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80% of women have a backward titled uterus (womb) and cervix towards the spine rather than towards the lower abdomen. If you are one of them you may have questioned like many, ‘how to fix a tilted uterus?’
Experts call this phenomenon a “retroverted uterus” too. In most cases, a tilted uterus does not affect the fertility, health, or pregnancy conditions of a woman. This is so common in women that 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 a doctor regarding it. In this article, we will tell you how a tilted uterus may affect fertility, and general health and how to carry on with a tilted uterus 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 where the cervix will be the end of that pear. When a woman is not pregnant, her uterus is about 4 centimeters long, this exact length may vary from woman to woman and it may vary during pregnancy too. The extreme lower end of your cervix descends into the vagina. In case a woman has a tipped uterus, she will have a leaning cervix.
What is The Cause of a Tilted Uterus?
The uterus is a pear-shaped, hollow organ that sits in the lower region of a female’s pelvis. Some women 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 might pull onto the uterus, shifting its orientation. Women may have endometriosis, fibroids, as well as pelvic inflammatory diseases which may lead to scarring that can change the shape and situation of the uterus.
Before answering the question “how to fix a tilted uterus”, you may need to know what causes it in the first place:
1. Weakened Pelvic Muscles
After childbirth or menopause, the uterine ligaments become weakened or lax. As a result, the uterus falls into a tipped or backward position. Here’s more about postpartum recovery!
2. Enlarged Uterus
The uterus is enlarged after pregnancy, due to a tumor, or because of fibroids. These situations can also tilt a uterus.
3. Adhesions or Scarring in The Pelvis
The pelvis or uterus might get scarred by conditions such as previous surgery, infection, or endometriosis. This scar tissue can tip or pull a uterus backward.
Some people are born with a tilted uterus.
The shape and position of your uterus can be altered by uterine fibroids or other growths.
Tissues outside of your uterus, like your lining, can form with this condition. Your uterus can become retroverted when the endometriosis cells attach to other organs in your pelvis.
Your pelvic floor muscles and ligaments become stretched and weaker after birth, which can lead to your uterus tilting backward.
Due to a decrease in estrogen, menopausal women will experience weaker pelvic muscles. Your uterus cannot be supported by the ligaments that hold it in place, causing it to tip backward.
Retroversion vs. Anteversion
Anteversion of the uterus indicates a uterus tilted towards the front of the abdomen. An anteverted uterus is in its normal position that typically has no impact on the female’s ability to get pregnant.
On the other hand, retroversion of a uterus indicates a uterus that is tipped backward which can cause issues for females who want to get pregnant.
What are The Symptoms of a Tipped Uterus?
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:
1. Painful Sex (Dyspareunia)
A tilted uterus generally changes the position of the cervix inside the vagina, some women 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 best for you.
2. Painful Periods
In a lot of cases, the tilted uterus may cause excessive pain during periods. There was a study conducted in 2013, that measured the flexion degree of over 181 women, who 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 some instances a titled uterus 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 to push the menses out.
Did you know that 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.
3. Problems in Inserting 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 positions 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. Some women feel that using a disc is more comfortable than a tampon or a cup.
4. Bladder Incontinence
Prolapse (when the uterus drops into the vagina) and constipation (from pressure on the neighboring bowel) are two of the most common bladder and bowel issues that women with retroverted uteruses are more likely to experience. Here’s more about urinary incontinence during pregnancy!
5. Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Pregnant women who have a retroverted uterus, in which the uterus is tilted at an improper angle and curves backward rather than forward at the cervix, are also more likely to experience recurrent UTIs.
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.
The other hand is kept on the top of the abdomen and pushed gently to hold the uterus in between these hands. This way, the examiner can feel the uterus and determine its position, size, and shape, they can also feel abnormal growths in the uterus if any. Doctors may also suggest you get an MRI or ultrasound to see if you have a retroverted uterus.
Tilted Uterus and Its Effect on Pregnancy
Can It Cause Reproductive System Issues?
There was a time when doctors thought that it would be difficult to conceive if the position of the uterus or cervix tipped, they believed it made the sperm 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. 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.
What is Uterine incarceration?
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 surgery or any medical condition binds the uterus with the pelvis’ other parts. Such an internal scar is called adhesion.
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.
Symptoms of Uterine Incarceration
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
- Chronic constipation
- Restricted growth
- Early delivery
- Uterine rupture
- Bladder or kidney damage
If you are facing any of these symptoms, then it is necessary to consult with a doctor.
Diagnosing Uterine Incarceration
Uterine incarceration can be diagnosed by the doctor with the help of an MRI, ultrasound, or pelvic exam.
Treating Uterine Incarceration
The treatment of uterine incarceration is generally successful. If the uterus is incarcerated before the woman is twenty weeks pregnant, the gynecologist 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 gynecologist may even manually turn your uterus to release it. In other cases, laparotomy or laparoscopy could correct this condition.
How to Fix a Tilted Uterus?
A tilted uterus is not an issue that needs direct treatment. All kinds of treatments involved with “how to treat a titled uterus’ focus on the root cause of a tilted uterus such as lack of support or fibroids. If you are facing any kind of uncomfortable symptoms, it is always better to consult your gynecologist. There are treatments available that can correct the position of the uterus. knee-to-chest exercise for repositioning the uterus.
Doctors use a device called a pessary to support the vaginal walls pelvic structures, and the uterus by placing it in the vagina. This device helps in repositioning the uterus. It is fixed temporarily as the uterus reverts to its original position when removed.
Some people require uterine suspension surgery to reposition their uterus. It is an outpatient medical approach performed with or without the use of a sling or a mesh. This surgery can improve pain during sex.
3. “Knee-chest” Position
This is not a permanent solution but bringing the knees to your chest while lying down can help move the uterus into a comfortable position, temporarily.
Some medical professionals are skilled at manually bringing the uterus forward. If this happens, strengthening your pelvic muscles through exercise can help keep your uterus in that position. Check with your doctor to see if doing exercises like Kegels can help you get better.
To perform Kegel exercises, contract your pelvic muscles to the point where you are trying to keep urine out. Release after a brief period of tightening the muscles. Exercises won’t help if scarring has caused your retroverted uterus to move back into its original position.
5. Treating an Underlying Condition
Treating the underlying condition that causes your retroverted uterus could help alleviate your symptoms.
You can’t stop a retroverted uterus from happening. Due to an unavoidable medical condition, the majority of the time it is out of your control. Safe sex can lower your risk of developing the pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) if you have a retroverted uterus. Limiting your sexual partners and wearing condoms can help lower your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which can result in PID.
The Bottom Line on How to Fix a Tilted Uterus
Women who have a uterus or cervix that is tilting back towards the spine are 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.
But for women who think of how to fix a tilted uterus, a tilted uterus 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.
FAQs: How To Fix A Tilted Uterus
1. Can a retroverted uterus be treated?
2. What causes uterine incarceration?
3. How to fix a tilted uterus?
4) Does a tilted uterus cause health problems? ?
1. Detailed STD Facts – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – CDC Fact Sheet
2. Incarcerated Gravid Uterus: Spontaneous Resolution Is Not Rare – PMC
3. Recurrence of urinary retention secondary to the retroverted gravid uterus – PMC
4. The intensity of menstrual pain and estimated angle of uterine flexion
5. Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Uterus – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf