An anteverted uterus is a natural variation, much like having a certain eye color. A person's uterus can also be tilted backward. This is less common and is called a retroverted uterus.
In this article, learn more about an anteverted uterus, how uterine tilt is tested, and what it means for fertility.
What is the uterus?
An anteverted uterus will not affect reproduction.
Image credit: SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics GmbH, 2007
The uterus is the pear-shaped organ in a woman's lower abdomen in which fetuses grow.
It is also called the womb.
The uterus is connected to the ovaries, which produce eggs.
When a woman ovulates, an egg travels down toward the uterus via the fallopian tubes.
The uterus is attached to the walls of the pelvis by flexible ligaments that allow it to tilt forward and backward.
Anteverted uterus frequency
An anteverted uterus is common, occurring in around 75 percent of women. It means that the uterus is tipped forward toward the bladder. How far forward the uterus tips varies between individuals.
It does not affect the structure of the uterus and is not an abnormality or health condition. Having an anteverted uterus does not interfere with reproduction or have an impact on a woman's health.
The uterus is tipped backward the remaining 25 percent of the time. This is called a tipped, tilted, or retroverted uterus and can sometimes cause problems during pregnancy.
Is there a known cause?
An anteverted uterus is a natural genetic variation, much like eye or hair color.
Does an anteverted uterus affect fertility?
Infertility affects about 1 in every 6 couples in the United States. The cause of infertility can be a problem with the male or female reproductive system, or both.
Problems with the female reproductive system account for only approximately 50 percent of infertility cases.
An anteverted uterus is normal and not usually the cause of fertility issues. Problems with ovulation, the cervix, or the fallopian tubes are the most common causes of female infertility.
Other things that can affect a woman's fertility include:
- a previous infection
- scar tissue or adhesions
- chronic illness
- a previous ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
- a uterine birth abnormality
A retroverted womb can, however, sometimes cause issues during pregnancy. Symptoms may include:
Pregnancy starts with a retroverted uterus around 15 percent of the time. The uterus tends to move into an upward position on its own by the 14th week of pregnancy, but sometimes it stays in the same place and can get "wedged" in the pelvic cavity as it grows.
Impact on sex and sexual health
Having an anteverted uterus is the most common variation in uterine position. It does not affect sex life or sexual health.
How do I know if my uterus is anteverted?
An ultrasound may determine the tilt of the uterus.
Unless a doctor suspects it is causing a problem, it is common for most women not to know if their uterus is anteverted or retroverted.
A pelvic exam or ultrasound can be carried out to determine the tilt of the uterus. An initial pelvic exam may include all or some of the following:
- Vulval examination: This test will check the genitals for evidence of external bleeding or signs of infection, such as vaginal discharge.
- Speculum examination: A medical instrument is inserted to allow a doctor to examine the vagina and the cervix to be examined.
- Bimanual palpation: A doctor or specialized nurse will use their fingers to examine the inside of the vagina and feel if the womb or ovaries are tender or enlarged.
An anteverted uterus is perfectly normal and is not considered a health condition. It requires no treatment.
If a woman is concerned about her fertility or has a family history of a retroverted uterus causing problems during pregnancy, she can speak to her doctor about fertility tests and checking the tilt of the uterus.
An anteverted uterus simply means the uterus is tilted forward. It is normal and is not considered to be a health condition.
The majority of women have an anteverted uterus. It does not have any impact on a person's sex life, menstrual cycle, or fertility.