If you have been diagnosed with a tilted or tipped uterus, you have probably heard one of two terms in relation to it. The first is anteverted which means that your uterus tilts forward and the second is retroverted meaning that your uterus tilts backwards. While neither it usually a cause for infertility, some women do find that it is more difficult to become pregnant.
1. How is the uterus constructed?
The uterus is divided into two sections; the lower cervix and the fundus. The lower cervix is only a couple of inches long, but the fundus is usually about the size of a pear. However, the fundus can actually change in size after a woman has a baby or enters menopause, so it may be larger than this.
There are several ligaments that attach the cervix and the fundus to the pelvic sidewalls. They are very flexible and are the items that allow the slight forward or backward tilting of the uterus. Typically, women who have delivered vaginally tend to develop flexible ligaments; more so than those women who have not delivered a baby.
2. What causes tilted uterus?
Normally the uterus is straight up and down, but may point slightly forward, toward your stomach. When it is tilted backwards or away from your stomach, this is referred to as a tilted uterus.
It is completely normal for a uterus to be tilted and in fact, one out of every four or five women has a uterus that is tilted backward. While this in itself does not hinder a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant, there are other issues that sometime cause a tilted uterus that can.
Many women are actually born with a tilted uterus and it is present in about 20% of all women. However, it can also be caused by giving birth or by certain diseases. It is not caused, however, due to anything related to the woman, such as age or race.
3. Related Health Issues
There are also health issues that may cause of tilted uterus. For example, when a woman has endometriosis, a retroverted uterus can be caused. Endometriosis is an inflammatory pelvic disease dealing with the endometrial lining that is just outside the uterus.
Scar tissue from endometriosis has the ability to build up and affect the motion of the uterus and the fallopian tubes. This makes it more difficult to become pregnant because the egg and sperm may not be able to reach each other.
4. Is it Painful?
There are instances where a severely tilted uterus can be uncomfortable especially during intercourse. It is even possible for it to cause discomfort to both partners and it may be a good idea to change positions in order to make it more comfortable.
Other health issues involved with a tilted uterus can also be quite painful and you may want to talk to your doctor if you haven’t already. Your doctor will be able to examine you to see if your uterus is interfering with your fertility.
5. Can it cause problems?
It is possible for a tilted uterus to cause issues for women who are in their childbearing years because they tend to be more sexually active at the time. Below are some of the issues that a tilted uterus has been shown to cause from time to time:
- Pain while having sexual intercourse.
- Pain, including back pain, during menstruation and ovulation.
- Urinary tract infections
- Fertility Issues
- Problems using tampons
6. What should I do?
If you believe that a tilted uterus is causing issues with your fertility, you should talk it over with your doctor and ask for a physical exam. There is no specific exam that needs to be complete; a simple pelvic exam will suffice.
Treatment is also not necessary unless you are having issues or pain. However, you may find that your doctor recommends inserting a pessary into your vagina, but this may lead to some types of infections as well as restrictions when it comes to sex.
Most often it will only be used as a temporary way to control the pain. It is important to note that a pessary usually makes intercourse uncomfortable for the man, even though the woman is more comfortable.
Although a tilted uterus does not necessarily cause fertility problems, it can be caused by something that does. If you believe that you have a tilted uterus and are having problems conceiving, you should talk to your doctor in order to learn if treatment is necessary.