Q. I am a little worried due to the position of my cervix. It has always faced the back wall of my vagina. I am trying to conceive, but I am afraid that the birth is going to cause a fistula or at least be a very difficult delivery. How varied are cervix positions? Is there a name for this?
A. In most cases, a woman's uterus is positioned straight up. Sometimes the ligaments and tendons that hold the uterus in place will shorten or lengthen causing it to tilt. An anteverted uterus tilts forward toward the abdominal wall and a retroverted uterus (as in your case) tilts back towards the rectum. Whether it is tilting forward or back, a tilted uterus usually presents no problem during pregnancy. The uterus tends to straighten itself out by the second trimester as it grows and fills your lower body cavity.
In some cases, however, the uterus does not reposition. As it enlarges, it continues to push towards the back. Eventually, the baby runs out of room to grow and premature labor could occur.
You should mention your condition to your doctor if she/he is not already aware of it, so the position of your uterus can be more closely monitored. The worst case scenario is that you may require a device called a pessary that can be inserted into your vagina to help correct the backward tilting.
Back to Top
Q. I'm eleven weeks pregnant and my OB/GYN said that my uterus is tilted. He said this was why he was unable to find a heartbeat initially, but he thought he heard it faintly. Should I be worried?
A. It's sometimes possible to hear the fetal heartbeat between 10 and 12 weeks, but only with the use of a highly sensitive instrument called a Doppler. Your doctor may not be able to detect a heartbeat until week 17 or 18 because of the baby's position, excess layers of maternal fat or a tilted uterus, which would be your case. I wouldn't worry, especially since your doctor did hear something. Your baby is most likely doing just fine and at your next visit you will be able to hear the heartbeat loud and clear.
Q. I have always been told that I have a tilted cervix. A friend just told me that she has a tilted cervix and her doctor recommended a particular position ("doggy style") for her to get pregnant, and it worked. Ever heard of this?
A. Sometimes a tilted cervix makes conception a little more troublesome because the ejaculation doesn't get a direct hit into the cervical opening. If your friend's cervix was tilted forward, doggy-style intercourse could have given her an advantage with the sperm deposit positioning. If your cervix is also tilted in the same fashion, it could be an advantage for you, too. It's worth a try!