What is an enlarged uterus?

An enlarged uterus is a uterus that is larger than normal. Some variation in size is to be expected, as every human body is not identical, but if the uterus suddenly becomes enlarged or abdominal pain develops, it may be a sign that there is a medical problem that needs to be addressed. A gynecologist is usually the most appropriate care provider to treat an enlarged uterus, although the gynecologist may also consult with other medical specialists, such as an endocrinologist, to explore all possible causes of the enlargement.

The uterus is an elastic organ. It is designed to grow to accommodate a developing fetus, and to contract again after delivery, and is capable of doing so through multiple pregnancies. When the uterus becomes enlarged, it can be a sign of a number of different problems.

One possible cause is uterine fibroids. Benign fibroids are usually growths that appear in or on the uterine wall. They can cause the uterus to swell and enlarge to make room for them. As fibroids grow, the uterus can begin to press on the bladder, causing abdominal pain. In some cases, the uterus can be palpated. Ultrasound is usually used to learn more about what's going on inside the uterus, and in some cases, a doctor may recommend exploratory surgery.

Menopause can also be associated with uterine enlargement, and an enlarged uterus may not be considered a cause for concern when accompanied by other menopausal symptoms. However, if the organ causes pain or discomfort, a doctor may recommend treatment. Complications of gynecological surgeries can also lead to an enlarged uterus, and sometimes the uterus does not contract properly after delivery, in which case it will remain enlarged rather than shrink over time, and this will be noted during follow-up appointments.

There are several treatments for an enlarged uterus. The first step in treatment is to determine the cause, as this will play a role in deciding which treatment is best. Some options include surgery to correct a condition such as fibroids or removing the uterus entirely if a woman is not interested in having children, along with hormones that can be used to treat women in menopause. A gynecologist can discuss options with the patient once the cause has been determined; Your doctor may recommend a slow approach to treatment to see if less invasive measures will work before recommending more complex procedures.

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