The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped organ that sits in the lower part of a woman’s pelvis and is where a fetus grows during pregnancy. So many women never think about the position of their uterus, but yes, this is actually a topic of discussion.
The uterus, or womb, is about 6-8 cm. in length and is commonly anteverted, meaning it is titled towards the bladder. Approximately 25% of women have a uterus that is tilted towards the rectum. This is known as a retroverted, tilted, or tipped uterus. Most women are unaware of the position of their uterus and likely don't experience any symptoms. It is normal to have a retroverted uterus, but there can be other causes as to why it's retroverted.
Here are some of those causes:
Adhesions can be caused by a pelvic infection like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or scar tissue caused by abdominal or pelvic surgery. Scar tissue can cause the uterus to stick to other structures in the lower part of your belly and pull the uterus towards the rectum.
Endometriosis results from the lining of the uterus called the endometrium to be found outside of the uterus. Endometriosis can be responsible for pelvic pain, painful intercourse, and painful periods because it can also cause the uterus to stick to other structures.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths on the uterus that can tip the uterus towards the rectum.
The uterus is held in place by connective tissue called ligaments. Pregnancy can stretch these supportive ligaments and cause the uterus to tip backward towards the spine.
Symptoms can include trouble inserting tampons, low back pain during your period, constipation, frequent UTIs, and pain during sex. Keep in mind that the majority of women with a tilted uterus will not have any symptoms. However, you may experience painful intercourse, especially in certain positions or with deeper penetration.
Treatment is not needed most of the time, but underlying disorders such as endometriosis or adhesions should be treated as needed. Always consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and feel the need to have your uterus looked at further. A retroverted uterus can often be diagnosed during a routine pelvic exam.
Dr. Jodie Horton