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Can Having a Tipped Uterus Impact IBS?

In my late teens, when I first began visiting a gynecologist; receiving pelvic exams and pap smears, I was informed of an interesting little tidbit about my body: I have a “tipped uterus.”

A tipped or tilted uterus, also known more formally as a retroverted uterus, means that the uterus in question is curved backward and leans more against the lower back (and so, on the colon) as opposed to forward-leaning on/against the front of the body or belly area. Other conditions are often associated with a tilted uterus, including endometriosis and fibroids — both of which I have.

The pressure of a tipped uterus

However, as one might imagine, having a tipped uterus may also have some implications for intestinal function caused by the extra weight or pressure of the womb on the colon. For instance, I had to have an endometrial biopsy earlier this year, which is when an instrument is placed into the cervix to scrape the uterus for some cells to ensure it is healthy. In addition to the general pain I experienced during the procedure, I felt a strong urge to move my bowels that went away shortly after the instrument was removed. When I mentioned this to my OB-GYN, she confirmed that because of my tipped uterus, anything that applies a great deal of pressure on it will also aggravate my bowels, since the uterus is leaning right against them.

Connections between a tipped uterus and IBS

So far, there has been no solid research to more formally establish a connection between a tipped uterus and IBS or at least certain intestinal issues like constipation. But anecdotal evidence does suggest that at the very least, a tipped uterus does play some role in contributing to constipation or other issues with GI function.

It seems to me it can be a compounding factor with other elements. As mentioned, those with a tipped uterus also tend to be more likely to have endometriosis and fibroids — and those two conditions are more strongly connected in scientific research to IBS. So, having a tipped uterus could more inadvertently influence IBS if it plays a role in the development of these other conditions. Currently, I am planning on having a hysterectomy at the end of this year due to complications of adenomyosis (which is endo that is inside the muscle of the uterus) and fibroids. I am curious as to whether I will also gain some additional relief of my IBS once the weight of my womb is off my colon.

Do you have a tipped uterus and IBS? Do you think there is a connection? Please answer in the comments below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Laura Kiesel author
    1 month ago

    I also can’t wear tampons or menstrual cups. Sex is okay in most positions but there are some that are too painful. I have heard sometimes Mayan massage can correct a tipped uterus and supposedly there is a surgical procedure as well (though it seems very little surgeons know how to perform it in the US), but I don’t know much about either. I am thinking of trying Mayan massage in the next month or so to see if I can get some relief before my surgery at the end of the year.

  • survivinglowfodmap
    1 month ago

    Wow, I’ve never even thought about this! I have a tipped uterus and IBS. No doctor has ever suggested the two could be connected. The pressure you felt during the OBGYN appointment is something I deal with often, I can’t wear tampons/menstrual cup without pain. OBGYN appointments (and sadly, sex) often make me feel like I’m going to have to run to the bathroom (sorry if TMI it’s just nice to find someone who can relate!). Have you found any way of getting relief?

  • mphollins
    2 months ago

    I have a tipped uterus and it contributed to horrible constipation. When I had periods I had the worst pain imaginable. Plus I had endometriosis, ovarian cysts and uterine polyps. After several surgeries, I continued to experience severe pain due to IBS. Since age 14, I have never been completely pain free for more than 3 days.

  • tmholland moderator
    1 month ago

    @mphollins,

    I’m so sorry for your struggles. You must have a lot of strength and resilience in order to get through the bad times. Know that you are not alone, thank you for sharing and I hope today is one of the better ones. -Todd, IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team

  • Holly5757
    2 months ago

    This is very interesting! I too have a tipped uterus and have never once thought about it interfering with my IBS-C. I am 47. I have suffered with IBS ever since I can remember. I do know it got much worse around the age of 11-12. Ironically I started menstruating at age 11. I would be very curious to know how many others deal with the two conditions.

  • tmholland moderator
    2 months ago

    @holly5757,

    It truly is an interesting subject. We appreciate your participation in the conversation and sharing your experience. Hopefully, others will chime in. Hope you are well today. -Todd, IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team

  • Vettech
    2 months ago

    Interesting. My mother and I both have a tipped uterus and IBS. I’ve often wondered if there was a connection, but research was seriously lacking. Fortunately we haven’t suffered from the other gynecological issues mentioned. Now that I’m post menopausal, I think my symptoms have eased somewhat. But that’s also coincided with my starting the low FODMAP diet, so it’s hard to say for sure.

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