Add to the list of things you could totally have and never know about: a unicorn uterus. In legit medical speak, a "unicornuate uterus" is when the Mullerian ducts (the things that develop and fuse when you're an embryo to form your uterus, two fallopian tubes, and two ovaries) don't form correctly—with one duct creating a mini uterus. In normal speak: Because only half of the ducts formed correctly, your uterus is smaller. Essentially, it looks like a little banana—and could cause major problems down the road.
"It happens to one in 4,000 women," says Dr. Kecia Gaither, maternal fetal medicine specialist and director of perinatal outreach at Montefiore Health System. "You typically wouldn't know if you have one, because you still get your period and everything else is fine."
Scary. Even scarier? "It would really only come up if a woman had miscarriages, when her doctor would try to figure out what's going on," Dr. Gaither explains.
Besides miscarriages, women with unicorn uteri are predisposed to having other pregnancy complications including having premature babies, small babies, breech presentations (when the baby can't move correctly in the uterus), and—because of that—a higher C-section rate.
The other way you might discover you have one? Kidney problems. "If you're often having urinary tract infections and/or kidney problems, a light might go on for the doc," says Dr. Gaither, who says an ultrasound would allow them to diagnose you.
Oh, and randomly, hearing problems can be a clue you have this issue. Nope, no one else can explain it either. (It's one of those medical mystery things.)
The good news/bad news: You can't really do anything about it. Dr. Gaither recommends seeking out a doctor if you have had miscarriages. "Ask them, 'Is my uterus normal?'" she says.
And if you find out it isn't, Dr. Gaither explains that it isn't the end of the world—it just means that if you *do* get pregnant, you'll spend a little more time at the doctor's office. "You'll have to tell all your doctors, and you should have your kidneys evaluated," she says. "And during the course of pregnancy, you'll need frequent growth scans, and towards the end of pregnancy, they'll need to figure out what position the baby is in to see if it's breech."
Until then? Eh, you're good.
I'm Sam, the senior editor at MarieClaire.com. I love shining a light on awesome people doing things that matter, cool products and hacks for everyday life, and advice you'll actually use. I'm pretty much always looking for the perfect GIF for any situation. When I'm not trolling the internet, I can be found dancing like a weirdo or napping like it's my job. Right now, I'm probably eating or drinking something filled with sugar or booze. (Sorry, mom.)
Bella Hadid: Joining the VS Collective Is 'About Taking My Power Back'
In an exclusive interview, the supermodel discusses her decision to collaborate with Victoria's Secret again despite her history with the brand.
By Neha Prakash •
The 14 Best Korean Skincare Brands to Swear By
Multi-step routines, coming right up.
By Alexis Gaskin •
Prince Harry Honored Princess Diana's Legacy With a Letter for World AIDS Day
He addressed it to those fighting against the disease.
By Iris Goldsztajn •
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar •
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch •
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain •
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla •
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein •
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung •
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer •
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe •