The uterus, also known as the “womb,” is kept in place by a cross formation of four ligaments (pubocervical ligaments, sacrocervical ligaments, and a pair of cardinal or transverse cervical ligaments), by the muscles and the sheet of connective tissue below (fascia), and by the fat contained in the pelvic tissues. For different reasons, uterine displacement may occur; the disorder may happen sideways, backward, or downward.
Uterine tumors may push or drag the uterus into various abnormal positions. Likewise, tumors in any surrounding structure may move the uterus out of its normal position. Faulty development of the structures supporting the uterus may also cause uterine displacement. There are two types of uterine displacement that are certain to cause physical distress. These are retroversion and prolapse.
In retroversion, the uterus tips backward and also possibly sags downward. In prolapse, the uterus settles downward; sometimes the displacement is so extreme that the organ’s narrow outer end (cervix) juts out from the vulva, and may even drag down with it part of the rectum and bladder. Prolapse is more common after the “change of life” (menopause) than before. The chief causes of prolapse are loss of weight, weakened ligaments, and unrepaired lacerations.
A uterine displacement may prevent a woman from conceiving; if she does become pregnant under such a condition, it may end up in abortion. With the backward position of the uterus, as what happens in retroversion, the ligaments that support the organ may be stretched which can result to clogging in the oviducts, ovaries, and the uterus itself. The same condition can likewise cause backache, menstrual pain, and constipation. Most cases of retroversion, however, are symptomless.
In the event uterine displacement is suspected, a gynecologist should be consulted immediately who will promptly conduct an examination. If she finds the condition sufficiently serious, she may recommend insertion of pessaries into the vagina to help support the uterus and remedy the malposition. Ultimately, the gynecologist may advise surgery.
In case of retroversion, or if the uterine displacement is backward, there may be no need for the measures mentioned above. A woman with this condition can, instead, follow certain measures, such as avoiding lifting heavy objects or standing more than necessary while at work. She should build up her general health with balanced diet, moderate exercise, and plenty of rest. If the uterine displacement is a result of a heavy uterus which failed to return to its normal size after childbirth, taking a cold rubbing bath daily (except during period) may help.