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What Is a Tilted Uterus?

The uterus normally has a slightly forward tilt.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
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A tilted uterus is a uterus which tips backwards, rather than having a slight forward tilt, as is more conventional. Also known as a tipped or retroverted uterus, a this type of uterus is very common, and many women have this slight anatomical difference without even being aware of it. Having a uterus that is tilted can result in problems such as discomfort during sexual intercourse or painful menstruation, but in many cases the problems are very mild. Treatment is available for women who experience more serious complications as a result of a tilted uterus.

Doctors sometimes compare having a tilted uterus to being left handed, to stress the fact that it's a very normal variation which often has minimal impact on a woman's life. One of the most common causes of uterus tilting is variations in development which occur during childhood. Medical conditions such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids have also been linked with a retroverted uterus, and the condition can also emerge in the wake of childbirth, during menopause when the surrounding ligaments weaken, or as a result of pelvic surgery.

A gynecologist may identify a tilted uterus during a routine examination. As a general rule, there are no special recommendations for the patient, although if she has difficulty inserting tampons, experiences painful intercourse, or complains of dysmenorrhea, she may be encouraged to perform physical exercises which are intended to encourage the uterus to move forward. Surgery can also be performed to reposition the uterus.

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Historically, people believed that having a uterus that is tilted could lead to fertility problems. In fact, researchers have determined that this condition does not cause problems with conception or carrying a baby. Women with this anatomical variation who do have fertility issues typically have these issues as a result of the underlying condition which caused the tilted uterus in the first place; women with a history of fibroids, for example, can have fertility problems.

A tilted uterus during pregnancy is also not a major cause for concern. Often, the uterus will move into position naturally as the baby develops. In a small number of cases, a retroverted uterus has been linked with miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy. However, there are many causes for miscarriages during the first trimester which can make it difficult to link them specifically with uterine position. Women who are concerned can discuss their worries with their obstetricians or prenatal care providers.

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Discuss this Article

anon344038
Post 4

I am menopausal and have just been told I have a tilted womb. Can this cause cancer?

Mor
Post 3

A tilted uterus is really a very mild condition in most cases. I know someone who had one and she didn't even realize it until she went in for a pap smear.

She has had a couple of children since there and been just fine. It came right after a few months of her first pregnancy. So, if you are diagnosed with a tilted uterus without pain or any other symptoms, be aware of what might happen, but don't worry too much about it. The chances are you will be just fine.

irontoenail
Post 2

I believe, if you have a tilted uterus and are experiencing some pain during sex, you can try out different positions that might help. People often think that the missionary position is the only right way of having sex, but if it is uncomfortable for you there's no harm in trying other things. You might put a pillow underneath to tilt yourself upwards, or try lying side by side with your partner.

If necessary, you can ask at your local family planning clinic for more advice. There is no need to suffer in silence.

indemnifyme
Post 1

It sounds like some tilted uterus symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of endometriosis -- for instance, dysmenorrhea and pain during intercourse are both symptoms of endometriosis and tilted uterus symptoms.

This information would be good to know for women with these symptoms because the only way to find out for sure if you have endometriosis is a laparoscopy (invasive exploratory surgery). However, a tilted uterus can be diagnosed by a simple examination.

Women who suspect they have endometriosis might ask their doctors to check for a tilted uterus first before undergoing surgery.

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