What Causes An Enlarged Womb?
There are a number of different things that can cause an enlarged womb, most of them being somewhat rare or exotic in nature. The most common cause, and the one most women are apt to experience to some degree is the presence of fibroids. To say most women will experience fibroids isn't completely an accurate statement. Around 30% of all women have fibroids at some point in their lives, perhaps for most of their lives. Most of these women will not experience any symptoms at all, and for those that do, the symptoms only occasionally require treatment or are a cause for concern.
There are two types of fibroids, intramural fibroids, which grow on the inside walls of the womb, and subserosal fibroids, which grow on the outside walls of the womb. The intramural fibroids can cause some distortion in the shape of the womb, and can at times become troublesome during pregnancy, though serious problems during pregnancy or childbirth are rather rare. The subserosal fibroids do not affect the functioning of the womb, but can become fairly large and may put pressure on surrounding organs, giving one the feeling of having an enlarged womb.
Usually Left Alone - Fibroids are simply an abnormal growth of tissue, but are almost always non-cancerous, and will usually be left alone if they are not causing any particular problem. A woman who has fibroids may have only a single one, though a half dozen or so is more typical. A condition resembling an enlarged womb is probably one of the lesser symptoms of fibroids. Fibroids, if they cause any problem at all, may interfere with fertility, or cause heavier than normal menstruation. They cannot be medicinally treated, though some hormone-based treatments are available. Sometimes the fibroids are either surgically removed, or treated in such a way that they will shrink. The procedure involved in surgically removing fibroids is called a mysymectomy. One way to completely eliminate fibroids, and for that matter cure any symptoms of an enlarged womb, is to undergo a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is rarely performed for just that reason however.
Possible Pregnancy Risks - Women having fibroids and consequently an enlarged womb, are more often apt to experience more pain during pregnancy, and the risk of a premature delivery is also somewhat greater. The risk involved often depends upon where a fibroid is located, and an examination by a gynecologist during the early stages of pregnancy may in some cases allow circumvention of potential problems.
Chances Of Malignancy - What are the chances of a fibroid becoming malignant? The short answer to that one is, very small indeed. Although a fibroid is an abnormal growth, it doesn't follow that it will necessarily become malignant at some stage. The tissue in a fibroid is as healthy as any other tissue in the body, it's just tissue that doesn't seem to belong where it's at. Of all the women who have ever been found to have fibroids, the number of cases of malignancy appears to be at most a tiny fraction of 1%. Most gynecologists will come across only one or two women who have developed cancer in fibroid tissue, or as a result of presence of a fibroid, if that many, during the course of their practice. Cancerous changes in fibroids is something not worth worrying a great deal about.
Other Possible Causes - While the focus has been on fibroids as the main cause of an enlarged womb or uterus, it should be mentioned that changes in hormone levels, especially during menopause, can also cause an enlarged womb, giving the sensation of an unexpected pregnancy. Complications from surgery performed in the pelvic area can also sometimes be the cause behind an enlarged womb.