What does it mean when your uterus is displaced? How common is this and should you be worried? As it turns out it may be more common than you think, but it is not something most women are aware of.
Uterine position can shift for a number of reasons, including pregnancy, surgeries, accidents and falls, or even something as benign as wearing high heel shoes for long periods. Often women are unaware of the fact their uterus is displaced until a doctor or ultrasound technician makes a remark during an exam.
What is the normal position of the uterus?
When we speak of a displaced uterus, it does not necessarily indicate a medical condition such as a prolapsed uterus. A prolapse is a very pronounced form of displacement, with various stages during which the organ descends from its correct position. Apart from being prolapsed, uterine position may actually change slightly from day to day, and this is still completely within normal range.
The uterus – in a non-pregnant state – is approximately 3 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. For most of the menstrual cycle it weighs approximately 4 oz. but can double to 8 oz. during menstruation. In pregnancy it can weigh up to 30lbs! This is an organ that is meant to be accommodating, as it’s walls can stretch to support a growing baby. It is held securely in place by a group of over 10 pelvic ligaments. These give the uterus support as well as the ability to move as it needs to during normal physiological functions.
Although the uterus is meant to naturally shift a bit, it should return to the optimal centered position. Anatomically, it is normally located about 1.5 inches above the pubic bone, leaning very slightly over the bladder.
Positions of the uterus
What is not ideal is when the uterus remains in a sub-optimal position for longer periods. This can go on to affect the flow of blood supply, lymph fluid, nerve impulse and energy surrounding it. This in turn, can affect the vital flow to both the reproductive and digestive organs in abdominal and pelvic areas.
If the uterus is leaning too far in the direction of the colon or the bladder, it can also affect their function. The optimal position of the uterus is one in which hemodynamics and homeostasis are balanced within the pelvic cavity.
Common positions of the uterus include:
Centrally located just above the bladder. Space around the centered uterus allows for unobstructed flow of vital fluid and nerve channels around it.
A retroverted uterus tilts backwards, leaning towards the colon.
A retroflexed uterus tilts backwards, flexing (or slightly folding) onto itself.
An anteflexed uterus folds forward onto itself. This position is more likely to be pressing on the urinary bladder.
Left leaning or right leaning
A side leaning uterus leans more so to either the left or right side of pelvic cavity.
What are the symptoms of a displaced uterus?
The longer the uterus remains out of it’s optimal position, the more likely it is that symptoms will develop and become more noticeable. Her uterus is at a woman’s centre – certain signs and symptoms may be related to its positioning in the body.
Signs of a displaced uterus may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- painful periods
- late, early or irregularly timed periods
- dark, thick blood at beginning of menstruation (dark red, purple, brown colour)
- tired, weak legs or numbness of legs and feet
- fertility challenges
- chronic miscarriages
- frequent and/or urgent urination
- frequent urinary tract infections
- symptoms of endometriosis
- uterine fibroids
- ovarian cysts
- symptoms of PCOS
- constipation or alternating constipation/diarrhea
How can Arvigo Therapy® help with uterine position?
The Arvigo Techniques gently stimulate the circulation and blood flow within the abdominal area. The therapy addresses the optimum position of the uterus and supports the healthy function of both digestive and reproductive organs. During the massage, we assess uterine position and gently encourage the uterus to its optimal position.
The abdominal massage helps boost the flow of fresh blood and lymph fluid and restores homeostasis to the centre of the body. Self care massage can prolong these effects at home, in between treatments.