Arcuate Uterus

An arcuate uterus is a minor irregularity in the shape of your uterus. Unlike a typical pear-shaped uterus, an arcuate uterus has a small dent at the top of the uterus. It doesn’t cause health concerns and doesn’t require treatment.


Normal uterus vs arcuate uterus. The arcuate uterus has an indentation at the top.
An arcuate uterus has a slight indentation at the top. It's rare, but it's not associated with any severe health conditions.

What is an arcuate uterus?

An arcuate uterus is a type of irregularity where the top of your uterus is indented. A typical uterus looks like an upside-down pear. Your uterus is not straight or slightly rounded at the top if you have an arcuate uterus. Instead, there is a slight dip or dent. This condition has not been shown to affect pregnancy and is not associated with any severe health complications. An arcuate uterus is congenital, so it develops while you are still in your mother’s womb. Most healthcare providers consider an arcuate uterus to be a normal variation of the uterus.


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Is arcuate uterus rare?

An arcuate uterus is rare. It’s often classified as a normal variation of the uterus as opposed to an irregularity. An arcuate uterus doesn’t cause symptoms and is not associated with any adverse pregnancy or health outcomes.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of an arcuate uterus?

Most people who have an arcuate uterus do not experience symptoms. The indentation at the top of the uterus is usually mild, so it doesn’t create any issues with menstruation or pregnancy or cause pain.


What causes arcuate uterus?

An arcuate uterus is a type of Mullerian duct anomaly. In normal development, the Mullerian ducts join together to form one single uterus and two fallopian tubes. However, if these ducts fail to fuse together, it causes a uterine abnormality. An arcuate uterus means there’s a dent at the top of the uterus where these ducts didn’t fuse.

Does arcuate uterus cause miscarriages?

No, an arcuate uterus will not cause a miscarriage. Having an arcuate uterus does not affect your ability to conceive and should not impact your pregnancy and delivery. If you have an arcuate uterus and experience a miscarriage, the miscarriage is probably linked to an alternate cause. An arcuate uterus is considered a mild variation of a typical uterus.


Diagnosis and Tests

How is an arcuate uterus diagnosed?

A person is usually unaware they have an arcuate uterus until you receive an ultrasound during pregnancy or imaging to diagnose another medical condition. Your healthcare provider will probably diagnose an arcuate uterus using ultrasound.

What tests are done to diagnose an arcuate uterus?

You’ll likely be diagnosed with an arcuate uterus during pelvic imaging performed for an alternate reason, such as a routine prenatal ultrasound. Most people are unaware they have a dent in the top of their uterus until they are pregnant or have another medical condition requiring a transvaginal ultrasound.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may be used to confirm an arcuate uterus. MRIs produce high-quality images of soft tissue of the pelvis including the uterus, tubes, and ovaries.

Management and Treatment

How do you fix an arcuate uterus?

An arcuate uterus is typically not treated because it does not cause any issues.

What are treatments for an arcuate uterus?

An arcuate uterus does not require treatment as it is not associated with any issues. The complications of treating an arcuate uterus usually outweigh the benefits. Studies haven’t proven that an arcuate uterus causes miscarriage and there are typically no symptoms associated with the condition.

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How can I prevent an arcuate uterus?

There is nothing you can do to prevent having an arcuate uterus. It’s congenital, meaning you were born with it.

Outlook / Prognosis

Can you have a normal pregnancy with an arcuate uterus?

Yes, you should be able to have a normal pregnancy with an arcuate uterus. People with an arcuate uterus typically don’t experience any abnormal symptoms of pregnancy. Your uterus is still able to expand to accommodate a growing fetus and the endometrial lining has a normal blood supply. An arcuate uterus isn’t linked to miscarriage, premature birth or low birth weight.

How will an arcuate uterus affect my delivery?

Your delivery should not be affected by an arcuate uterus. There is an increased risk for cesarean (c-section) delivery in more severe uterine abnormalities. If you have a uterine irregularity, your baby is more likely to be breech because there isn’t enough room in the uterus to turn. However, there is not enough evidence to link an arcuate uterus to c-section delivery.

Living With

Are there health risks associated with an arcuate uterus?

You may be at higher risk for endometriosis. In general, people with uterine anomalies have a greater chance of endometriosis. Researchers are not entirely sure if a strong correlation exists between an arcuate uterus and endometriosis.

When should I see my healthcare provider?

An arcuate uterus is not known to cause any health conditions or symptoms. Therefore, having an arcuate uterus is usually not a cause for worry. Speak with your healthcare provider if you feel new or worsening pelvic pain or experience abnormal vaginal bleeding.

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider about an arcuate uterus?

If you have been diagnosed with an arcuate uterus, some questions you might ask your healthcare provider are:

  • Do I need treatment for an arcuate uterus?
  • Will my pregnancy be affected by an arcuate uterus?
  • Are there any health risks associated with an arcuate uterus?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

An arcuate uterus is considered a normal variation of a typical pear-shaped uterus. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about the shape of your uterus. They will answer any questions you have and help you understand this condition.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/21/2022.

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