The uterus, also sometimes called the womb, is a hollow, muscular organ located in the pelvic region of the female reproductive system. It plays a central role in the reproductive process by providing a nurturing environment for the development of a fertilized egg into a fetus during pregnancy. The uterus is a crucial part of a woman’s anatomy and undergoes significant changes throughout a woman’s life, particularly during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Like all organs, the uterus varies in size among women, but there is a general range that is considered normal. Today we are going to discuss the normal size of a uterus and its approximate weight. We will discuss what happens to the uterus’s size and shape when fibroids develop within its walls.
Next, we will present information about a procedure that can help return the uterus to its normal size and shape and eliminate the associated side effects.
What Are Fibroids And Where Do They Come From?
Fibroids, also referred to as uterine fibroids or leiomyomas, are benign growths that form in the uterus and are one of the most common ailments that can impact a woman’s reproductive health. They affect millions of women during their childbearing years, but they can also affect older women.
Fibroids are made up of the same type of muscular and connective tissue found in the walls of the uterus, and the cause of fibroid development is not fully understood. Still, factors such as hormone imbalances, genetics, obesity, ethnicity, and certain lifestyle choices are believed to impact their formation.
Fibroids can vary in size, with some being tiny while others can grow to several centimeters in diameter. The symptoms and complications associated with fibroids depend on their size, number, and location.
Common symptoms include heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, pelvic pain or pressure, frequent urination, and, in some cases, infertility or difficulties during pregnancy. Fibroids that grow within the walls of the uterus can cause enlargement and distortion of the uterus, leading to various health concerns, including a bloated or pregnant appearance.
What Is The Normal Size Of A Uterus?
The average uterus size can vary depending on factors such as age, hormonal fluctuations, and individual circumstances. The normal size of the uterus when not pregnant is similar to that of an average-sized avocado or medium-sized pear.
On average, a non-pregnant female adult’s normal uterus measurements range between 7.5 and 8.0 centimeters (cm) in length, 3–5 cm in width, and 2.5–3.0 cm in thickness.
During pregnancy, the uterus expands significantly to accommodate the growing fetus, and it may increase up to 20 times its original size by the end of the third trimester. The average normal uterus weighs about 60 grams.
What Are Normal Uterus Size By Age?
Hormonal conditions and a woman’s current age can affect the size of her uterus. Before reaching puberty, it is common for many girls to have a uterus that measures approximately 3.5 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter.
During puberty, hormonal changes occur, which can cause the uterus to become pear-shaped. The current uterine size becomes larger and is typically around 7cm x 4cm x 3cm, representing the uterus’s length, width, and thickness.
During pregnancy, the uterus undergoes significant changes to accommodate the growing baby.
Fibroids Can Alter The Shape And The Normal Size Of The Uterus
As fibroids grow, they can cause the uterus to enlarge and distort. These growths can be as small as a pea or larger than a grapefruit, and in some cases, women may develop multiple fibroids of varying sizes. The presence of fibroids can lead to increased uterine size, resulting in abdominal discomfort, heavy menstrual bleeding, and changes in urinary and bowel habits. Large fibroids within the uterus can also begin crowding other vital organs, press against nerves, and cause shooting pains in the legs or back pain similar to sciatica.
A Distorted Uterus Can Impact A Woman’s Appearance
One of the most noticeable consequences of uterine fibroids is the enlargement of the uterus, which can lead to changes in a woman’s appearance. The fibroids can cause the abdomen to protrude, resulting in a bloated or distended look. Some women even experience a pronounced abdominal swelling that resembles pregnancy, which is often referred to as “fibroid belly” This can be distressing for those affected, as it may lead to body image concerns, discomfort, and psychological stress.
There were pregnancy rumors surrounding Cynthia Bailey from The Real Housewives of Atlanta when she was seen with what looked like a “baby bump” while on the red carpet at the 2013 Miss USA pageant. The next day, on her Twitter feed, she explained to her fans that she was dealing with a medical condition (fibroids) that made her look pregnant. She has spent several years telling her story and helping to educate women about uterine fibroids.
Treatment to Restore Normal Uterus Size
When uterine fibroids cause significant enlargement, distortion, discomfort, or other symptoms that affect a woman’s quality of life, medical intervention may be necessary. Treatment options vary depending on the size, number, and location of fibroids, as well as the individual’s medical history and preferences. Treatment options include:
- Watchful Waiting
- If fibroids are small and not causing symptoms, a doctor may recommend regular monitoring without immediate intervention.
- Hormonal medications can be prescribed to manage symptoms by regulating the menstrual cycle and reducing bleeding. They won’t eliminate fibroids, but they may provide some relief.
- Surgical Procedures:/dt>
- A myomectomy may be recommended to surgically cut out the fibroids one at a time from the uterus and stitch the uterus back together. Many women have to undergo additional surgery within 5 years because of returning fibroids.
- In cases where fibroids are causing severe symptoms or when fertility is not a concern, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be recommended; however, unless cancer is involved it is not necessary.
- Minimally Invasive UFE
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical procedure that blocks the blood vessels that feed the fibroids, which causes them to shrink and die. The procedure is done as an outpatient, so there is no associated hospital stay, and the recovery is significantly shorter than undergoing surgery. UFE eliminates all the fibroids, regardless of how deep they are lodged within the uterine walls, without compromising the uterus or future fertility. Once the fibroids shrink, the symptoms of fibroids go away, including distortions that impact the size of the uterus.
If you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms or have noticed your abdomen protruding, fibroids may have reached the normal size of your uterus. Contact the Atlanta Fibroid Center for help.
With over 30 years of experience, the experts at the Atlanta Fibroid Center can help you get rid of fibroids for good and restore your uterus to its normal size. Set up an appointment today to learn more about the UFE procedure and how it could benefit you.