Retroverted uterus – living life backwards
Interesting title. Is it true?
According to BUPA, it’s estimated that around 70-80% of women will be affected at some point in their lives with uterine fibroids by the time they are 50[i], or ovarian cysts[ii], in some cases causing polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS), and endometriosis. And that 1 in 5 women have retroverted uterus[iii].
Perhaps more staggering from Endometriosis UK is that – 10% of women [those of reproductive age] worldwide have endometriosis - that’s 176 million women[iv]
How are our female bodies managing in life – by their natural harmony, or more with levels of dis-harmony as prompted through ailment, disease or illnesses like ovary complications, breast cancer, even a retroverted uterus (one that is tilting backwards)?
I’m not going to talk about the descriptions, symptoms, causes or surgical fixes to such gynecological ailments as that’s easy to look up on the internet... but more so offer a reflective consideration towards the connection between a woman’s reproductive health and the way a woman holds herself – in life, at work as a colleague or boss, how she might lead or direct a team, nurture her family, partner, and importantly nurture herself. And how she is in turn seen and treated by those around her personally at home or professionally at work.
Is there any correlation at all between the way we as women regard ourselves within the home, family, workplace, career or salary – the consideration and remuneration that we receive therewith… and the condition of our own female reproductive health?
Could a retroverted uterus or ovarian dysfunction such as a cyst, twist or rupture, be any measure of the particular ‘backward’ or held back direction we hold ourselves in and accept not just at work but in life too?
Because if so, then such health stats suggest that that’s a lot of women who are holding back, or being held back – as our womanly bodies are clearly registering. Our workplaces are highlighting and exposing this continued holding back, it could be said, through the established inequity of pay and accessibilty to work after materinity leave:
“The pay gap that exists between female and males is around 18%, for no particular reason. One in four women experience some form of sexual harassment at work over the course of her career. A huge percentage of mothers experience discrimination returning to work after maternity leave, and whilst women comprise more than half the population, only 17% of CEOs are female” - report Women’s Agenda[v]
But what actually is ‘holding back’ or ‘being held back’?
In many jobs and careers, certainly confidence plays a huge part for women more so than technical skills or feeling capable to be able to do the job.
Though what is true confidence?
I used to work on the basis that confidence came from acquiring knowledge, what you do, or through education, and yet on all accounts there was this hole and awful sense of lack in myself (always) having to ‘fill it’ through needing to know more, or be better educated in order to be, or come across as more confident – with a colleague, boss or friend, at a job, date or dinner party conversation. It’s interesting that the more we read up or know about something/anything, the more confident we can so often feel about ourselves, though in reality such knowledge and acquiring it becomes the crutch it really is – propping up a false type of confidence that the moment you can’t recall or offer something, you spin and bang goes your confidence!
Over time I began to become aware of a more true confidence through listening, and listening deeper, to my female body and the monthly cycles it goes through to develop a relationship with myself no longer basing confidence on ‘knowledge’ or ‘acquisition’, but more so on establishing a bodily or innate confidence in my own self as I am. This came from learning to trust what I felt in my body…like speaking up if something didn’t feel ‘quite right’ or sat ‘at odds’ within me. Call it accessing female intuition, sixth sense or a knowingness... as I developed a gentle and nurturing quality with my body, trusted and respected this bodily knowing/sense, I began to hold myself differently, feel more steady and true to settle into an inner confidence that didn’t require outside knowledge to exist.
The reality for most of us it appears, is that we are falling more than ever into a category of false confidence, living life inverted or ‘backwards’ just as the retroverted uterus of 1 in 5 women currently seems to be showing us [iii].
It certainly rings true for me a few years back – I was ‘successful’ with a good, well paid job with responsibility. I tried hard, worked hard, pushed hard, though on reflection, I wonder:
Did what I did ever feel good enough. Did I feel truly satisfied, contented. Was I sitting back at work, in my career settling for comfortable comfort, expecting a ‘good life’. Did I negotiate less for myself at work in regards pay, being ‘grateful for the crumbs’. Did I rock the boat and speak up to disrespectful or unloving ways. Was I always there for other people’s trials to avoid my own. Was I good or compliant. Just how many times did I dismiss or override my knowingness or womanly intuition to never feel too sure about myself seeking approval, suffering self-doubt waiting to have others confirm my decisions, or my worth...?
And I wonder in light of this holding back to fit in, is it any surprise that our female parts do show us what they do – that, in spite of outer falsely held confidences and outgoing appearances, even beauty, or the jobs we do, the salaries we earn, are most of us are running backwards in life - not living life forwards truly cherishing ourselves, to completely miss our worth as women?
When we give ourselves space outside such endless external factors like our profession, job, salary, relationship status, looks, it springs the opportunity for a deeper lived connection to ourself as a woman and the living inner stillness as held by our uterus, a most fertile and precious part of us. So too we slowly begin to understand our female reproductive parts, cervix, uterus and ovaries as holding far more than just the biological function of having periods, conceiving and child bearing alone – it holds our sacredness as woman.
To live in honour of this way is to live life real, forwards, confidently true as a woman, no longer in harsh, racing drive or combat readiness, or in retroverted dishonouring abuse, however subtle. Because when we try to be something or someone we are not – the mind flooded by ideals and images, our bodies show us in our many health conditions of endometriosis, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and retroverted uterus what we do not so easily see, or want to see: that we have been living life back to front, or backwards.
Living life forwards embracing more and more each day who we truly are as women at home and in work, and in all that we may do in our days, is truly powerful. A life where we are self-owned. Expressive. Empowered. Confident. Nurturing... The true woman that we are within.