What's It Like to Have TWO Uteruses?

Woman gives birth to twins each in separate uterus

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What’s It Like to Have TWO Uteruses?

Bettys want to know!

-Betty Editors

When we heard about Sarah Reinfelder, the woman with two uteruses who recently gave birth to twins – one from each womb- we forgot all about Octo-mom. Two uteruses or uteri – call them what you will (both are acceptable) – are far more intriguing!

Dubbed “The Womber” by the New York Post, the 21-year-old from Michigan gave birth to two baby girls – Kaylin Joy and Valerie Marie – last week. Though told she would never be able to have children, she now has three – the twins and a son who is about 10 months old.

“They told me, ‘Your birth control isn’t working,'” Reinfelder told NBC News. “‘Guess what? You’re pregnant!’ I was like, ‘OK.’ And then they did the ultrasound and said, ‘Guess what? You’re pregnant twice!’ And that’s when I almost wet my pants.”

And while conceiving and carrying a baby in each uterus is extremely rare and dangerous – her doctor estimates the chances of a successful pregnancy in her situation is about one in 5 million – actually having two wombs is more common than we’d have imagined.

We started to think about just how this would work, and it sent our mind spinning. So we spoke with Dr. Leesa A. Kaufman, an OBGYN for Life Stages in Dayton, Ohio, who gave us the facts:

How does the development of two wombs happen?

It occurs during development of a female fetus in utero where the two sides of the part of the fetus that the female reproductive system originates from fail to fuse, therefore remaining as two separate uteri, cervices and a vaginal septum.

Wow, that’s amazing. How many women have two uteri?

It’s estimated to occur in 1 in 3,000 women.

How would you know you have two uteri? Could someone be walking around with them and not even know?

During a routine exam by gynecologist, a vaginal septum would be noted and then double uterus would be suspected. An MRI would then be done to confirm.

OK, so if we’ve been to the gynecologist and they haven’t said anything, we’re probably safe. Phew.

If you do have two uteri, does that mean you get two periods?

No, you would still get one period per month as the menstruation is hormonally stimulated, not driven by the uterus itself.

How do they affect menopause?

This does not affect menopause.

Would two uteri affect a woman’s daily life?

The only difference would be that two separate Pap smear specimens need to be obtained – one from each cervix. Also, the pregnancy, even if single, would be high risk due to decreased size of uterine cavity.

Does anyone have more than two uteri?

No one has more than two.

Would the babies be the same gestational age or could you essentially have them be days or weeks apart in development?

The babies would be conceived at the same time but you could deliver them at different times.

Dr. Leesa A. Kaufman is a board certified OBGYN practicing in Dayton, Ohio at LifeStages – Samaritan Centers For Women. She is a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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14 thoughts on “What's It Like to Have TWO Uteruses?

  1. There are stories that there are only 3 cases of this happening in the world…that is not true, although it is rare. I gave birth to twin girls in November 2008. I also have uterus didelphys, and one baby was in each uterus. I spoke to my doctor today, and she laughed when I told her I read there were only 3 cases in the world…there is definitely more than that! Like I said, it is rare, but I have two happy and healthy baby girls because of it, we're so blessed!

  2. Would the babies be the same gestational age or could you essentially have them be days or weeks apart in development?

    The babies would be conceived at the same time but you could deliver them at different times.


    since uterine contractions are induced and maintained by hormonal control (oxytocin), both uteri would undergo contractions and it would be extremely hard NOT to give birth to both at the same time. If you give drugs to block oxytocin, then you don’t get the contractions, which would allow for separate c-section deliveries. But, since oxytocin also allows milk ejection to occur, the baby that was delivered couldn’t suckle…

  3. I also have uterus didelphys. My condition has duplicated all of my reproductive organs except for the ovaries. I am told this condition has phases and this is the most extreme phase. I also have been able to have children….3 boys…single births. I had to have 3 C-sections. I had to have a hysterectomy 2 years ago because of monthly female issues. It gets very interesting at the Dr. visits. It’s a rare occasion for the patient to have two vaginas.

