Uterus positions and what that means
Let’s talk about the Uterus and it’s positioning! The uterus is a pear shaped organ that sits in the pelvis, and is responsible for many different functions such as pregnancy, menstruation, labor and delivery. The uterus can be shaped very differently between each woman, which is unfortunately not often something that is discussed with women.
The “normal” presentation for the uterus is anteverted. Although this is considered the normal positioning of the uterus, this is only common in about 50% of women. An anteverted uterus means the uterus tilts forward at the cervix, pointing towards your abdomen.
The uterus can also be retroverted. This means that the uterus tips backwards at the cervix. One third of all women have a retroverted uterus. This type of positioning does not generally cause many serious problems. It may cause an increase in back discomfort during menstruation and pregnancy.
Anteflexed is another positioning the uterus may favor. This means that the anterior tilt of the cervix is severe, resulting in a much greater forward flexing uterus in the abdominal region. A woman with an anteflexed uterus may experience an increase in pressure in the pelvic region. Other more serious complications with an anteflexed uterus may be: painful during intercourse, pain with menstruation, difficulty inserting tampons, increased changes of urinary tract infections, and greater protrusion on the abdomen.
Retroflexed is a positioning of the uterus when the tilt of the cervix is severely tipped backwards, causing great tension on the ligaments attaching the uterus to the pelvic cavity, as well as an increase in pressure in the low back. Complications with this uterine positioning include: pain in the vagina and lower back during sexual intercourse, pain during menstruation, difficulty inserting tampons, more common urinary tract infections, mild incontinence and protrusion of the lower abdomen.
During both of these more severe tilted conditions, fertility is not often affected, however if a woman were to become pregnant, increased forces will be applied to either the abdomen and low back, causing a much larger increase in discomfort during pregnancy. Possibility of infertility due to a sharply tilted uterus is often associated with scar tissue build up due to conditions such as endometriosis, which then cause these extreme tilts of the uterus. This may make fertility more challenging, but conception can still occur.
The Webster Technique is very helpful for optimizing pelvic alignment. Its beneficial for everyone during pregnancy and if the positioning of the uterus is not ideal, it can help to decrease the discomforts associated with the increased pressure and weight from pregnancy. Chiropractic can not "fix" the positioning but can help to increase blood and nerve flow as well as pelvic alignment to decrease the chance of increased exaggeration of position and discomforts.