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Tilted Uterus and Early Pregnancy

Updated on March 28, 2015
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Tilted Uterus and Early Pregnancy

Many medical sites say a tilted uterus really does not affect an early pregnancy. However, based on the many stories at the Misdiagnosed Miscarriage , it could affect your pregnancy but only if you allow yourself to be diagnosed with a miscarriage too soon

If you are newly pregnant and have been told you have a tilted uterus, you may not see your baby as early as other women with ultrasound. As a result, a number of women who do have a tilted uterus are misdiagnosed with miscarriages. In fact, many women report their gestational sacs looking empty until nine or ten weeks before the baby is found.

While a tilted uterus does not affect the baby in any way, it can affect when the baby is seen. Please, be reassured, this has everything to do with the ultrasound equipment and nothing to do with your baby.

Keep in mind, if you have a tilted uterus and are diagnosed with possible miscarriage, your chances of miscarrying are the same as everybody else.

Just know that with a tilted uterus, you are more likely than most to be misdiagnosed.

I believe every woman deserves to have no doubt before having her pregnancy ended.

I am not a medical professional. The information I share is meant to supplement the information given you by your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not doing enough for you or not willing to listen to your concerns, I strongly encourage you to take what you've learned here and get a second opinion.

What is a Tilted Uterus?

So you've found out you have a tilted uterus.

If you found out you have a tilted uterus (AKA retroverted or tipped), know that you are not alone. Researchers believe up to 1/3 of all women have a tilted uterus and many just do not know it.

Approximately 2/3 of all women have an anteverted uterus. An anteverted uterus tips forward toward the bladder. The other 1/3 or so have a uterus that is tipped back toward the rectum and spine.

The uterus can and does change positions between pregnancies. Just because you have a tilted uterus at some point in your life does not mean it will always be tilted.

Just so, if your uterus is tilted forward, it can become retroverted.

Do I Have a Tilted Uterus?

Because a tilted uterus is so common, many women have no idea they have one. Doctors rarely mention it except in passing. If you ask during an internal exam or transvaginal ultrasound, the physician, nurse or ultrasound technician can tell you the position of your uterus.

You may have a tilted uterus if you have some pain or uncomfortableness typically during sex. Pain, severe cramping or diarrhea during your period can also be a sign. Some women report that they are more prone to lower back pain while others have problems using tampons.

Do You Have a Tilted Uterus?

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Tilted Uterus and Early Pregnancy

You may be falsely diagnosed with blighted ovum

Before I begin, let me share what a blighted ovum is. A blighted ovum (AKA anembryonic pregnancy) is when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus but the baby stops developing before even the yolk sac is formed. If you can see a yolk sac, you do not have a true blighted ovum.

Because I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum between 5 1/2 and 8 weeks, I've since shared the story of finding my baby at nearly nine weeks. As a result, many women have shared their own misdiagnosed blighted ova stories at the Misdiagnosed Miscarriage site. We've come to realize over the last few years, the majority of us have a tilted uterus. Many of our babies are first seen with hCG levels well into the tens of thousands sometimes even over 100,000. Ultrasound literature, however, states that some sort of development ought to be seen when hCG levels reach 3,600 or so. The ultrasound literature also claims that if the sac if 18mm large or larger, a blighted ovum diagnosis may be made. However, we've seen in women with a tilted uterus, their sacs may be quite a bit bigger before anything can be seen.


Does Research Back This Up?

No, unfortunately research does not YET back up our claim that women with a tilted uterus will often be further along before their babies can be seen. And, the reason that research does not YET back it up is because nobody has ever researched the combination tilted uterus/first trimester/transvaginal ultrasound link. We have found studies indicating research is going that direction however.

For example, a study by Dr. Ronald Wachsberg shows that a transrectal ultrasound can be beneficial in a woman with a tilted uterus. Transrectal ultrasonography for problem solving after transvaginal ultrasonography of the female internal reproductive tract

However, we also know that most women are not going to ask their physicians for a transrectal ultrasound so, in that case, time is the only true measure of whether a pregnancy is viable or not.

