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What is a tilted uterus and how can it affect me?

Dr. Peter T. Nassar, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

A tilted uterus can also be called a retroverted or retroflexed uterus. For about 50 percent of women, the uterus faces forward. But, between 20 and 25 percent of women have a uterus that is tilted backwards. This is normal and can be present from birth, or due to scarring caused by endometriosis, pelvic disease or fibroid tumors of the uterus.

Women with a tilted uterus may complain of pain during vaginal intercourse because the uterus can be moved with deep penetration. Pain with menstruation is also possible; because the uterus is tilted backwards, women may experience more rectal pain or back pain when they get their menses.

With regards to fertility, it's not really thought to prevent pregnancy, although some people think it can be a source of infertility after all other conditions are ruled out. There are usually no effects on pregnancy, because as the uterus grows, it straightens out by itself.

People who have significant pain during intercourse or pain with their periods may have a procedure done to move the uterus forward. A common one is called Uplift, where they can actually tilt the uterus anteriorly, or forward.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Dr. Evelyn Minaya, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

A tilted uterus refers to the position of the uterus in the abdomen as it relates to the bladder and the rectum. Most women have their uterus tilt towards the bladder (anteverted) but about 20 percent of women have it tilting toward their rectum (retroverted). Years ago, we used to believe that it led to infertility but we now know that it does not. Sex can be uncomfortable in certain positions because the ovaries also shift toward the front making it painful on deep penetration. Trying a new position usually remedies the problem.

Very rarely, in a patient that has a tilted uterus toward the rectum (retroverted), when pregnant (only in the first 12 weeks), the uterus can get "stuck" and cause discomfort. With a simple visit to your physician, they can correct it by using a special device called a pessary. It elevates the pregnant uterus until it gets bigger and grows out of the pelvis. The pessary can then be removed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.