The symptoms of an enlarged uterus vary according to the cause of the condition. Learn about common signs of enlargement as well as symptoms specific to some of these medical conditions.
Common Symptoms of Enlarged Uterus
Lower Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can be a sign that the uterus is enlarged, but the discomfort can be a sign of many other conditions, too. Pain in the lower abdomen from an enlarged uterus can occur when the organ presses against the bladder. The additional pressure can lead to another symptom of enlargement--urinary incontinence.
Bloating, Headaches, and Pain
An enlarged uterus can lead to noticeable bloating. Some women may experience excess gas and diarrhea as well.
Migraines and headaches are symptoms of an enlarged uterus and other painful signs may be present, including:
- Leg pain
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- Pain during intercourse
Problems with Menstruation
Anemia can be a symptom of an enlarged uterus because the woman may lose excessive amounts of blood during menstruation, which can also lead to fatigue. Other symptoms of an enlarged uterus related to menstrual cycles are:
- Heavy flow
- Irregular periods
- Menstrual blood clotting
- Spotting between menstruations
Unexplained Weight Gain
Sudden weight gain can occur when hormonal changes are present in the body. Women may experience unexplained weight gain in the waist area if the uterus is enlarged. Bloating, enlargement, and hormonal changes can also lead to extra pounds around the waist.
Pregnancy and Conception Problems
An enlarged uterus can lead to significant pregnancy problems, premature delivery, and miscarriages among other complications. Enlargement of the organ is also related to infertility. Women who have difficulty conceiving along with other symptoms of enlargement of the uterus should talk to their doctors about diagnosis and treatment options.
Symptoms Associated with Medical Conditions
Symptoms of an enlarged uterus may differ according to the specific cause of the condition and some of these conditions may require medical attention. The following problems are associated with enlarged uterus and its symptoms.
Andenomyosis occurs when the endometrium tissue that lines the wall of the uterus begins to grow into the organ's muscular wall. Symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Heavy menstrual flow
- Clotting during periods
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles
- Menstrual cramps
Uterine fibroids is a common cause of an enlarged uterus. The fibroids are benign growths that appear in the different areas of the uterus, including the uterine wall. Symptoms related to this condition include:
- Frequent urination
- Heavy period flow
- Lower back pain
- Pain during sex
- Pain or pressure in the abdomen
- Pelvic pain
Severity of the symptoms depend on the size of the fibroids.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that appear on the surface or on the inside of the ovary. In many cases, the cysts disappear on their own but, in other cases, they may become serious. The cysts may rupture if not treated and can be associated with an increased risk of cancer. Symptoms of enlargement related to ovarian cysts include:
- Abdominal pain
- Menstrual pain
- Problems urinating
- Tender breasts
Uterine cancer can cause the uterus to enlarge. This cancer can also cause difficulty passing urine, vaginal bleeding not associated with menstrual cycle, and pain during sex.
Enlarged Uterus and Molar Pregnancy
An enlarged uterus, or an unusually small uterus, is associated with molar pregnancy, which is a kind of gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) that causes abnormal tissue development. The pregnancy is not a true pregnancy because the egg does not have any chromosomes necessary for normal development.
Recognizing the symptoms of an enlarged uterus can lead to proper diagnosis and treatment. Women experiencing a cluster of symptoms can benefit from discussing the problem with their doctors.