  4. I just found out I have uterus didelphys — 2 uteruses, 2 cervices and 2 vaginas. Believe it or not, I’m in my mid-30s, and I never noticed the 2nd vaginal opening (which is much smaller and not “functional”), and neither did my husband, any previous boyfriend, or any gynecologist before the one I saw just a few weeks ago. So it’s definitely possible to be walking around with this weird condition and not know it. I haven’t yet ever tried to get pregnant, so that could be its own adventure. At any rate, while this condition is rare, there are hundreds and hundreds of ladies on-line posting about their experiences with this — and most say they had normal babies (but maybe a little early). My doctor said the main effect is that it increases the chance of miscarriage or premature birth from 10% in the general population to 40%. Also, my period has always been normal, but I’ve read a lot of stories on-line where women say they have 2 periods a month or bleed almost all the time. I’m not sure I understand that.

  5. I found out I had 2 uteruses and 1 kidney when I was 11. I had 1 son with a very difficult pregnancy.Having menstrual cylces was a horrible experience. I went through menopause at the age of 35 and had a double hysterectomy at 40, that I wished I would have done 20 yrs. sooner. I can’t express enough to your readers, That having 2 uteruses really sucks!!

  6. I disagree with the bit about the two periods. I DO have two separate periods and so does my younger sister. When they are synced up, I will bleed so heavily that I can pass out from the loss. When they are not synced, I will only have about a week and a half between each period. Also, I have conceived in each uteri about a month apart. The pregnancies ended in separate miscarriages but I did conceive. So, while it may not be VIABLE, you CAN get pregnant separately. In addition, my sister continued to have her period in her non-pregnant uterus for the entire pregnancy of her son. She even released an egg each month. As a result, no pregnancy test came back positive until she was eight months pregnant, the week before her c-section. No blood or urine test came back with the proper level of hormones to show she was indeed pregnant.

    Whoever writes these articles need to stop saying that something CANNOT happen since just because something is improbable, it doesn't mean it is impossible. Just saying.

  7. I have uterus didelphys 2 of everything and a horn which is the beginning of a 3rd….i love ow some docs that dono wtf they are taking will speak on it… i found out when i was 18 and i miscarried triplets at 4 months, a year later a twins at 6 months and 2 more pregnancies of twins and triplets between 2-4 months…. i had my now 4 almost 5 year old daughter who was single birth and then just in july had another extremely harsh miscarriage where i died 4 times hemorrhaging frm blood loss…. every time i got pregnant i was on some kind of birth control. the implanon worked but omfg i had a period every 3 months for 9-10 weeks…. i gew all kinds f facial hair, no libo, i felt pregnant and even phantom movings that you could see…. worst thing ever and ever new doc you a case to they think oh your just like ever other woman nothing should be different -_- im tired of hormonal birth control kiling my body please come up with something like te copper iud thats small enough for us girls!!!! and as far as cannot happen for more then 2 uterus is stupid….. my horn is just a lil bit smaller but is just missing the womb…..

  8. It is possible to have twins with 2 uteri. It is possible that the twins are born at different times. My twins are 10 days apart!!!! I have 2 uteri and one cervix is what my drs told me. We planned a c section after finding out a few weeks before giving births. Baby a was delivered naturally and my contractions stopped. She was breech and Indian style due to growth restriction of less space in each uteri. 10 days later I went into labor again after 3 days of my second water breaking. We had to hold one side of cervix down to let baby B out! Contractions only dialated one side. Crazy isn't it. I writing this to give hope and info for women like me. Miracles do happen and anything is possible.

  9. I, too, have uterine didelphys. I also have PCOS. I had 2 periods a month for many years, with several lasting 2-3 months, until I got pregnant for the first time, now they are synchronized and heavy but fairly normal. During my first son's C-section (emergency, due to the small uterine size and contractions clamping off his cord) I was told that I'd be able to conceive on both sides at the same or different times. My left uterus had continued to have a period throughout the first trimester. I have in actuality had two pregnancies, both single births, both on the right side. #1 was born at 38 weeks and #2 at 34+2 weeks. They weight differential between them at birth was 10 grams. It is my opinion, therefore, that that is probably the limit for that uterus. I don't plan on any more children.

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