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What Is the Effect of a Tilted Uterus in Pregnancy?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Jan 22, 2024
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A tilted uterus, sometimes referred to as a retroverted uterus, is a term used when the uterus points toward the spine instead of maintaining the typical forward-facing direction. A tilted uterus can be a bit uncomfortable during pregnancy, although there are usually no significant health risks associated with this condition. Some symptoms include painful intercourse, lower back pain, and an increased risk of developing urinary tract infections. It has traditionally been thought that a tilted uterus increases the risks of an early miscarriage, although scientific studies have shown that a woman with this condition is no more at risk of suffering a miscarriage than if the uterus maintains a more normal position.

A retroverted uterus is typically a genetic condition, meaning that the uterus is tilted at birth. In some cases, it does not tilt until pregnancy, when enlarged ligaments in the abdomen become weakened. In these cases, the uterus generally returns to a normal position once the baby has been delivered. Surgical intervention is occasionally necessary in cases where there is severe pain associated with this condition.

Most women who have a tilted uterus in pregnancy will experience no negative side effects at all. In fact, many pregnant women have no idea that there is an issue with uterine positioning until an ultrasound is performed and a medical professional mentions the position. In some cases, the retroverted uterus can cause pressure on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back or near the tailbone, leading to some degree of discomfort.

Women who do report side effects associated with a tilted uterus typically complain of lower back pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse. Mild urinary incontinence or an increased number of urinary tract infections during pregnancy may also occur.

It is important to note that, in most cases, the uterus returns to a normal position on its own by the second trimester. Even if the uterus remains in a tilted position, there are no significant medical risks associated with this. Women who continue to have a lot of pain due to uterine positioning may require surgical intervention after the baby is born. Any questions or concerns about a tilted uterus in pregnancy should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

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Discussion Comments
By cecrivera — On May 18, 2011

I gave birth to two children by two different fathers and had no idea I had a tipped uterus until they told me during my first pregnancy over 30 years ago. My daughter has this inherited condition, as well. My mother, who gave birth to five children, also had it. I chose to have my babies naturally.

My daughter, who is currently pregnant, plans to give birth naturally as well, despite Kaiser trying to discourage her. They had planned to induce labor on her last week (37th week) and she had refused and had to sign a waiver, When they examined her, her uterus was still thick, plug in place and only had a slightly elevated blood pressure reading do to her ADD drug, Adderall. I have warned her to listen to her own body when she goes into labor and remember that she owns her body, not the doctors. When I gave birth to her, I was at a teaching hospital and they asked me before wheeling me into delivery if an intern class could watch. At that point, I didn’t care if the neighborhood came into watch.

I was interviewed by these same interns the next day to ask about my natural experience. I guess most women giving birth in hospitals rarely give birth naturally and opt for the epidural. Foolish! I shared a room with a woman who had a C-section and I felt like going dancing after giving birth, not tired at all! She was moaning and flat on her back, as it is major surgery!

Your brain floods with great endorphins after giving birth naturally and it will not happen with an epidural as you are completely numb. I gave birth to my son 10 years later and the advances with the second birth are simple but terrific. After a natural birth, they slap a huge bag of ice down there and it feels wonderful, plus the bed turns into a chair with handles on either side to grab and push. I was so jazzed before the birth as I had no idea any of these advances were going to happen. Even being 39 with my second birth, I still was so jazzed I could go dancing then, as well!

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