Tilted Uterus: Not as Scary as It Sounds

A tilted uterus — also known as a retroverted uterus — is one which tilts backward toward the spine. This is a common anatomical variation, occurring in about 20% of women. Four out of five women have a uterus that tilts forward, called an anteverted uterus

Many women with retroverted uterus don’t even know it since it usually doesn’t affect day-to-day life. On its own, a tilted uterus doesn’t impact health and reproduction, but it can sometimes have a negative effect on sex and menstruation. It may also be the result of an underlying condition with more serious complications.

Symptoms & Causes of Tilted Uterus

In many cases, a tilted uterus has no noticeable symptoms. When there are, the most common symptoms are pain during intercourse and painful menstruation. Other less common symptoms include:

  • Back pain
  • Increased likelihood of urinary tract infections
  • Incontinence

So, what causes a tilted uterus? First, it’s possible to simply be born with the genes for a retroverted uterus. But there are also events and conditions that can cause an anteverted uterus to tilt:

  • Scar tissue from an infection, surgery, or endometriosis can adhere the uterus to the pelvic wall in a tilted position.
  • The uterus may become tilted when the ligaments that support it weaken during pregnancy. After giving birth, the uterus may not return to its original position.

Things to Consider When Trying to Conceive with a Tilted Uterus

By itself, a tilted uterus does not affect your chances of conceiving. However, if it causes you to have painful intercourse, there are steps you can take to relieve that pain. It is important to find positions that are the most comfortable since you will need to be having sex regularly to maximize your chance of getting pregnant.

Many women with tilted uteruses prefer having sex facing their partner, since the uterus is tilted away. In addition, the position you choose should allow the woman to control the depth of penetration. Thrusting too deeply can increase the chance of painful intercourse.

If you do become pregnant with a tilted uterus, you may experience more lower back pain during the first trimester. You may also have more frequent urination during that time, as the uterus rests on your bladder. But by the twelfth week, the growing baby usually causes the uterus to shift forward, eliminating these problems.

If you suspect you have a tilted uterus, you may want to ask your doctor about it, since there is a small chance it’s connected to another underlying condition.

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