Uterine incarceration during the third trimester: a rare complication of pregnancy

Mayo Clin Proc. 1991 Jun;66(6):608-13. doi: 10.1016/s0025-6196(12)60520-5.


Uterine incarceration that manifests during the third trimester or at term is a serious and rare complication of pregnancy. The pregnant patient may complain of low-abdominal pain, low-back pain, urinary retention, and constipation, or the patient may be asymptomatic until labor begins. The diagnosis is difficult, and physical findings can be misleading. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging can be helpful if the anteriorly displaced cervix is clearly depicted. If incarceration of the retroverted uterus persists until term, a cesarean section is necessary. Recurrent uterine incarceration has been reported; therefore, the patient should be monitored closely during subsequent pregnancies. Herein we describe three cases of uterine incarceration during the third trimester and review the literature with respect to incidence, differential diagnosis, management, and complications of this condition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adnexal Diseases / complications
  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / methods
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pelvis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Tissue Adhesions / complications
  • Uterine Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Uterus / abnormalities*