What is a Bulky Uterus With Fibroids?
Normally uterus is of the size of a clenched fist but it can enlarge more than its normal size under certain health conditions like fibroids, adenomyosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc. Such an enlarged uterus is called a bulky uterus.
The bulky uterus can grow as big as a soccer ball during abnormal conditions. Bulky uterus caused due to a medical condition like fibroids not only grows excessively but also bleeds and becomes painful.
Bulky uterus with fibroids may sometimes cause serious complications and therefore requires appropriate treatment. A bulky uterus is uncommon in women but if present it can be serious and may affect fertility.
Sometimes, a bulky uterus can be a sign of some serious condition like endometrial cancer.
The normal dimensions of a uterus are 3 to 4 inches by 2.5 inches. Any change in these dimensions may lead to a bulky uterus.
What Are the Causes of Bulky Uterus in Women?
There are different causes of a bulky uterus. Some are non-cancerous and don’t require urgent medical attention while some may be serious and need immediate treatment.
One of the important causes of a bulky uterus is uterine fibroids, which are abnormal muscular growths that develop on the wall of the uterus.
Uterine fibroids are the most common cause of bulky uterus. Usually, uterine fibroids are non-cancerous, small in size, and harmless. However, some fibroids may grow larger and result in swelling of the uterus (bulky uterus) which can be dangerous. The size of the fibroids present in the uterus results in the severity of the symptoms
Is it Dangerous to Have a Bulky Uterus With Fibroids?
Bulky uterus caused due to fibroids may or may not be dangerous. If the fibroids are small and constant in size, they are more likely to be harmless. However, if they are growing in size with serious complications they need to be observed and continuously monitored as this can be an indication of uterine cancer.
Symptoms of Having a Bulky Uterus With Fibroids
There may be different symptoms and signs of a bulky uterus depending upon the cause. Following are some of them:
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Excessive bleeding during periods
- Heavy cramping in the pelvic region and legs
- Swelling in the legs
- A feeling of pressure on the uterus and surrounding areas
- Back pain
- Post-menopausal bleeding
- Vaginal discharge
- Frequent urination
- Weight gain especially around the lower abdomen
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Fatigue and general weakness
There are a variety of medical conditions and diseases that can cause the uterus to increase in size, such as pregnancy and uterine fibroids. You may feel heaviness in your lower abdomen or notice your abdomen coming outwards as the uterus increases in size. Fibroids occur in about 30% of women, and are more common among African-Americans. But not all women with fibroids develop symptoms.
What are the Complications of Bulky Uterus With Fibroids?
There may be many complications if the fibroids are ignored or left untreated. Following are some of them:
Pain and pressure in the pelvic region
The bulky uterus caused due to fibroids may put extra pressure on the tissues and organs that are present in its surrounding area. As a result, it causes pain and pressure in these areas especially in the pelvic region.
Infertility/ Problems in Pregnancy
Bulky uterus caused due to fibroids decreases the chances of pregnancy and also promotes miscarriages. As a result, women face difficulties in carrying a child to a full term and may need to opt for the restorative medical procedures before delivery.
This condition is rarely caused by fibroids in which the uterus expands out through the birth canal and distends outside the body which creates difficulties in multiple childbirths.
Excessive Bleeding and Pain
Bulky uterus with fibroids results in excessive and heavy menstrual bleeding which may be extremely painful.
Bulky uterus with fibroids is often susceptible to vaginal infections.
Treatment Methods for a Bulky Uterus
Bulky uterus caused by fibroids may require treatment if it is painful or associated with severe complications.
Following treatment options may be helpful:
- Use of contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs) containing the hormone progesterone which may help in controlling the heavy menstrual bleeding during periods and also prevent the further development of fibroids.
- Surgical procedures like hysterectomy or myomectomy for removing the fibroids or uterus if the complications are more severe.
- Restorative treatment that can prevent the fibroids from enlarging the uterus further.
- Uterine artery embolization treatment cuts the blood supply to fibroids due to which they decrease in size and eventually die.
Does bulky uterus cause weight gain?
Yes, fibroids that grow larger occupy the pelvic region and surrounding areas which may result in excess abdominal weight. Some fibroids grow much larger and weigh as much as 20-40 pounds which result in weight gain, and cause discomfort in the patients.
What Size Fibroid Is Considered Large?
Fibroids grow very large and may weigh as much as 20 to 40 pounds. Some fibroids may grow in clusters and may range from 1 to 20 mm in diameter. Larger fibroids can enlarge the uterus to the size equivalent to a third trimester pregnancy.
What is the remedy for bulky uterus?
The size of the bulky uterus cannot be decreased as such but some anti-inflammatory drugs like medications ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and birth control pills may halt the growth of a bulky uterus from enlarging further. These drugs also help in controlling the pain and heavy bleeding caused due to enlarged uterus.
Is a bulky uterus normal?
If the uterus enlarges beyond its normal size it is called bulky uterus. Bulky uterus is caused mainly due to fibroids. If the fibroids are harmless then the uterus is normal, however if there is any malignancy associated with fibroids then the bulky uterus is abnormal and requires immediate treatment.