Normally, our uterus is about the size of a fist – not so small! During pregnancy, this organ naturally enlarges and can equal in volume to a large watermelon, but some time after giving birth it usually returns to its previous state. But it so happens that in a non-pregnant woman, the uterus increases in size – and often this can indicate unwanted and very serious processes in the body. We will tell you why the uterus can grow, what symptoms indicate its unwanted enlargement, and remind you: for any unusual signs and symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible!
Why does the uterus grow in size?
The most natural and safest reason is, of course, pregnancy. But most of the other “culprits” of changes in the size of the uterus, alas, are not so harmless. Doctors recommend that women do an ultrasound scan of the pelvic organ at least once a year, including in order to notice the abnormal size of the uterus or ovaries in time and take action in time. So, the uterus can increase in size for the following reasons:
The cells of the lining of the uterus begin to divide at an increased rate, a tumor forms, which can also spread to nearby organs. Symptoms to look out for are “inappropriate” bleeding, pain when urinating, during intercourse, and pain in the pelvic region. Most often, endometrial cancer is diagnosed in women who have gone through menopause, but women of fertile age should also be attentive to their health and not ignore the described symptoms.
The most common symptom accompanying an enlarged uterus is increased menstrual bleeding. As a rule, periods become longer and heavier, and bleeding is profuse, with blood clots.
Most often, patients with an enlarged uterus complain of pain in the lower abdomen, but there may also be pain in the lower back, upper abdomen, and even in the legs.
An enlarged uterus can press on nearby digestive organs, causing bloating and gas.
If the uterus presses too hard on the intestines, it can damage its normal function and lead to constipation.
Another organ that suffers from an enlarged uterus is the bladder. The stronger the pressure on him, the more often he wants to go to the toilet.
In addition to more profuse bleeding, an enlarged uterus can provoke an irregular menstrual cycle, as well as the appearance of bleeding between periods. Also, iron deficiency can develop due to large blood loss.
And the enlarged uterus itself, and the hormonal disorders that accompany the diseases due to which it grows, often lead to rapid weight gain.
Most of the reasons for which the uterus grows in size, as a rule, negatively affects a woman’s ability to conceive and bear a child. In addition, if the uterus enlarges greatly during pregnancy, it can trigger a miscarriage or premature birth.