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Most women (that is, almost 1 out of 5) have a uterus (womb) and cervix that is tilted backward in the direction of the spine rather than sitting straight or leaning a bit forward towards their lower abdomen. So, many women may question, ‘how to fix a tilted uterus?’ Experts call this phenomenon a “tilted uterus”, it is also known as “retroverted uterus.” In most cases, a tilted uterus does not affect the fertility, health, or pregnancy conditions of a woman. In fact, this is so common in women than it is said to be a normal variation.
However, there are rare cases, though, where a tilted uterus may have health risks, hence it is a better idea to consult with the doctor regarding it. In this article, we will tell you how a tilted uterus may affect fertility, health, and pregnancy.
What Does A Tilted Uterus Mean?
The connection between the uterus and the vagina is known as the cervix. Let us consider the uterus as a pear-shaped part, so in this case, the cervix will be the end of that pear. When a woman is not pregnant, her uterus is about 4 centimetres long, this exact length may vary from woman to woman and it may vary during the course of pregnancy too.
The extreme lower end of your cervix descends to the vagina. In instances, where a woman has a tipped uterus, that also causes the cervix to lean.
What Is The Cause Of A Tilted Uterus?
There are women who have had a tilted uterus since birth. Sometimes, during pregnancy the ligaments that typically support the uterus get stretched, this allows the uterus to change positions inside the body. There are some health conditions too that may lead to the formation of scar tissue that may pull onto the uterus, shifting its orientation.
Women may have fibroids, endometriosis, as well as pelvic inflammatory diseases which may lead to scarring that can change the shape and situation of the uterus.
Tipped Uterus: What Are The Symptoms?
Many women may have a retroverted uterus or a tipped uterus, but they do not face any problems or symptoms. For some women, a retroverted uterus may cause the following symptoms:
- painful sex (dyspareunia)
- painful periods
- problems in inserting tampons
- bladder incontinence
How To Diagnose A Tilted Uterus?
The doctor can simply diagnose the condition with the help of one ordinary pelvic examination. During the pelvic exam, your doctor will place two fingers into the vagina and gently press on the abdomen to understand the position of the uterus.
Doctors may also suggest you to get an MRI or ultrasound to see if you have a retroverted uterus.
Tilted Uterus And Its Effect On Pregnancy: Can It Cause Any Problems On The Reproductive System?
There was a time when doctors thought that it would be difficult to conceive if at all the position of the uterus or cervix tipped, they believed it made the sperms difficult to enter the egg. However, now gynecologists believe that the position of the uterus or a tilted uterus has nothing to do with pregnancy.
If you are having issues with fertility, it may be possible that you have a medical condition such as endometriosis, fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Can The Tilted Uterus Impact Your Pregnancy?
In most cases, a retroverted uterus expands and enlarges normally at the time of pregnancy, so the initial orientation does not lead to any problems at the time of pregnancy and even delivery.
1. Uterine incarceration: Very Uncommon Condition
In some rare instances, about 1 out of 3,000 pregnancies, there is one severely retroverted uterus that can cause the condition called uterine incarceration. This condition occurs when an internal scar from a surgery or any medical condition binds the uterus with the pelvis’ other parts. Such an internal scar is called adhesions.
As your uterus keeps growing, these adhesions keep the uterus from extending upwards, which traps the uterus inside the pelvis’ lower part. It is quite difficult to recognize uterine incarceration and its symptoms, and this condition generally does not show up till post your first trimester.
2. Uterine Incarceration And Its Symptoms
Let us see some of the symptoms of Uterine Incarceration:
- constant pelvic pain
- pressure near your rectum or in your lower back
- urinary incontinence
- urinary retention
- worsening constipation
3. Uterine Incarceration And Its Complications
If you are facing any of these symptoms, then it is necessary to consult with a doctor. If you have an incarcerated uterus it can cause:
- restricted growth
- early delivery
- uterine rupture
This condition may also damage the bladder or kidneys.
4. Diagnosing An Uterine Incarceration
Uterine incarceration can be diagnosed by the doctor with the help of an MRI, ultrasound or a pelvic exam.
5. Treating The Uterine Incarceration
The treatment of uterine incarceration is generally successful. If the uterus is incarcerated before the woman is twenty weeks pregnant, the gynaecologist will suggest a knee-to-chest exercise that will help you reposition or release the uterus.
There can be cases where these exercises will not help, a gynaecologist may even manually turn your uterus to release it. In other cases, laparotomy or laparoscopy could correct this condition.
Can A Tipped Uterus Lead To Painful Sex?
A tilted uterus generally changes the position of the cervix inside the vagina, there are women who experience pain during energetic or deep sex.
When a woman experiences painful sex, one of the biggest problems that they face is a feeling of isolation. This is because a lot of times women can’t talk to anyone regarding their situation.
If you feel that the sex is becoming painful, it is necessary to talk about it with your partner as well as the doctor regarding it. The doctor can examine the situation and suggest treatment options that may work the best for you.
Other Health Problems Caused By A Tilted Uterus
1. Painful periods
In a lot of cases, the tilted uterus may cause excessive pain during periods.
There was a study conducted in 2013, it measured the flexion degree of over 181 women, they experienced significant pain at the time of menstruation. The study found that women who have a tilted uterus face more pain at the time of periods than women who have a well-positioned uterus.
Researchers also have found out that in instances where the uterus is angled sharply, it will close off the way of blood that flows from the uterus towards the cervix. The narrow passage means that the body needs to cramp or contract harder in order to push the menses out.
Some information that you need to know:
- The uterus sometimes shifts after pregnancy or when you get older, this may change the position inside the body which will reduce cramping.
- If you experience painful periods, you may try various home remedies that are quite effective and women have been using them, you must also consult your doctor if you feel the need.
2. Difficulty In Inserting Menstrual Cups And Tampons
Women who have a tilted uterus face a lot of difficulty in inserting a menstrual cup or tampon, and it causes pain too.
If you are experiencing a problem inserting a menstrual cup or tampon, you must try some different position of putting it in. If you typically insert a tampon by sitting on your toilet, you may try the standing position, where you put one foot on the tub, you may even bend your knees to be in a squatting position.
Trying menstrual discs can also be an option, you place a menstrual disc at the back of the vagina due to which the cervix gets covered. There are women who feel that using a disc is more comfortable than a tampon or a cup.
Treatment Of A Tilted Uterus
If you are facing any kind of uncomfortable symptoms, it is always better to consult your gynaecologist. There are treatments available that can correct the position of the uterus. knee-to-chest exercise for repositioning the uterus.
How to fix a tilted uterus?
- pelvic floor exercise for strengthening the muscle holds your uterus in place
- a silicone pessary or ring-shaped plastic that supports the uterus
- surgery like uterine suspension
- surgery like uterine uplift
Tilted Uterus: Final Conclusion
Women who have a uterus or cervix that is tilting back towards the spine is considered a normal phenomenon that happens to the uterine position inside the pelvis. Generally, women who have a tipped uterus do not face any problems or symptoms at all.
A tilted uterus also does not have an impact on the ability to deliver a baby or get pregnant, there are hardly any women who face issues with their reproductive system due to a tipped uterus. However, if a woman has a tipped uterus she may have excessive pain during periods, painful sex and problems inserting cups or tampons.
There are very few cases, where a scar caused by some surgery or medical condition has severe impacts on pregnancy, this complication is known as an incarcerated uterus. This problem can be treated too, you just need to get it diagnosed and in most instances the treatment is successful.