Is presence of a retroverted uterus associated with an increased incidence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
—CHRISTINE CIFRANIC, RN, PA-C, Parma, Ohio
Though some women with IBS experience increased GI symptoms during menses, this is likely related to hormonal shifts rather than anatomy. There is scant evidence of a relationship between gynecologic anatomy and physiology and the incidence of IBS. Some women with such gynecologic abnormalities as uterine fibroids or endometriosis may experience GI symptoms or chronic pelvic pain, which could mimic IBS. A full obstetrics-gynecologic history and pelvic exam to exclude gynecologic etiology should precede a diagnosis of IBS . In women with GI symptoms and pelvic pain, endometriosis should be ruled out, particularly if the uterus is retroverted and fixed or tender. However, a retroverted uterus is a normal anatomic variation that should not cause GI pathology.
—Lisa Stern, APRN (132-3)