What Is An Introverted Uterus?

uterus art
Image via Flickr/ Hey Paul Studios

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. 

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Still nothing. 

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!”

Um, ok?

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

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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?

What do you think?

What Is An Introverted Uterus?

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Stefanie Stefanie says:

    Last week I was told I had one after a failed attempted vaginal ultrasound at 12 weeks and 5 days. It’s my 4th pregnancy and I never had this issue. It scares me. I have enough medical issues pregnancy wise.. can it affect a gender scan between 15 to 20 weeks?

  2. Profile photo of tangled tangled says:

    I have always wondered what that meant! Good information

  3. Profile photo of Emily Emily says:

    I also have a retroverted uterus. I am 19 weeks pregnant, and the doctor had a hard time hearing the baby’s heartbeat the first time. The main thing I have noticed is my lower back is SUPER sore all the time. My doctor explained that your uterus is somehow attached to your tailbone, and when the uterus re-positions itself and grows, it ends up standing almost strait up during pregnancy – so your uterus pulls on your tailbone as it straightens up, causing more back pain than in a normal pregnancy. I’m not showing much at all, and he said that is also due to the retroverted uterus. Hopefully we won’t have any trouble seeing my baby at my ultrasound next week!!

  4. Profile photo of serena serena says:

    i have a slightly tipped uterus. my dr. has to do a vaginal ultrasound to see the heartbeat. until i am farther along.

  5. Profile photo of Darcy Darcy says:

    I have a tilted uterus, am pregnant, and at 11 weeks. I went to my OB/GYN yesterday and doppler ultrasound couldn’t pick up a heartbeat. They ended up having to do a v-scan(?) (mini ultrasound using a handheld G&E device) to visually see a heartbeat. And there was one!

  6. Profile photo of monette3 monette3 says:

    I have always wondered what that meant! Good information!


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