What is a tipped uterus?
The uterus, or womb, is the muscular organ at the top of the vagina. Babies grow in the uterus, and menstrual blood comes from the uterus. In most women the uterus tilts forward towards the front of the body. A tipped uterus tips backwards away from the front of the body.
Other names used for this condition are retroverted uterus or tilted uterus.
How does it occur?
You may have a tipped uterus because:
- Your uterus did not move forward as you matured.
- The position of your uterus changed after you gave birth to a child.
- You have had fibroid tumors or scarring from endometriosis, surgery, or an infection in the pelvis.
What are the symptoms?
Most women have no symptoms at all. Possible symptoms are trouble using tampons, problems urinating, and back pain, especially during a menstrual period.
How is it diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will be able to feel the position of the uterus when you have a pelvic exam. Its position can be confirmed by an ultrasound exam.
You may have a laparoscopy to check for problems such as fibroid tumors or scarring. This is a procedure in which your provider puts a small scope through a small cut in your belly to look at your internal organs.
How is it treated?
Usually you do not need treatment for a tipped uterus.
If the tipped uterus is causing pain, it can often be treated with a vaginal pessary. A pessary is a device put into the vagina to help support the vaginal walls and pelvic organs. It can help put the uterus in a more normal position.
If you have a laparoscopy to check for problems, your healthcare provider may be able to treat the cause of the tipped uterus during the procedure.
In very rare situations where symptoms are clearly caused by the position of the uterus, a very simple surgical procedure can be done to relieve symptoms. The procedure is called a uterine suspension. However, this procedure has not been proven to help many women.
How long will the effects last?
Your uterus will probably stay tipped without causing any problems.
By itself, a tipped uterus should not affect your ability to get pregnant. If you get pregnant, your uterus will probably tip forward naturally and you will have a normal delivery. Rarely, a very severely tipped uterus can get stuck in the pelvis as the baby grows. This may cause pain and trouble urinating. It might even cause loss of the pregnancy. However, this can be treated if it is recognized early in the pregnancy.
If your uterus is tipped because of scar tissue, you may have trouble becoming pregnant from the scarring.
Often the uterus goes back to a tipped position after pregnancy.
Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
HIA File wome5285.htm Release 13/2010