If you’re trying to have a baby and have been told by your doctor that you have a retroverted uterus (also called tilted uterus or tipped uterus), you might wonder if this will make it more difficult to conceive. Don’t worry because, for most women, having a backward uterus doesn’t affect their ability to become pregnant.
What is a retroverted uterus?
Most women have an anteverted uterus which is angled in a straight up/down position in the pelvic region, or that leans forward a little, towards their bladder.
However, for 20% of women around the world, the uterus tilts backwards towards the spine or the back of the pelvis. Having a tilted uterus is not an abnormality at all, it’s simply an anatomical variance, just like hair and eye color.
What can cause a retroverted uterus?
Most women with a retroverted uterus were born with it. It’s genetic in the majority of cases and it’s completely normal. Nonetheless, sometimes a change in position is due to menopause or pregnancy.
Certain fertility problems, such as endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease, can make a uterus to tilt backwards. The eventual resulting scars of these conditions might lead to a shift in the uterus position.
How can I know if I have a tilted uterus?
Many women are not aware of the fact that they have a tilted uterus. Indeed, in most cases they don’t even notice any symptoms. They often discover it once they are pregnant, when their gynecologist tells them. To check if the uterus is tilted, the doctor can perform a quick test doing a simple pelvic exam and using abdominal ultrasound.
Despite symptoms being uncommon, possible indications that you may have a retroverted uterus include: pain during sex or during your periods; back pain, urinary infections or incontinence; difficulty using tampons or getting pregnant. If you experience any of the above you should consider paying a little visit to your doctor!
Does it make it harder to get pregnant?
In the vast majority of cases, no. A sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg is not affected by a tilted uterus. The position of your uterus has nothing to do with your ability to become pregnant, as having a retroverted uterus is simply a normal variation. If you are experiencing difficulties conceiving your GP will look for other fertility issues before considering the position of your uterus. You’ll also be reassured to know that having a uterus that tips backwards is not a problem during pregnancy either. It will reposition on its own around the 10th to 12th weeks (during the second trimester) in order to allow your baby to develop healthily.
What are the treatments?
Even if having a retroverted uterus does not represent an obstacle to getting pregnant, there are solutions you can consider if you encounter trouble conceiving. One such solution is to perform knee-chest exercises to help your uterus to move itself. However, this method is more of a temporary solution and won’t help women who have a retroverted uterus due to endometriosis, pelvic infections or fibroid tumors.
Another treatment is to use a pessary, which is a silicone or plastic device. Placed in your vagina, the pessary’s aim is to reposition the uterus. However, this solution is also only temporary, as prolonged use can lead to vaginal infections.
If these solutions don’t help your uterus to reposition, your doctor can recommend a surgical procedure called UPLIFT. With the help of a small camera, the operation’s purpose is to place the uterus into a forward-facing position.
Are there certain sex positions that are better than others for becoming pregnant?
There are no sex positions that will improve your odds of getting pregnant. However, when you have a tilted uterus, having sex can be painful and a little uncomfortable. If you experience this, why not consider certain positions with more shallow penetration or that allow you to control the depth, such as you on top or spooning. Any positions involving raised hips are also great if you have a tilted uterus. However, if you still feel pain during sex, you should promptly go to see your gynecologist.