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What is a Retroverted Uterus?

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Updated May 02, 2008

doctor holding model uterus Jeff Brofsky / Getty Images
Question: What is a Retroverted Uterus?
Answer: Retroversion of the uterus occurs when the uterus tilts toward the back instead of the front. You may hear retroversion of the uterus referred to as a “tilted" or "tipped" uterus. Though having a retroverted uterus sounds a bit scary, the truth is that it is perfectly normal; about 20% of women naturally have a retroverted uterus.

During menopause the ligaments that support the pelvic organs may weaken, which may cause uterine retroversion in some women who previously did not have this condition. Retroversion of the uterus may also occur because of uterine enlargement which can occur following pregnancy or when a tumor is present. Sometimes uterine retroversion takes place because of the formation of scar tissue or pelvic adhesions that may occur in women diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or endometriosis.

The good news is that retroversion of the uterus alone almost never causes any symptoms. However, a small number of women experience pain or discomfort when it is pregnancy or a tumor that's caused the uterus to enlarge. Anytime you experience pain or discomfort, it’s a sign that you should see your doctor.

If you have a tipped uterus, your doctor will likely tell you during your pelvic examination. Sometimes, a rectovaginal exam may be necessary for your doctor to differentiate between a pelvic mass and a retroverted uterus. Although, generally unnecessary, pelvic ultrasound pinpoints the exact position of the uterus.

While no treatment is necessary for a tipped uterus, if you have endometriosis or pelvic adhesions, you should receive treatment for those conditions. Early treatment of endometriosis or PID may help prevent a retroverted uterus from occurring.

Again, always seek the advice of your doctor whenever you experience pelvic pain or discomfort.

Source:

“Retroversion of the Uterus;” MedLine Plus Medical Encyclopedia; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001506.htm; accessed 04/16/08.

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