PMS, Pain, and Other Downfalls of a Wandering Uterus
When it comes to uterine position, most health professionals are concerned by prolapse (the uterus descending
through the vaginal canal), severe retroversion or anteversion (the uterus tilting too far backward or forward), and anteflexion or retroflexion (uterus folding forward or backward). All other versions of off-center are are considered “normal” because they are common. Well, getting a cold is common, but that does not mean having one is “normal” or healthy. Malpositioning of the uterus can lead to a host of surprising issues.
PMS and Menopausal symptoms
In a neutral position, the uterus can easily shed its lining during your period with just a little shimmy. Things are more difficult when tilted too far back, forward, or to either side. To clear the lining when in a less optimal position, the uterus, which is a muscle, must crunch and twist resulting in menstrual cramps.
Other common period symptoms (bloating, fatigue, irritability, etc.) can occur because displacement interferes with the hormonal feedback loop between the uterus and the rest of the body. Similarly, the hormonal disruption causes the menopausal symptoms we consider common - hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, libido changes, and all the rest.
Though nutrition and other environmental conditions contribute to both PMS symptoms and menopausal symptoms, resetting the uterine position has the potential to decrease or even alleviate all of these discomforts.
A tilted uterus can effectively shorten the vaginal canal. This leaves less space for penetrating objects sometimes resulting in a deep, sharp pain. The shortening will also strain the pelvic floor. While there is no definitive research to back this hypothesis (something I hope to eventually rectify), I believe this might contribute to vulvar vestibulitis as those glands may be agitated by the imbalances in the pelvic floor muscles. As anyone who has had vestibulitis can attest, any amount of pressure on the glands produces a sensation anywhere between itching to burning or tearing. Fun, right? There are many elements to correcting pelvic floor imbalances (here’s one of them). Centering the uterus is a great start.
Stand with your legs further than shoulder width apart. With your knees straight and keeping both feet flat, lean so all of your weight is on one leg. Feel how compressed and tight your weight bearing leg becomes? Feel how stretched and tight your supporting leg gets?
Now imagine your legs are your fallopian tubes. When your uterus (represented by your body here) shifts to either side, the pathways via which your egg reaches the uterus are crunched and stretched like your legs. Consider that fallopian tubes are only the breadth of a hair - exactly enough room through which developed eggs can travel. Any kinks can creates blockages which can affect your ability to conceive.
A centered uterus allows for the most neutral positioning of your fallopian tubes and the most optimal conditions for pregnancy.
Pain in the hips, low back, or pelvis
Five different ligaments support the uterus. Like the pressure put on the fallopian tubes, these ligaments can be overtaxed when the uterus is off center. Because four of these ligaments attach to the pelvic bones the strain can cause misalignment, putting undue stress on the muscle that also attach there leading to pain. This might be experienced as either a dull ache in the low back, discomfort in either or both hips, or a pinching near the pubic symphysis.
The last set of ligaments attaches to the labia majora which can cause an uncomfortable, heavy feeling in the pelvis. (As a side note, this feeling is also a sign of that aforementioned prolapse.)
Varicose veins and stretch marks
The pelvis is a high blood flow area and the gateway through which all the blood in your legs passes to return to the heart and lungs. Throw the uterus out of whack and the tissues can get a little congested. It becomes more difficult for blood to flow upward putting excess pressure on the veins causing them to bulge and
become visible through the skin. Poor blood flow also hinders skin regeneration leading to stretch marks over the low back, hips, and thighs. While there are other causes for both of these occurrences, correcting uterine position can certainly help.
So what can you do?
Simple massage techniques, such as the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage, can adjust ligament imbalances and recenter the uterus allowing for better blood flow, hormonal balance, and functional optimization. For more information, contact your Arvigo provider. You can also contact me (who also happens to be an Arvigo practitioner) with questions at (856) 857-7535 or post them in the comments below.