Retroverted Tilted Uterus During Pregnancy

pregnant woman in pain

The uterus is a pear-shaped, hollow organ where the foetus grows during pregnancy. This organ nurtures the baby throughout the duration of pregnancy. A healthy uterus is, therefore, a prerequisite for the healthy growth and safe delivery of the baby. Sometimes, physical anomalies may affect the uterus affecting pregnancy and childbirth. One of these conditions is a retroverted uterus. Read on to all you need to know about this condition.

What is Retroverted Uterus?

The uterus in a woman is usually in a straight, vertical position in the pelvis. Some women may have a tilted or a tipped uterus where it is tipped or tilted backwards inside the pelvis. The uterus is called retroverted when in such a condition.

How Common is It?

It is not uncommon to have a tilted uterus. Around 20% of women have a retroverted uterus. Although the condition itself is not associated with any health disorder, it can have painful symptoms or be an indication of any underlying health disorder.

Causes of Retroverted Uterus

There can be several causes which may lead to a retroverted uterus in women. The causes include:

  1. The problem of a retroverted uterus can be genetic where the woman is born with a tilted uterus.
  2. During pregnancy, as the uterus enlarges, the ligaments which hold the uterus in place become weak or lose their tension resulting in a tilted pelvis pregnancy and a retroverted uterus. The uterus returns to the normal, forward position after delivery in most cases, but may at times fail to do so.
  3. The uterus can slip into a retroverted position after menopause as the oestrogen levels dip. This weakens the ligaments which hold the uterus in place giving rise to this condition.
  4. Health issues such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease can also cause a retroverted uterus. These health conditions can cause the formation of scar tissues inside the abdomen and move the uterus out of position.

woman in conversation with doctor

Symptoms of Tilted Uterus When Pregnant

Women may or may not experience symptoms related to retroverted uterus. However, the major symptoms of the condition are as follows:

  • Dyspareunia – Women with this condition can experience severe pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Dysmenorrhea – Tilted uterus can also cause severe pain during menstruation (before and after pregnancy).

The pain experienced in both the above cases is because of the pressure placed on the rectum and ligaments around the tailbone by the tilted uterus.

Women may also experience general symptoms like:

  • Infection in the urinary tract.
  • Pain and difficulty in using tampons.
  • Lower back pain, especially during intercourse.
  • Lack of control over bowel movement and urination. This condition is known as incontinence.
  • Although rear, infertility can also be one of its symptoms.

If any of these symptoms persist for long period of time, you should consult your doctor and get diagnosed for a retroverted uterus.

Can it Affect the Pregnancy?

Generally, the uterus corrects its position between 10th and 12th weeks of pregnancy. This minimizes the risk of pregnancy and labour. Tilted womb and getting pregnant can get complicated if the uterus does not move into the correct position before delivery. Although rare, this can result in a miscarriage. You should let your doctor know about the tilt of the uterus at the very beginning.

Can a Retroverted Uterus Prevent Pregnancy?

Trying to conceive with a tilted uterus should not hinder or prevent pregnancy. A retroverted uterus is linked to infertility only after all other possibilities that can lead to infertility have been ruled out. Trouble in getting pregnant due to a tilted uterus is rare.

How is Diagnosis Done?

A simple pelvic examination or an abdominal ultrasound by your doctor can identify a retroverted uterus. In case you experience any symptoms related to this condition, you should seek advice from your doctor and get tested for the condition.

examination through abdominal ultrasound

Treatment

On getting pregnant, the uterus will move forward into the correct position and will not need any treatment. In case where the uterus does not correct itself, or if the position needs to be corrected before pregnancy, a simple surgery will help reposition it. Repositioning of the uterus will provide relief from menstrual pains and pains that are experienced during sexual intercourse due to a tipped position of the uterus.

What are the Other Ways to Reposition a Tipped Uterus?

Apart from correction by surgery, the uterus can also be repositioned by the following methods:

  • Knee Chest

This is an exercise which will help to reposition a retroverted uterus temporarily. This exercise will not be helpful if the changes have occurred after delivery as a result of pelvic infections, fibroid tumours or endometriosis.

  • Pessary

A pessary is a plastic or silicon device which is placed in the vagina in order to reposition the uterus temporarily. A pessary is used as a temporary solution only as prolonged use of the device may lead to vaginal infections.

Changes That May Happen to a Tilted Uterus After Pregnancy

The position of the uterus after delivery depends on various factors such as the weight gain, and the stretching of ligaments. The uterus may or may not settle in an upright position, but the good news is that the position is not going to affect future pregnancies in any way.

Is There Any Prevention?

There is no way to prevent retroverted uterus especially if the tilt is genetic and present by birth. However, since diseases and infections such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease can also cause tilted uterus, they should be treated at the earliest after discovery.

A retroflexed uterus during pregnancy does not pose a risk to the baby or to the pregnancy itself and in most cases; the uterus corrects itself as the pregnancy progresses. Hence, any surgery to correct the backward uterus in pregnancy may not be necessary.

Although the retroverted uterus does not impact pregnancy in most cases, it is important to be aware of the condition and consult your doctor about the possible complications it can lead to during pregnancy. A retroverted uterus can be corrected by means of surgery to provide relief from the pain and discomfort associated with it. In cases where the tilted uterus is as a result of any infection or disease, it is important to get the infection treated at the earliest.

Also Read: Inversion of the Uterus – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment