Enlarged Uterus: A Sign of Uterine Fibroids
A uterus is typically around the size of a clenched fist. However, your uterus can expand for multiple reasons, including pregnancy or the presence of uterine fibroids. Fibroids are noncancerous tumors found in or on the walls of the uterus. Women are at the highest risk of developing fibroids during their childbearing years.
Having an enlarged uterus isn’t always problematic, although it can affect your ability to sit, move, and sleep comfortably. If you are experiencing symptoms of an enlarged uterus, it’s important to see a fibroid specialist as soon as possible. Schedule a consultation with one of our affiliated physicians at American Fibroid Centers to get the treatment you need for your condition today.
Symptoms of an Enlarged Uterus
Women often discover they have a swollen or enlarged uterus during a routine pelvic exam with their OB/GYN. The most common symptom of an enlarged uterus with fibroids is bleeding, including heavy or prolonged periods and bleeding between periods. Those who experience an enlarged uterus may also notice the following:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Bloating and constipation
- Menstrual cycle abnormalities
- A feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Pain or cramping in the legs, pelvis, or back
- A change in the way their clothes fit
Causes of an Enlarged Uterus
Large or multiple fibroids are a common cause of an enlarged uterus in non-pregnant women. It’s estimated that 70-80% of women will develop fibroids by age 50. However, they are not the only possible culprit. Other causes of an enlarged uterus may include:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Ovarian cysts
- Endometrial cancer
How Do Fibroids Cause an Enlarged Uterus?
Some women with fibroids experience no symptoms at all. Others may struggle with chronic pain or discomfort. If left untreated, certain types of fibroids can grow very large, very quickly. If the fibroid(s) grow larger within the uterine cavity, they may expand the uterus just like pregnancy does. If they grow larger outside of the uterine wall, they can press against surrounding organs such as the bladder and rectum, causing frequent urination and rectal pressure.
Treatment for an Enlarged Uterus
Most causes of an enlarged uterus do not require medical intervention. In some cases, a treatment plan will focus on managing symptoms, which vary from person to person. Lifestyle changes and non-surgical procedures, including Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), can help with pain, bleeding, and other symptoms. You should talk to your doctor about all available treatment options to make an informed decision about your health.
Depending on the size of your fibroids, you may only need pain medication to relieve symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe birth control or an alternative hormone therapy called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH is used for six months or less to help shrink the fibroids.
Minimally Invasive Treatments
Our affiliated physicians offer Uterine Fibroid Embolization, a minimally invasive-image guided procedure, to effectively treat fibroids. UFE is performed in an outpatient setting and requires only a small incision in the wrist or groin. Unlike traditional surgery, with UFE the uterus is left intact and patients can return home the same day. There is also minimal scarring, less risk of complications, and shorter recovery times.
What to Expect from Your Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Our Fibroid Specialists
Our board-certified, affiliated physicians are among the nation’s most respected providers of endovascular procedures such as UFE. They have years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of fibroids and their symptoms, including an enlarged uterus. Contact your nearest American Fibroid Centers’ location in NY or NJ to schedule a consultation today!
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