Menopause is not only a time of change in the reproductive life cycle of a woman, but also the period that carries with it the possibilities of impending disorders in her reproductive system. An enlarged uterus is something that women tend to overlook, justifying the increased size of the abdomen to being obesity. It is the beginning of a serious health condition that can be stopped if initial attention is paid towards the symptoms and causes of an enlarged uterus.
Symptoms of an Enlarged Uterus
There are a few medical conditions that could be behind enlargement of the uterus. Abdominal pain, premenstrual syndrome, severe menstrual cramps, back pain, nausea, depression, painful menstruation, and sudden weight gain are some of the symptoms linked to an enlarged uterus. The following are some symptoms that must not be overlooked.
Menorrhagia, also known as heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding is one of the symptoms that involves passing of blood clots or having a heavy menstrual flow. It may also be characterized by irregular menstruation, and spotting between periods. These symptoms could be indicative of an enlarged uterus and fibroids. It could also lead to anemia and lack of energy due to excessive blood loss.
Sudden Weight Gain
Sudden weight gain without any particular reason is one of the prime symptoms. Expanding waistline should not be overlooked. Sudden weight gain that leads to obesity can also cause irregularity in menstruation and infertility.
Pain may also radiate to other parts of the body such as the legs, flank, pelvic region, back, etc. Affected women may experience pain during intercourse.
When an enlargement of the uterus is observed in childbearing age, it accompanies several other health complications like infertility, premature labor and premature delivery, stillbirths, recurrent miscarriage and many other complications regarding labor and pregnancy. Abdominal distortion that also looks like pregnancy is one of the most visible of all signs indicating that something is wrong with the uterus.
What Causes This Condition
There are some phases of the menstrual cycle that can create some complications in the life of a woman and lead to an enlarged uterus. These abnormal developments of the uterus and the other reproductive organs can cause an enlargement of a woman's uterus. Let's take a quick look at the causes of an enlarged uterus.
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. The uterine fibroids could appear singly or in clusters. Their size might range from that of a pea to bulky masses that could enlarge the uterus.
This is also one of the most common reasons behind an enlarged uterus. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that may be formed on the surface inside the ovaries. If medical help is not sought, then there are chances of these ovarian cysts getting ruptured and causing serious health complications. There are various types of ovarian cysts which should be evaluated as they create the risk of ovarian cancer.
Cancer of the endometrium(uterine lining) can also cause an enlarged uterus. Women who are approaching menopause, or undergoing hormone replacement therapy, and/or breast cancer treatment are at a risk of developing an enlarged uterus. Women who are affected by obesity or colorectal cancer are also at risk. Surgical removal of the uterus might be recommended in such cases.
This condition is characterized by uterine thickening that takes place when endometrial tissue that lines the uterus, moves into the outer muscular walls of the uterus. This condition might be observed in women in the age group of 30 and above. Adenomyosis is a benign growth that may also be painful at times. It causes irregular menstruation, clotting during menstruation, and menstrual cramps.
Diagnosis and Treatment
There are one or more tests that can be conducted to determine the cause of an enlarged uterus. These may include a laparoscopy, a physical examination of the pelvic region, an endometrial biopsy, an X-ray examination, and several blood tests.
Treatment of an enlarged uterus would vary, depending on the underlying cause. There are hormonal therapies, medications, surgical examinations, herbal medicines, alternative treatments, and a total or partial hysterectomy that can be performed to provide relief from these symptoms. Hence, it is very important not to overlook any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Timely diagnosis can alleviate the problem of an enlarged uterus. As a woman, you need to take all precautions possible to keep your reproductive system healthy. Some of the aforementioned symptoms can considerably affect the quality of life of the affected women. Hence, medical help must be sought by women who have been experiencing the aforementioned symptoms.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.