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What Is an Inverted Uterus?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2016
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An inverted uterus is tilted backward toward the spine and often sits to one side of the bladder. By contrast, the typical uterus is either straight up and down or tilted forward and sits on top of the bladder. This condition, which also is called a retroverted uterus, does not usually result in any health issues, aside from its tendency to make childbirth slightly more painful than usual. Many women are not aware they have an inverted uterus until their doctor tells them. Since it usually does not cause problems, treating an inverted uterus is rarely necessary.

Genetics are usually to blame for this condition, but certain events can also lead to this type of uterus. For example, pregnancy and the postpartum period can cause an inverted uterus, because the ligaments weaken as a result of both the extra weight in the abdomen during pregnancy and decreasing estrogen levels afterward. This may lead to the uterus failing to stay in its original location, dropping to one side of the bladder and tipping backward toward the spinal cord. Another possible cause is endometriosis, because scarring in the abdominal area can push the uterus out of its typical position right above the bladder. This condition is usually diagnosed by a doctor through an ultrasound and pelvic examination.

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In most cases, this condition does not need to be treated, because it causes few serious problems. For example, labor and delivery may be more painful than usual, but this can be fixed with either pain medication or a Caesarean section. In rare cases, women with an inverted uterus get urinary tract infections more often than usual and may notice lower back pain, both of which are usually a result of the pressure placed on the tailbone and the rectum. Pain during intercourse is also sometimes felt as a result of this uterus position, but this is another rare symptom. An inverted uterus typically does not make it difficult to get pregnant.

If the effects of an inverted uterus are too bothersome for a woman, the uterus can be surgically repositioned. In most cases, though, women are told by their doctors to exercise regularly to relieve some of the pain. The uterus sometimes repositions itself after pregnancy and childbirth, so women are often advised to wait and see if this occurs before getting treatment for this condition.

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Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous tumor like growths inside the uterus, can make the uterus more susceptible to becoming inverted. Fibroids often disappear on their own. In some cases they cause problems including heavy menstrual bleeding, back pain, prolonged periods and more.

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