Another possible study indirectly backing this up:

According to study by LACHLAN CH. DE CRESPIGNY, et al.,

The gestation sac size in pregnancies resulting from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer have been compared with those in spontaneous pregnancies. Small-for-dates gestational sac sizes were found in 36% of the IVF pregnancies. This proportion held for both singleton and multiple pregnancies. With increasing gestation beyond 8 weeks the gestation sac volume increasingly approached normal. In contrast to spontaneous conceptions, IVF pregnancies had a low rate of pregnancy loss once fetal heart movements were demonstrated, when the gestation sac size was small-for-dates. Small sac size in an IVF pregnancy may lead to the misdiagnosis of a failed pregnancy.

The interesting thing about this study is that other studies indicate that up to 30 to 40% of women have a tilted uterus. I suspect these women simply had a tilted uterus. We know that later in the first trimester when the uterus is in a more typical position, dates are right on again which is the case in this study.

UPDATE: The Medical Community Recognizes the Tilted Uterus Problem!

When I wrote this page, you just couldn't fine any doctor online discussing the possible link between a tilted uterus and misdiagnosed miscarriage. I was so excited this last week to discover the American Pregnancy Association has added this information:


"If an ultrasound is done at 6 to 7 weeks and a heartbeat is not detected, does that mean there is a problem?

No it does not mean there is a problem. The heartbeat may not be detected for reasons that include: tipped uterus, larger abdomen, or inaccurate dating with last menstrual period."


I was so excited I even blogged about it:

No Heartbeat or Baby seen at Seven Weeks? Finally, the Medical Community Recognizes it Might Be Because of Your Tilted Uterus"

More Information

about the tilted uterus

a wonderful site, complete with forum, for women who want to learn more about a tilted uterus

Retroverted Uterus Page at Wikipedia

This page has a basic description of a tilted uterus.

Important New Guidelines for Diagnosing a Miscarriage

The UK is the first to acknowledge that misdiagnosed miscarriages are indeed a problem. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has revised its guidelines. If your gestational sac is more than 25mm and/or the CRL is 7mm or more, you should wait a week to verify (if there are no complications). If the measurements are less, you are too early to diagnose. For more information (and something to take to your doctor), please, see my new page:

New Blighted Ovum Guidelines! You ARE Being Diagnosed Too Soon!

If I don't reply to you here, please feel free to e-mail me directly at Thank you.

Thoughts? Comments? - I'd love to hear from you

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    • profile image

      Leosmaman 16 months ago

      I stumbled across this site while looking for info after declining a same day D&C offer from my OB.

      I am looking for a story similar to my experience.

      My background- 18 months ago I had a c-section delivering my son. I also have a retroverted uterus per my doc.

      I had IVF in early February, two 3 day embryos were transferred, which resulted in several positive pregnancy tests (home and lab).

      At five weeks we saw two gestational sacs.

      At 6w4d, we saw one empty sac and one fetal pole with a heartbeat of 114. So it appears one twin developed and the other possibly became a BO or hadn't developed yet.

      At 7w6d I went for another check & they saw only the gestational sac, the fetal pole had vanished.

      The doc promptly went into a speech he sounded like he's made many times, telling me this happens, it's not my fault, let's do a D&C and I can do Ivf again next cycle. He was nice enough, but I don't like only one data point being used to diagnose a miscarriage.

      I just simply could not, would not, believe my healthy fetus vanished. I understand BOs happen, but what are the odds of a vanishing twin AND a BO. I requested more labs and another u/s, which they obliged. I've seen too many stories with 12 week u/s's revealing the baby had sadly died at 8 weeks, meaning it didn't get absorbed that fast. They're telling me my body absorbed a fetus with a heartbeat in one week.

      After coming across this site and knowing my details (tilted uterus and c section scar), I truly believe there is still a chance there is at least one viable fetus in there & that the u/s just couldn't see it this week.

      I went back two days later for labs and u/s. The labs showed my HCG slowly climbing still but ultrasound showed still only the BO. One tech saw debris in the sac and one doc pointed out 'possible remains of the yolk sac'. Which gave me more hope.

      My question to the group- has anyone had a situation like this turn out positive? A fetus with heartbeat being seen then disappearing only to reappear later? Is it possible that the healthy fetus moved and wound up behind the sac? Can they move that much at 8 weeks?

      I'm 9 weeks now and have another u/s in two days (6.5 days after last one). I'm scared to go in and hear the same news. I almost want to wait even longer to be sure to see it if it's in there, or miscarry naturally if that's what's due to happen.

