Fibroid Symptoms: Enlarged Uterus
A woman’s uterus can change in size overtime, especially with pregnancy. But pregnancy isn’t the only possible reason for an enlarged uterus. What does it mean when your uterus is enlarged?
An enlarged uterus is common and can be a symptom of uterine fibroids (or a number of other medical conditions like adenomyosis).
This pathology (enlarged uterus) is usually detected during a gynecological examination. However, if a woman is sensitive to her health, then she may notice signs of a pathological condition even before a medical examination.
The main symptoms of an enlarged uterus:
– aching pains localized in the lower abdomen;
– a significant drop in hemoglobin levels;
– recurring cases of urinary incontinence;
– a feeling of discomfort during or after intercourse;
– breast swelling and pain on palpation;
– menstruation, characterized by pain and excessive discharge;
– increased flatulence, bloating;
– excessive increase in body weight in a short period of time, due to hormonal failure;
– periods with blood clots;
– bleeding not associated with menstruation;
– pain in the lumbar region;
– frequent migraine.
If you have at least some of the listed symptoms, then you should immediately consult a doctor.
Before choosing an option to treat an enlarged uterus, an accurate diagnosis must be made.
Main Causes of Enlarged Uterus
The uterus can be enlarged for the following reasons:
1. The most natural reason for organ enlargement is pregnancy.
2. Approaching menopause, which is accompanied by the appearance of pain in the lower abdomen.
3. Ovarian cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs that form in or on the ovaries.
4. Uterine fibroids, benign formations in women of reproductive age.
5. Adenomyosis, in which endometrial tissue grows into other layers of the genital organ.
If you have enlarged uterus, you should speak to your doctor about potential reasons. If fibroids are the reason, they should be treated as soon as possible.
Why Uterine Fibroids Affect Uterus Size
While some fibroids are very small, others grow to weigh several pounds, and a woman may have more than one fibroid at the same time.
When fibroid tumors begin to grow, the uterus increases in size accordingly. Since normally uterus increases in size only during pregnancy, an enlarged uterus due to fibroids is sometimes referred to in comparison to weeks of pregnancy. Estimating uterine fibroids size in weeks of pregnancy is an extremely subjective thing. The uterus with myomas can enlarge differently in every individual case or not enlarge at all.
The most common symptom of uterine fibroids is prolonged, heavy menstruation that can lead to anemia.
Other common symptoms include pelvic pain, back pain, pressure on the bladder or rectum and frequent urination; in some cases, fibroids can lead to fertility issues and other symptoms.
If uterine fibroids are symptomatic, treatment is required. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive treatment method and a safer alternative to any fibroid surgery. This nonsurgical, outpatient procedure is performed by an experienced International Radiologist like Dr. John Lipman (not an OB/GYN) and is designed to cut off the blood supply to all fibroids in the uterus so that they shrink overtime and eventually die.
When Enlarged Uterus is Caused by Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis is the abnormal presence of endometrial tissue (the inner lining of the uterus) within the thick, muscular layer of the uterus called myometrium. Adenomyosis is typically found in women between the ages of 35 and 50 but can also be present in younger women. However, common symptoms of adenomyosis can be very similar to the symptoms of uterine fibroids. To be exact, women with adenomyosis often suffer from heavy menstrual flows and pelvic pain, and they also have enlarged uterus. As a result, Dr. Lipman often sees patients with adenomyosis that are misdiagnosed.
Uterine artery embolization (UAE) is essentially the same procedure as UFE (uterine fibroid embolization), and it successfully treats adenomyosis as well.
Video Case Study: How Uterine Artery Embolization Works
If you have enlarged uterus, uterine fibroids or adenomyosis, call Atlanta Fibroids Center at 770-953-2600 to learn more about UFE/UAE or make an appointment with Dr. John Lipman online.