’s the link to the website:http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm

        I wish you a wonderful pregnancy.

      • I ordered the book from amazon.com. I should be getting it today or tomorrow. Thank you for all the wonderful information. It’s hard to read everything and know what is going on in my body. I do have a couple questions if you don’t mind. First, if you are able to say, how far did the lady carry the babies in your story? Second, how common or uncommon is this kind of pregnancy? I have read very uncommon but other times it seems more. Most stories I have read involve women having a didelphic uterus but only one baby at a time, not one in each. Thank you for your time.

  7. Ive been wondering about this i have a heart shaped uterus and i was sure i was pregnant i just felt it and then i had a normal but not period and still had that feeling its almost i could feel something was going on with one side like i did with my first two pregnancies weird i know im just in tune with my body i guess well we continued to try again after that period and now its like theres a fullness to both sides and i just feel pregnant and with my son i couldnt sleep a certain way because the empty side felt like my baby was just hanging there and my second baby i miscarried so i may just be being overly worried but i need to know if there are two babies everything will be ok.

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