A tipped uterus, also known as a tilted uterus or womb, occurs when a woman’s uterus is angled back towards the pelvis. The condition may also be referred to as a retroflexed, backward, or retroverted uterus or a uterine retroversion. Normally, the uterus, which is the organ in which a baby grows and develops, is vertically positioned in the pelvis.
This condition may occur if the uterus never moves into the correct position during childhood or adolescence. It may also result from endometriosis or uterine fibroids, both of which may cause scarring that can contribute to the positioning of the organ. In other cases, giving birth can affect the position. During pregnancy, sometimes the ligaments that support the uterus in the proper position can be permanently stretched, although they typically regain their elasticity, and the uterus moves back into a more vertical or forward position after pregnancy.
Many women will never know that they have a tipped uterus unless it causes a problem. Symptoms include pain with menstruation or intercourse, mild incontinence, urinary tract infections (UTI), problems using tampons, and fertility issues. Most cases are discovered during a regular pelvic exam by a gynecologist.
If the position causes a problem, treatment may include surgical correction. There are two main techniques for correction: a uterine suspension and the UPLIFT procedure. An exercise called the “knee-chest” may help as well; however, it is only a temporary fix and will not work if the problem is related to endometriosis or fibroids. Another option is the use of a pessary, a silicone object that is inserted into the vagina to hold the uterus in place.
In rare cases, a tipped uterus may contribute to difficulty with conception or cause problems with pregnancy. During pregnancy, the uterus typically moves forward into the correct position by the end of the first trimester. In rare cases, however, the positioning can cause miscarriage. The majority of pregnancies that involve a tilted uterus typically reach full term with no related complications.