A retroverted uterus, also known as a tipped or tilted womb, occurs when the uterus tilts backwards towards the spine. The uterus is normally positioned in a straight up and down position or tips slightly forward, however it is estimated that up to 20% of women have a backwards-tilting uterus. Sometimes the uterus can also be retroflexed, which means it bends back on itself as well as tilting towards the spine.
A retroverted uterus is not usually considered to be a serious medical condition, although it may be an indicator of an underlying condition. Some women are born with their womb tilted backwards, but it may also be caused by pregnancy, which enlarges the uterus, or by scar tissue following a condition such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. Reaching the menopause can also cause the uterus to change position, as the ligaments holding it in place become weaker. In rare cases, retroversion of the uterus may cause some discomfort, for example during sex or when using tampons. However, there are generally no symptoms. The position of the uterus is normally revealed through a pelvic examination.
Inserting a pessary into the vagina is a possible option to relieve discomfort, although it is generally a temporary measure. Underlying conditions (such as endometriosis, a tumor or an STI) can be attended to as necessary. Although some women whose uteruses are tilted report difficulties in conceiving, fertility itself is not affected by the situation.
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