Female reproductive disorders can be painful and baffling

That mysterious pain

Re: “The pain was too much” [Medical Mysteries, May 21]:

I, too, had a double uterus, or uterus didelphys. My second uterus was attached to one of my fallopian tubes. I endured extreme pain for about 10 years.

As in the case cited in the article, my condition went long undiagnosed. Six years after my son was born, in 1971, I experienced two miscarriages. Before and after the miscarriages, I made frequent visits to my gynecologist because of severe pain. He told me it was just normal monthly cramping. The doctor finally did a laparoscopy, which showed the double uterus. The affected tube was removed surgically; the ovaries were kept intact.

The doctor told me that if I had become pregnant again, it may have been in that tube, which could have led to a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy. He apologized for not taking my pain seriously. A year after the operation, I was able to get pregnant again and gave birth to a girl, who is now 33 years old.

Mary A. Reese, Glenn Dale

The myth of the bat bite

A bat in the bedroom leads to a lesson on rabies” [May 7] was well written and well researched. But it’s not true, as the article states, that “bat bites are rarely felt.” They almost always are.

Yes, most insectivorous bats (most bats in the United States) have very small teeth and their bite might leave an almost undetectable mark on human skin; however, people who handle wild bats on a regular basis, as I do, will tell you that when they have been bitten by a bat, it usually feels much like a needle jab. It hurts.

The “undetected bat bite” theory has caused panic among people who may already have an unreasonable fear of bats due to persistent myths — associations with Halloween, witches, vampires and all manner of evil.

Though it is impossible to say that every person would be awakened by a bat bite, there is little evidence for human rabies cases involving sleeping adults who did not know they were bitten.

Dianne Odegard, Outreach Associate, Bat Conservation International, Austin

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