What is the retroverted uterus and how much does it affect fertility? The midwife explains what the consequences are during pregnancy and childbirth
One of the most common phrases that scare women about their anatomy is having a retroverted uterus, or to put it scientifically: retroverted. Let’s try to understand together what it is and if such a uterus can have an influence on fertility and pregnancy.
Retroverted uterus, what is it
As you know the womb of a woman it is positioned between the rectum and the bladder just below the pubic bone. It has an inverted pear shape with a neck (the cervix) and a rounded body. In non-pregnant conditions, most women present the uterus bent, or flexed, forward, to lean on the bladder. It is an absolutely physiological condition in which an organ as soft and empty as the uterus collapses leaning against the bladder. Some women instead of having the uterus fold forward, have folded it backwards, resting lightly on the intestine. This is why it is called a retroverted uterus.
Retroverted uterus, consequences
As for women’s health to have a retroverted or antiverse uterus makes no difference. It must certainly be understood if this retroversion is present from birth and therefore it is genetic, or if instead it is the consequence of something that hinders the anteversion of the uterus. What are the factors that can affect the position of the uterus? The first and most frequent is the presence of fibroids right where the uterus flexes. Fibroids being a rather hard mass, they do not allow the uterus to fold to that side, thus forcing it to opt for the other option. Basically, however, there are no serious consequences for this restroversion, a woman can easily live peacefully and discover only during a visit that she has a retroverted uterus.
What does retroverted uterus involve?
L’retroverted uterus can lead to some minor problems menstrual type for women who have a retroverted uterus. These problems also present women who have an anteverted uterus, but they are more pronounced in women with a retroverted uterus.
- Specifically we are talking about more painful menstruation often associated with headache, that is, a headache. There is no explanation as to why this difference, but it is statistically proven that women with a retroverted uterus have more painful periods.
- Pain in sexual intercourse, especially in deep penetrations when one goes to urge the body of the uterus bent towards the rectum.
- And finally they are possible bladder and intestinal disorders albeit infrequently. The former can be substantially explained by the fact that the two structures (uterus and bladder) are connected by a small sheet which is pulled more if the uterus is retroverted. This can cause delays in emptying or failure to completely empty the bladder that comes out slightly from its axis because it is pulled by the uterus, and therefore greater problems of cystitis. Intestinal disorders, on the other hand, are mainly due to the fact that the uterus resting on the rectum can slow down the transit of feces and therefore lead to constipation. They are, as I said, rare or minor problems that do not require either pharmacological or invasive intervention.
Does retroverted uterus cause fertility problems?
It is a common belief that those with a retroverted uterus have fertility problems. In fact, both anatomical studies and statistical studies on a large sample of women have shown that there is no significant difference between women with a retroverted uterus and women with an anteverted uterus regarding fertility. This means that we cannot count the retroverted uterus among the malformations and it is not an indication to carry out more in-depth examinations or surgical anteversion as was once done. The infertility-retroverted uterus association comes from a rather distant past where doctors, seeing something different from what they expected, and not having available non-invasive instrumental tests like those of today (I’m talking about simple blood tests or hysterosalpingography to understand the patency of the fallopian tubes) gave the “blame” for infertility to the positioning of the uterus.
How to get pregnant with a retroverted uterus?
To get pregnant if you have a retroverted uterus the modalities are absolutely identical to those of women who have an antiverse uterus. What happens is that the spermatozoa that are deposited during sexual intercourse in the bottom of the vagina will have to travel a little more way to get to the cervix, enter the uterus and try to get to the egg to be fertilized. They will be helped by the cervical mucus that protects them and forms channels to guide them on the right path. Objectively, I must say that it could be a little more difficult and therefore a lot also depends on the condition of the spermatozoa.
The more and more “fit” they are, the easier it will be to become pregnant. Urban legends tell of better positions to promote pregnancy in the case of a retroverted uterus. They are legends, I believe that the best position is above all the one that pleases the couple the most. For the simple fact that more lubrication is produced, more cervical mucus, more seminal fluid is ejaculated and with less pain and consequently it is more likely (if all ovulation times coincide) that a pregnancy is possible.