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Retroversion of the uterus

  • Definition
    • Retroversion of the uterus occurs when a woman's uterus (womb) tilts backward rather than forward. It is commonly called a "tipped uterus."

  • Alternative Names
    • Uterus retroversion; Malposition of the uterus; Tipped uterus; Tilted uterus

  • Causes
    • Retroversion of the uterus is common. One in 5 women has this condition.The problem may also occur due to weakening of the pelvic ligaments at the time of menopause. An enlarged uterus can also be caused by pregnancy or a tumor.

      Scar tissue in the pelvis (pelvic adhesions) can also hold the uterus in a retroverted position. Scarring may come from:

  • Symptoms
    • Retroversion of the uterus almost never causes any symptoms.

      Rarely, it may cause pain or discomfort.

  • Exams and Tests
    • A pelvic exam will show the position of the uterus. However, a tipped uterus can sometimes be mistaken for a pelvic mass or a growing fibroid. A rectovaginal exam may be used to distinguish between a mass and a retroverted uterus.

      An ultrasound test can be used to see the exact position of the uterus.

  • Treatment
    • Treatment is not needed most of the time. Underlying disorders, such as endometriosis or adhesions, should be treated as needed.

  • Outlook (Prognosis)
    • In most cases, the condition does not cause problems.

  • Possible Complications
    • Atypical positioning of the uterus may be caused by endometriosis, salpingitis, or pressure from a growing tumor.

  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Call your health care provider if you have ongoing pelvic pain or discomfort.

  • Prevention
    • There is no way to prevent the problem. Early treatment of uterine infections or endometriosis may reduce the chances of a change in the position of the uterus.

  • References
    • Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW. Female genitalia. In: Ball JW, Dains JE, Flynn JA, Solomon BS, Stewart RW, eds. Siedel's Guide to Physical Examination. 8th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2015:chap 18.

      Lobo RA. Endometriosis: etiology, pathology, diagnosis, management. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2012:chap 19.