    • profile image

      shwbubbles 17 months ago

      Hi this story has been really informative. My journey Is still in progress. I had a faint positive test in December and since that I have had 3 bladder infections because I have a tilted uterus. I believe mine is retroverted since my first pregnancy I had a c section which from research can make my situation worst. So my bladder infections have been bad andAND When I went for blood test they found no hcg. However I am still breastfeeding and according to my Gynocologist this is where the trouble is. I am still getting my period which is really irregular only lasting 3 days last time and severely painful. So I went for 2 ultrasound they found nothing at 12 weeks. Which I was feeling really sad because I had all the symptoms and more like my first pregnancy and my stomach was growing. My tilted uterus was pressing against my spine. I could feel the baby was resting on my spine and when it moved my back pain went away. Now at 15 weeks I feel the baby near my pelvic. Since then I have felt the baby I am probably at 15 weeks now but still waiting for confirmation. I am afraid for the next ultrasound I know my baby is there and the really hope I have is in God after all of this.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 3 years ago

      @Staples123: Wonderful story! Have you shared this at the Misdiagnosed Miscarriage site? You will give so many women hope. So many doctors are quick to say a tilted uterus doesn't matter but then have to eat those words when they find the baby later. I am just so happy for you. Thank you for sharing!

    • profile image

      Staples123 3 years ago

      Hi, just wanted to say thanks for your information which gave me some hope. I decided to go for a reassurance scan after suffering a miscarriage in March this year at 5 weeks 3 days. This time I was coming up for six weeks pregnant and booked a private scan. I was given an internal scan but told they could only see a sac which measured 4 weeks. I was very worried as I was 100 % sure of my dates. Next day I went to our early pregnancy unit and was given a blood test and my hormones were 9000 which I was pleased with but 48 hours later they only went up to 12000 and I was told this was not good and possibly blighted ovum. The epu booked me in for the following week for a scan, I already had another follow up private scan booked for six days from the last so after a weeks stress I went there on the Monday and should have been nearly seven weeks. This Time the sac was 5 weeks and I was told my uterus was tilted and she could see a yolk but still she thought it was blighted ovum. I had my scan at epu on the Wednesday and was told that the sac measured 6 weeks but definitely no yolk and the scanner said she didn't think the private scanner could have seen one and she was pretty sure it was a blighted ovum. I said to her could it be because of my tilted uterus and told her I had read many things about baby not showing till later but she said definitely not as she had a really good view of the sac. I went away really sad and unhopeful but spent the week reading lots of stories of tilted uterus babies appearing . At my scan one week later which was today I was soo scared but as soon as she put the scanner on you could clearly see baby and flickering heart!! The scanner said she really expected to see nothing and when I asked her if it could have been my tilted uterus that she didn't even see the yolk the week before she said definitely not. The baby measured 6 weeks 2 days but I know I'm definitely nearly 8 weeks so must be measuring wrong . Hope this gives someone going through this hope as I really felt like there was none for me and spent this last two weeks waiting for bleeding to begin.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Kay, what you do is beyond awesome. I read a lot of your information incl. the misdiagnosed miscarriage forum, because your story sounds exactly like mine so far. I don't know how mine will end yet, but at any rate, your online work has for sure saved hundreds of babies, and for that you deserve all our blessings. I can't believe there is still no serious research done on this topic and that so many medical personnel are still unaware of this.

      I have a retroverted uterus and am believed to be abt. 8w pregnant now. I had 3 t/v scans so far with 2 different obgyns, regular looking but empty sac, no yolk, no pole. At my 3rd scan at 7+w the sac was 14x18mm and hCG levels at 30221, and 34308 2 days later. While my first obgyn made a final devastating "missed abortion" diagnosis (when the sac was 6x14mm only and without any bloodwork!), the 2nd obgyn more cautiously stated "possible blighted ovum". The only pregnancy symptom I have are sore breasts. No morning sickness, no cramps, no bleeding (thank goodness). So I can wait it out at least without having to suffer physically. I will go for another scan next week and hopefully there will be some better news.

      And btw, my first obgyn who made that final diagnosis and recommended me a D&C within 2w was the reason why I started to research online and found all of your great work, Kay. This was what led me to get a 2nd opinion, and I will get a 3rd and 4th one if necessary! I can't believe that I might have aborted a possible viable pregnancy if I hadn't stumbled across all this information. Thanks again Kay, you are one of the true heroes of our time.

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