Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
The uterus, an organ essential for the development of the human fetus, is more complex than a hollow structure. It does not stay in the same position, and has the ability to move from side to side as well as from back to front. The uterus positions can vary with the movement of the body, when the bladder fills and empties, and as bowel contents are passed.
Medical knowledge suggests that the normal uterus positions do not affect fertility. The organ can be suspended vertically, during which it is said to be in mid-position. An anterior uterus is one in which the whole organ is tilted toward the front of the abdomen, while a uterus in retroversion tilts toward the spine. It’s also possible for a uterus to bend, either forward or backward. These positions can be determined by pelvic exams in a physician’s office.
Some uterus positions are abnormal and can, in fact, be life-threatening. After giving birth, a woman can have an inverted uterus, which is described as acute if it occurs within the first day of delivery. Inversions that show up more than a month after delivery are labeled as chronic. These can range in severity from having the uterine wall extend just to the cervix, to part of the uterus being exposed outside the vagina, to a total inversion, in which the vagina and uterus become situated in an inverted position.
Inversion often leads to hemorrhaging and shock, which must be dealt with immediately. Such uterine conditions can ultimately be managed surgically or non-surgically. A much rarer condition is a prolapsed uterus. This condition usually arises during pregnancy when supporting and connecting tissues in the abdomen are damaged, and can resolve on its own if not too severe. Normal fetal delivery is still possible if the uterus is prolapsed, but there is a risk of serious complications through pregnancy and birth.
Sheets of ligament-like tissues support various pelvic structures, including the uterus, blood vessels, and muscles. Damage to these structures from injuries or from delivery can lead to a change in uterus positions and other problems. Uterine torsion, rare in humans, occurs as a result of the uterus twisting. This can restrict blood flow and can easily kill a fetus. All uterus positions are influenced by body movements, contractions, bladder and bowel function, as well as the presence of tumors or other abnormalities.
Tilted uterus or retroflexed uterus symptoms include painful sex and the most pain when in the "on-top" sexual position, along with painful periods. Back pain, discomfort when using a tampon and a predisposition to urinary tract infections are other signs that you might have a tipped uterus. A doctor should be able to tell you during a routine pap smear. Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous tumor like growths inside the uterus, can make the uterus more susceptible to tipping, but most people are just born that way. A retroflexed uterus is tilted toward the back.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!