When a woman gets pregnant, her body changes. Her uterus, where the baby grows, will also grow, to accommodate her baby. However, is pregnancy the only reason for an enlarged uterus? Unfortunately, no. Certain medical conditions can lead to an enlarged uterus. Read on to find out more.
The uterus is an organ that can expand when needed. It is initially the size of a pear or an apple. When you get pregnant, the organ will slowly expand like a balloon. Once you deliver the baby, the uterus will shrink back in size.
When the uterus is bigger than it ideally should be, it is known as an enlarged uterus. It can happen to any woman at any age. An enlarged uterus size can be double or sometimes even triple the usual size.
Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths in the uterus that cause it to swell in size. Fibroids can be as small as an apple seed or bigger than an orange. They can be single or grow in clusters. Sometimes, these fibroids can cause pain, requiring you to consult a doctor. When these fibroids form in clusters or grow in size, it can lead to an enlarged uterus. Though non-cancerous, if the fibroids grow, your doctor will take a sample and test it for cancer.
Here, the endometrium (the uterine lining) will move into the uterus’ outer wall. This will often lead to uniform thickening of the uterus. But, When the impact is only in a small area, it is known as Adenomyoma.
This condition is quite common among women who are above 30 years of age and have children, especially through a cesarean delivery. Even women with a history of uterine surgery are at risk of this condition. Adenomyosis may cause heavy or prolonged bleeding and severe pain during periods requiring you to consult your doctor.
PCOS is a condition caused by hormonal imbalance. It mostly affects women of childbearing age. The hormonal imbalance will cause the woman’s body to produce more androgens than necessary and also stop the uterus from shedding its lining – the endometrium. This can lead to inflammation in the uterus, thus increasing its size.
Sometimes, different types of cancer can also lead to an enlarged uterus. Remember, these are not common, so do not fear the worst if you are diagnosed with an enlarged uterus.
Apart from the swollen look, an enlarged uterus can cause the following health complications:
As the uterus is well concealed inside the body, an enlarged uterus is not easily noticeable. Your doctor may notice the enlarged uterus while taking a routine scan or physical exam. In most cases, an enlarged uterus is nothing to worry about and doesn’t require treatment. However, if you are experiencing the following symptoms, an appropriate treatment will be suggested by your doctor.
An enlarged uterus may not always require treatment especially when there is minimal to moderate enlargement. The pressure and pain can be minimized with medications and some lifestyle changes. In case of severe pain, your doctor can prescribe medication for pain relief.
If your uterus is enlarged due to fibroids, your doctor can prescribe hormonal medicines to shrink the fibroids and the uterus. If they don’t help, your next option is myomectomy – a procedure to remove the fibroids.
If the uterus is too big or heavy or has prolapsed, in some rare cases, the doctor can suggest a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is the complete removal of the uterus.
Going for regular check-ups can help identify an enlarging uterus before it is too late. Making small lifestyle changes like changing your diet and regular exercise can help shrink the uterus faster.
Include more fresh fruits and vegetables to increase the fiber content in your diet. Reduce salty foods as they can retain water and lead to bloating. Fibrous foods can help relieve constipation and ease the digestion process. All of these are symptoms of an enlarged uterus. The natural remedies can help ease the symptoms and shrink the uterus a little.
If your uterus is too small, hormonal drugs can help stimulate the growth and increase the uterus size over time. Estrogen and progesterone pills can help in this regard.
Many women don’t realize their uterus is enlarged until they have a routine test. Today, we have multiple treatment options to help women suffering from this condition. Unless the enlarged uterus is interfering with your activities or causing other troubles, it is nothing to worry about.
No, it is not serious always. If it is due to cancer, then it is serious and requires immediate treatment. Otherwise, a simple procedure or medication can help.
You can change your diet to include more fibrous foods, increase water intake and exercise regularly to ease the symptoms. If the fibroids are too big, you can get them surgically removed or remove the uterus itself.
It can make you feel heavy around your lower abdomen. It can even add pressure to your pelvic region and affect your regular activities.
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