Living with A Tilted Uterus
Endometriosis comes with its fair share of obstacles. So when new issues arise, they are the last thing we want to deal with. Since the first time I went to the gynecologist at age 15, I remember exams always being painful. Besides a few cysts on my ovaries, doctors never mentioned anything other that could possibly be wrong with me. It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I heard the term tilted uterus.
What is a tilted uterus?
"Did anyone ever tell you that your uterus is tilted"? the ultrasound technician asked while looking at me. "Tilted uterus?", I thought, "Now, what the heck does this mean?" And no, no one has ever told me this before! "No", I replied. "Is that bad?".
When the technician reassured me it wasn't bad and that actually most women have a retroverted uterus, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe, just maybe my case was one of the ones causing extra discomfort and pain.
But let's back up. What is a tilted or retroverted uterus? It is when the vagina is not aligned with the pelvis and instead, is on an angle, facing your lower back causing your uterus to point towards your rectum. The typical position of a uterus is above the bladder facing the abdominal wall.
What are my symptoms?
I have heard that most women with a retroverted uterus may not experience symptoms unless they also have endometriosis. In fact, my doctor had said that scar tissue from endometriosis, can push the uterus into this backward position, causing it to stay there. Whether it was true or not, it did start making sense. Especially because of the symptoms I was/am experiencing:
- Painful sex
- Pain inserting tampons/not being able to use them
- Menstrual pain
- Bladder + bowel issues
Of course, just like with any illness or disease, these symptoms can be signs of other issues. It is hard to tell 100% if my endometriosis or tilted uterus are the ones causing these symptoms, but it definitely makes more sense now that I know!
My tilted uterus diagnosis.
While I was prepping for excision surgery in 2017 with my endometriosis specialist, they brought up my uterus being tilted. They found this during a routine check-up and ultrasound. They shook it off and told me I would be fine. But just one month ago, I went to a new GYN due to more issues (that's another story for another time) and during my physical exam with him, he too told me, your uterus is tilted. Except, this time, the physical exam was different. He was able to grab my uterus and lift it. The amount of pain that went through me is hard to describe. But at the same time, laying there with my uterus lifted, I felt a sense of relief as well. The relief from him lifting my uterus was proof that my tilted uterus is causing me a lot of pain.
So what's next?
After we finished that exam, he looked at me and said he could sense some relief in my body when he lifted my uterus up. And then went on to explain a surgery that can be done. I am receiving another endometriosis surgery anyways, so I was open to listening to what this surgery would involve. He said that the UPLIFT procedure is a surgical procedure that repositions a tipped uterus to a normal position. It is done just like endometriosis surgery, via laparoscopy, but he did warn it would be a little bit more painful of a recovery. Of course, a hysterectomy could also help with the tilted uterus issue, but I am just not ready for that yet. But because of the amount of pain my tilted uterus is causing me, I think the UPLIFT procedure is going to be my next move.
I have an ultrasound scheduled so he can see the exact location of my uterus and be prepared for surgery. I feel confident. Nervous, but confident. If I found some relief just by my doctor lifting my uterus up during my exam, I cannot imagine the relief I feel once he completely lifts it and moves it around altogether! I will keep you posted once the surgery happens!
Do you have a tilted uterus? How do you manage/deal with it?
The holiday season is among us and can be so stressful! Do you experience more flares during this season?