A mother-of-four who suffered with such heavy periods she needed 30 pads a day was told her GP ‘some women bleed heavily’ before scans revealed she has two uteruses. 

Jade Williams, 31, from Basingstoke started having problems after giving birth to her first child Elouise, in November 2012, when she was 19.

Even after having three more children — Ajay, seven, Maisie, five, and Sienna, four — Jade’s bleeding persisted and doctors struggled to pinpoint the reason. 

Ms Williams, who wore nappy-sized period pads and two pairs of trousers to avoid leaks, was put on various medication to control the bleeding, but still nothing helped. 

But in late 2023 Ms Williams switched to a different hospital where an exploratory surgery revealed she was bleeding from two uteruses.

Jade Williams, 31, from Basingstoke started getting heavy periods after giving birth to her first child Elouise, in November 2012, when she was 19

Jade Williams, 31, from Basingstoke started getting heavy periods after giving birth to her first child Elouise, in November 2012, when she was 19

The rare condition, known as uterus didelphys, had been missed despite Ms Williams having four children and as a result numerous scans. 

The condition is congenital, meaning babies are born with it. 

It occurs while a female foetus is developing and is rare, thought to affect just 0.03 per cent of the population. 

Often referred to a double uterus, women with the condition typically have two separate cervixes — the name given to the opening at the base of the uterus — and even more rarely, two vaginas.

What is  uterus didelphys?

Uterus didelphys, also known as a double uterus, is a condition where a woman is born with two uterus, two separate cervixes and sometimes two vaginas, though this is not always the case.

It occurs because in a female foetus the uterus starts out as two small tubes.

As the foetus develops, the tubes normally join to create one larger, hollow organ — the uterus.

Sometimes the tubes don’t join completely and each one develops into a separate hollow organ so the woman is born with two wombs.

It often only becomes noticeable after puberty and is diagnosed with a physical exam or an ultrasound scan.

In terms of physical anatomy, the two wombs are often slightly smaller than average in order to fit, though they can be as big as a ‘normal’ womb.

It also makes it possible to be pregnant twice at the same time – with a baby in each womb.

Some women are also born with two vaginas, although they can have sex and menstruate in the same way as women with just one.

Uterus didelphys is often only picked up after puberty when it’s noticed during a routine physical examination or scan.

Women with a double uterus are at higher risk of pregnancy problems such as miscarriage and giving birth prematurely. 

‘I had heavy bleeding after my first daughter. I could barely leave the house — I was wearing underwear, pads, leggings, trousers, and then I’d still have to go home and change,’ said Ms Williams.

‘Doctors gave me pills but nothing would help and I would bloat so much I would be bigger than when I was pregnant.

‘They told me it would stop on its own, and not to worry — but of course I did worry.’

Ms Williams, a McDonalds manager, explained the heavy bleeding started after her first pregnancy in 2012. 

The symptom worsened over time and caused painful cramps.

When she went to her GP with her debilitating symptoms she claims she was told ‘some women bleed heavily’ and was prescribed hormonal contraception to control the bleeding. But it didn’t work. 

For a decade, she had no idea what was causing her extremely heavy periods and eventually moved to a different hospital in the hope it would be taken seriously.

‘I thought “I can’t keep living like this”.

‘I knew it wasn’t normal and it wasn’t going away,’ said Ms Williams. 

In October 2023 she went in for a scan and was called in for an emergency biopsy shortly after.

Ms Williams had needed treatment to have pre-cancerous cells removed from her cervix directly after her first pregnancy over a decade earlier.

The rare condition, known as uterus didelphys, had been missed despite Ms Williams having four children and as a result countless scans

The rare condition, known as uterus didelphys, had been missed despite Ms Williams having four children and as a result countless scans

 After further biopsies and an exploratory surgery the following month, Ms Williams was given the all clear. 

But doctors went on to tell her the reason her bleeding was so heavy: because she was bleeding from two uteruses.

She said: ‘They said the condition causes pre-term labour, and all my babies were early so that makes sense.’

The doctors also removed nine uterine polyps during the procedure.

Medics were unsure why, but after the surgery, her second uterus started to fail – and eventually blocked off.

Ms Williams, a McDonalds manager, has since had a IUS coil fitted, which is a form of hormonal contraception which can also make periods lighter, shorter, and less painful, according to the NHS

Ms Williams, a McDonalds manager, has since had a IUS coil fitted, which is a form of hormonal contraception which can also make periods lighter, shorter, and less painful, according to the NHS

Ms Williams has since had a IUS coil fitted, which is a form of hormonal contraception which can also make periods lighter, shorter, and less painful, according to the NHS. 

The coil was inserted into her one remaining functional uterus and it’s helped her go about her daily life again without worrying about heavy periods.  

She said: ‘Since the bleeding has been under control I have been able to go back to work — and I’ll be able to wear shorts and dresses for the first time this summer.

‘But this condition ruined my life for ten years and we need more research into it.’

She added: ‘My situation is a lot better now.

‘Before, I was constantly using heat pads and getting through 30 sanitary towels a day – it was so bad.

‘In summer I’d need to wear a jacket in case I needed to tie it around my waist – people would ask “are you hot?” and I’d say “yes!”.

‘Now I can go swimming with my kids – whenever they asked before, I would have to say no.

‘Finally I know the reason why and I can have more of a normal life.

‘But there’s not much awareness and I still never really got answers.

‘I want more women to be aware of it and I want there to be more information out there.’

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