Can I Conceive with a Tilted Uterus?
Perhaps the biggest concern for a woman with a tipped uterus is whether or not she will be able to have babies. The general answer to that is yes. As a rule, a tipped uterus does not cause problems in conception and often will right itself by the 10th to 12th week of pregnancy. It should not cause any difficulty for the pregnancy nor for the labor and delivery. If the uterus does not move back into a middle position, it is possible a miscarriage may occur; however, such an event is very rare.
Other Ways of Referring to It
There are a number of ways of referring to a tipped uterus, all meaning the same thing: the uterus is tipped backwards toward the back of the pelvis. The more common terms associated with this condition are:
· retroflexed uterus
· tilted uterus
· backward uterus
· retroverted uterus
· tilted womb
When medical professionals talk about this condition, they may use phrases such as:
· uterine retroversion
· uterine retroflexion
· retroversion of the uterus
· symptomatic uterine retroversion
· symptomatic uterine retroflexion
· uterine retrodisplacement
· reflexion of the uterus
What Happened? Why is My Uterus Tipped?
A woman is born with her uterus in a specific place in her body, in a certain position. A uterus may be tilted far forward toward the bladder. This is called an anteverted uterus. When the uterus is tilted backward toward the rectum, it is known as a retroverted (or any of the above noted names) uterus. About two-thirds of all tilted uteruses in women are anteverted, pointing toward the bladder. A retroverted uterus is a normal variation on the theme of tipped uteruses, not unlike comparing left-handed people to right-handed people.
Normal life cannot shift the position of the uterus. Sex will not change the position; however, the angle of the uterus can be shifted through the following conditions:
· Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
· Endometriosis or adenomyosis
· Uterine fibroid tumors
It Hurts to Make Love
Sex may be painful for women with a retroverted uterus, especially vaginal penetration. The pressure on the rectum and ligaments of the tailbone make penetration and thrusting uncomfortable for some women. A change in sexual positions as well as depth of thrusting can make a significant difference in such cases. Since the body of the retroverted uterus lies just at the end of the vagina, it can get hit during intercourse, kind of like a punching bag. This is even more likely in the event of adenomyosis, a type of endometriosis that is within the walls of the uterus itself. Pain can also occur during a bowel movement if a tilted uterus has adenomyosis or some other uterine problem. This is because the tipped uterus is lying against the rectum and it gets scraped by stool coming through the rectum.
If the pain is persistently painful, and/or periods are causing serious discomfort and pain, it is a good idea to see a gynecologist for a check-up. There is a chance there is an underlying condition that is exacerbating the issue. If endometriosis or PID is associated with the pain there is a risk of fertility issues due to scarring in the uterus and tubes. Endometriosis is generally found outside of the uterus, within the pelvic cavity.
Other Symptoms that can be Painful
Often, a tipped uterus is not problematic and some women do not experience any symptoms from it. However, if there are symptoms present, they are primarily pain during intercourse, called dyspareunia; and pain during menstruation, called dysmenorrhea. There are other symptoms that can accompany a tipped uterus that include:
· back pain during intercourse
· minor incontinence
· urinary tract infections
· fertility problems
· difficulty using tampons
UPLIFT - A New Procedure
As long as a woman is not experiencing any symptoms, there is no need to interfere. However, if she is experiencing symptoms, the physician may recommend repositioning the uterus using surgery. By suspending the uterus, pain during intercourse and menstruation can be reduced. The procedure used to reposition a tipped uterus from its backward facing position to a forward facing position is called the UPLIFT procedure and is a newer, improved, method of uterine suspension. Often, repositioning the uterus this way provides lasting pain relief in situations of painful sex and menstruation.
Read more about retroverted uterus and the effects of it in our article in this section.