Can a Tilted Uterus Cause Infertility?

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Head and Shoulders Photo of Michelle Meyer
Edited by Michelle Meyer

Published August 10, 2022.

Black uterus animaed picture

A tilted or retroverted uterus, which tips backward toward the spine instead of forward, may develop in any woman over time. One in four women has a tilted uterus. Some women are born with a tilted uterus, meaning they have a genetically inherited condition, or the ligaments which surround the uterus may slacken as you age, allowing the uterus to tilt backward. Sometimes scarring from pelvic surgery may affect the position of the uterus, pulling it into a backward slant. Menopause may cause the uterus to tilt when the normal uterine hormones stop and the pelvic muscles weaken. A similar tilting effect is caused by uterine fibroids. Childbirth also weakens the pelvic muscles and a cesarean birth may interfere with the muscle functioning, resulting in a tilted uterus. Endometriosis, or the growth of uterine tissue, may cause it too.

The normal position of the uterus is that it leans forward toward your navel. The tilted uterus leans back toward your bladder and your spine. In some women, this may cause urinary tract infections, because the pressure of the uterus on the bladder may prevent it from being emptied properly. Another side effect is urinary incontinence. However, a tilted uterus doesn't have a negative effect on fertility and conception or the health of the growing baby.

How a Tilted Uterus Affects Pregnancy

It's safe and normal for a baby to develop in a tilted uterus, and it won't be harmed by the position of the uterus. Once you have conceived, a tilted uterus carries the pregnancy safely, and by the third month, the uterus starts to gravitate forward with the weight of the embryo. This brings it into a more normal position so that the baby develops normally and there's less pressure on the spine and bladder of the mother. The baby can be carried in a tilted uterus with no bad effect until birth.

Getting pregnant will not be affected by a tilted uterus. However, sex in certain positions may be painful, because the cervix is in a different position and may be bumped. If there's deep thrusting, this may be uncomfortable. This will affect the ease of sexual activity.

How a Tilted Uterus Affects Fertility

A tilted uterus doesn't affect fertility.

How a Tilted Uterus Affects Period

Your menstrual cycle is not affected by a tilted uterus. The only effect of this position of the uterus on your period is that it may cause you to have more pain and discomfort at this time. It may also be more difficult to insert a tampon due to the different position of the cervix. It may feel as if the tampon is nudging the cervix, which can be very uncomfortable.

Exercises to Fix a Tilted Uterus

There are exercises you can do to work on the tilted uterus and try to get it back to a normal position. The exercises may strengthen the ligaments and orient the uterus to a more normal position. The following exercises are most helpful - have a look at photographs of yoga positions to see the cat, camel, and plank positions:

  • Lying on your back on the floor, with knees bent, practice curving the hollow of your back up and away from the floor, then flattening it.
  • In the same position, press down with your feet on the floor, and press down with your shoulders, lifting your buttocks off the floor to make a bridge with your bent legs. This bridge of the gluteal muscles can be extended to make a bridge of your back. In that case, you try to lift your whole back so that just your head is resting on the floor, and your legs are doing the work of the bridge.
  • Lying on a cushion, do elevated hip thrusts.
  • The cat stretch, alternating with the camel stretch (yoga positions).
  • Reverse plank, making a table of your torso and thighs, facing upward; and the plank, in which you rest your forearms and toes on the floor and raise your body into a straight line, with legs straight and toes digging into the ground for traction.

Your overall health and strength, and regular periods are good signs of high fertility, and having a tilted uterus is not an obstacle.