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An anteverted uterus is basically a uterus that tilts slightly forward in a woman’s pelvis. In most cases classifying a uterus as “anteverted” is just a way for medical professionals to distinguish it from an organ that is either “retroverted,” or tilted backward, or “midposed,” which means it stands more or less straight up and down. The condition is actually very common, and experts often estimate that upwards of 50% of women actually have a slight forward tilt in their reproductive system, though the severity and degree can vary greatly. In most cases this tilting doesn’t pose any problems, and most women who experience it have very normal reproductive functions.
The uterus is a pear-shaped organ that sits within a woman’s pelvis between the bladder and the rectum. It’s primary role is reproduction, and it is where fertilized eggs develop into fetuses and, ultimately, independent babies. The organ has two primary sections: the upper half is the fundus, which is where fetal development happens, and the bottom half is the cervix, which stretches and contracts as needed to either keep the baby safe or help it be born. Most tilts happen in the fundus, since the cervix is more or less anchored by the vaginal opening.
Why Tilts Happen
Doctors aren’t always sure about what causes tilting, but a lot of it has to do with anatomy and body type. There is usually a lot of room for things to shift around in the pelvis, and when there’s extra space or when organs rub against each other uterine placement and axis can be impacted. Most baby girls are born with midposed uteruses, but normal growth and development often causes tilts one way or the other. Anteverted tilting usually happens as a result of pressure from the growing bladder, and tends to be more common than backward tilting, which is more often caused by a pulling from the rectum.
An anteverted uterus can also happen as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. The organ necessarily stretches and expands to accommodate a growing child, and this pressure — combined with the positioning of the baby — can cause tilting or tipping. The ligaments holding the organ in place are sometimes also weakened by the physical intensity of birth. Sometimes this goes away and the uterus may return to its original position after a woman heals, but not always. As women age they may also experience more tilting than in youth as their muscles and ligaments grow softer.
Impact on Fertility and General Health
Most women who have forward-tilting uteruses don’t even know it, and the condition is not known to have any impact on fertility, gestation, or general sexual health. It is usually considered to be very normal, and is a biological “quirk” that sometimes just happens. Extreme tilting can cause discomfort, particularly during the late stages of pregnancy, but this is generally very rare and easy to identify on an ultrasound or other routine check.