What Is An Introverted Uterus?
As I climbed on to the table at my obstetrician’s office, I was eagerly looking forward to hearing my baby’s heart beat for the first time. At about 11 weeks pregnant, I knew that my baby’s heart had been beating for a few weeks now and I couldn’t wait to hear that first little sound that would help me make my pregnancy feel “real”—as opposed to something just making me queasy.
She smeared that wonderful gel on my belly and pressed the hand-held Doppler ultrasound deep into my skin, making me grateful I had just emptied my bladder at the beginning of my visit.
Aside from the scratchy sounds of the Doppler moving around, I heard nothing.
She re-adjusted the Doppler, smearing the gel more effectively across my stomach and tilted her head, craning to hear the faint sounds of a heartbeat.
Before I could panic, my doctor suddenly sat straight up and tapped her forehead with her finger.
“Oooh, I remember about you!” she exclaimed. “You have an introverted uterus!” she announced proudly, “That’s why we can’t hear the heartbeat yet!”
Can someone please explain to me what the heck it means to have an introverted uterus?
Apparently, having an introverted (or retroverted) uterus, sometimes also called a “tipped” or a “tilted” uterus simply means that instead of pointing out, my uterus points in while I’m pregnant. (The uterus and cervix turn to point towards the vagina during labor so I can actually deliver the baby.) The Mayo Clinic has a nice picture to illustrate the difference here.
Because the point of my uterus points in, it can make it more difficult to hear the baby’s heartbeat early on, since the uterus is more “hidden” than it normally should be. Unfortunately for me, a woman with an introverted uterus may also “show” later than other women, since again, the uterus is more hidden.
Were you ever told you had a tilted uterus? Did it affect your pregnancy in any way?