A tipped uterus, also called a tilted or retroverted uterus, occurs when a woman's uterus is tilted slightly toward the back of her pelvis, rather than being in a straight vertical position. In most cases, having a tipped uterus doesn't interfere with a woman's ability to get pregnant, but if you know or suspect your uterus is tilted and you're hoping to conceive soon, you should understand how this condition affects your body.
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Nearly 20 percent of women have a tipped uterus, reports MayoClinic.com. In most cases, it's simply an anatomical variation that women are born with. But it can also occur when ligaments stretch and lose tension during pregnancy and childbirth or when conditions like endometriosis, fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease leave scar tissue on the reproductive organs.
Many women don't know they have a tilted uterus, since there are often no symptoms. But some women experience pain during sex and menstruation, urinary tract infections, problems using tampons and minor incontinence. Your doctor can diagnose a tipped uterus with a simple pelvic exam.
In the past, it was believed that having a tilted uterus could contribute to infertility because it might make it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. Fortunately, it's now understood that the position of the uterus doesn't hinder sperm's ability to meet an egg. Having a tipped uterus won't directly interfere with your ability to get pregnant, although in some cases, there is an indirect link between infertility and a tilted uterus. If the condition resulted from endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or any other problem that left scars on the fallopian tubes, this scar tissue can make it difficult for the egg to move into a position where the sperm can reach it, reports BabyCenter. Some women with a tilted uterus also find intercourse very painful because of the way the penis hits the uterus or cervix; if you limit intercourse, you may reduce your chances of getting pregnant by missing out on having sex during your most fertile days, advises BabyHopes.com.
Treatment for a tipped uterus isn't usually necessary to achieve pregnancy, since doctors typically rule out all other causes of infertility before considering a tilted uterus the problem. But if a tilted uterus becomes an issue -- particularly due to pain during intercourse -- your doctor might recommend uterine suspension surgery to tilt the uterus forward. Or you can try temporary measures, like knee-chest exercises or a pessary device, which is inserted into the vagina to reposition the uterus. Your doctor can give you more details about all of these options and help you decide whether one might be right for you.