What does it mean to have an enlarged uterus?

Updated April 17, 2017

An enlarged uterus can be a worrisome condition and can have more than one cause. Understanding the possible causes can help women approach this issue with their doctors.


Adenomyosis is a common cause of enlarged uterus. Tissue that normally lines the uterus grows within the muscular walls of the uterus. This condition is not to be confused with endometriosis. Women at risk include those who have had a vaginal birth, a C-section or uterine-fibroid removal. The two operations can transfer cells from inside the uterus to the muscular wall, possibly facilitating adenomyosis. The condition can cause discomfort, necessitating pain medication such as ibuprofen or prescription drugs. Discuss treatment options with your doctor. Severity of symptoms and swelling varies on the individual. According to the Mayo Clinic, adenomyosis generally resolves after menopause, eliminating symptoms. In most cases, the uterus returns to its former size. In rare cases, the uterus remains slightly enlarged. There are no complications with the remaining slight enlargement, though.


An enlarged uterus can indicate endometriosis. Many women experience this disorder during childbirth years. The condition occurs when the cells of the inner wall of the uterus begin to grow outside the uterus, causing an enlargement. The cause of endometriosis is not known. Symptoms can range from pain in the uterine area and increased bleeding during menstruation. Infertility or increased difficulty in conceiving is another side effect. There is no cure for this disorder, but there are treatment options. See your doctor to discuss the best options for you.

Uterine Fibroids

An enlarged uterus might indicate uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumours that grow within or on the surface of the uterus. Symptoms include pain during sex, increased bleeding during menstruation and lower-back pain. Treatment involves surgical removal.

Uterine Cancer

The most alarming cause of an enlarged uterus is uterine cancer. Uterine cancer begins in the inner wall of the uterus and may spread throughout the lower abdominal area. Symptoms include pelvic pain, increased bleeding during menstruation, trouble urinating and pain during intercourse. Treatment options include radiation and, in extreme cases, hysterectomy. If you have any of the symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

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About the Author

Nicholas Ramos was born in Washington, D.C. He is currently a journalism major in Georgia and plans to specialize in law. Ramos has been writing since 2009, specializing in fashion, travel and health.