Uterus - Fallopian Tubes, Uterus Size, Tilted Uterus During Pregnancy

Under Normal Circumstances

Assuming all is normal when a woman becomes pregnant, the process of pregnancy is very straightforward. The egg leaves one of the ovaries and is fertilized by a sperm while in one of the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg then makes its way to the uterus where it implants into the endometrium, or uterine lining. From that point, the nine month process of growing, changing, and becoming a baby takes place. The uterus stretches during pregnancy with the growth of the baby, and the uterine size changes dramatically in the process - growing from the size of a walnut to being able to contain a baby and placenta, or, even more if the birth is a multiple.

When Things Get Tipped

A normal uterus is considered to be one that is in a vertical position. A tilted uterus, or tipped uterus, is one that is tipped backward or toward the pelvis. This situation is referred to by other names as well, such as retroflexed or retroverted uterus. The condition of a tilted uterus can be caused from a number of different reasons. In some cases the uterus has not moved into a forward position during the maturation process. Sometimes, after a previous pregnancy and childbirth, the uterus tips backward or forward, a result of the ligaments that hold the uterus losing their elasticity or tension, often after several pregnancies.

Most of the time surgery is the recommended way to correct a tilted uterus. However, there are non-surgical ways using exercises that can be done to help correct the situation as well. The exercises are effective for a short term and won't be useful if the uterus has become tipped because of endometriosis, uterine cancer, fibroids, or pelvic infections. When it comes to becoming pregnant, the position of the uterus has little to do with conception, and by the third month, the uterus most often corrects itself. If, in rare occurrences, the uterus does not correct itself, a miscarriage can occur.

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial or uterine cancer usually occurs in older women but affects younger women as well. While the exact cause of endometrial cancer is not known, it is thought to be excessive estrogen. The most common treatment for uterine cancer is surgery to remove the affected tissues and organs. A complete hysterectomy may be done, which is the removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries as well as any lymph nodes that may be compromised. If the cancer has metastasized then radiation, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy may be recommended.

What Is a Prolapsed Uterus?

A uterine prolapse is caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles that allow the uterus to slide downward into the vagina. The potential danger of this condition if left untreated is great, so immediate treatment is necessary to reduce risk. If the prolapse is caught early, the prognosis is usually very good. Generally, the symptoms tend toward a sense of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis, cramping, and painful intercourse. In extreme cases, the uterus may be felt or even be visible in the genital area. With the uterus prolapsed, there is a real concern for other organs, including the bladder, to slide as well.

Keeping Pelvic Floor Muscles Strong

In order to avoid a uterine prolapse, keeping the pelvic floor muscles strong is vitally important. Kegel exercises are the best way to increase the strength of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles get a real stretch during pregnancy, when the uterus size expands greatly, putting stress on the pelvic floor muscles that hold it up. With repeated pregnancies, these muscles can become severely weakened, allowing for uterine prolapse, or tilted uterus.

Regular checkups are the best way to catch any problems before they become serious. If there is abdominal pain, painful intercourse, or a sense that things just aren't right, a trip to the primary care physician or gynecologist is recommended.

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