One of the many things women hate about having fibroids is that they can experience bloating like pregnancy when they are not expecting a baby. Fibroids are hard and firm tumors made up of smooth muscle and fibrous tissue. As they enlarge, they will bloat the stomach, enlarging the uterus like a pregnant woman.
A woman’s uterus can expand from its normal size, which is around the size of a pear, up to as large as a watermelon, which allows it to accommodate a growing fetus.
Why Am I So Bloated I Look Pregnant?
Fibroids can also cause a woman to experience uterine bloating like pregnancy, and medical professionals routinely record the size of a woman’s fibroid-filled uterus in the same way they would if she were pregnant. For example, she may have large fibroids growing inside her uterus that have expanded it to the size of a woman who is 16 weeks pregnant.
Uterine size is calculated in centimeters and then translated to weeks of pregnancy, so a uterus 12 cm in length would translate to the size of a woman’s uterus in her 12th week of pregnancy.
Anatomic landmarks can also be used to gauge the size of the uterus. If a woman’s uterus is enlarged up to the belly button, this corresponds to a 16-weeks (4 months) size pregnant uterus.
If there is any doubt if you are bloated or pregnant it is recommended you see a medical professional to determine the cause. If you have uterine fibroids, contact the Atlanta Fibroid Center to learn about how UFE can help eliminate your fibroids and bloating.
Do Fibroids Make Your Stomach Feel Hard?
Generally, a woman’s abdomen is soft, but fibroids are usually hard as rocks and this difference may be felt when a woman tries to figure out why she is “poochy”. Many women are diagnosed with fibroids at their routine OB-GYN appointment during their pelvic exam because the doctor can feel these hard fibroids.
Before her appointment, she may have thought that she was experiencing bloating and a protruding abdomen due to the normal progression of aging or lack of physical exercise. A bloated lower pelvic area may be the first sign of fibroids and unfortunately, no amount of targeted exercises can address bloating that is caused by fibroids.
How Can I Stop Looking Bloated Or Pregnant?
If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and you do not wish to look pregnant or bloated, uterine fibroid embolization may be able to restore (shrink) your uterus to the size it should be.
The Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) procedure eliminates fibroids, no matter how large or numerous they are or where they are located. One of the biggest benefits of UFE is that women lose their poochy bellies because it eliminates both fibroids and bloating.
The UFE procedure works by cutting off the blood supply to all of the fibroids in the uterus. Without a blood supply, the fibroids will die. As this occurs, these hard and firm tumors become increasingly soft and begin to shrink as well. Three months after the procedure the vast majority of women have their bellies back and no longer look pregnant.
In addition, women who could feel their fibroids will no longer be able to feel them because what is left of the fibroids are not only significantly smaller, but they’re also soft like the tissues surrounding them. On average, the fibroids will shrink approximately 50% by 3 months after UFE and 60-70% by 6-12 months after UFE.
If you’re suffering from uterine fibroids and you’re tired of looking pregnant, give Dr. Lipman and the Atlanta Fibroid Center a call today at 770-953-2600 or make an appointment online at ATLii.com.