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Women's Health

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Enlarged Uterus

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While the cause of adenomyosis is unknown, the condition usually occurs in women older than age 30 who have had children. It is more common in women who have had uterine surgery, including a cesarean section.

In addition to uterine enlargement, symptoms may include:

  • Long periods or heavy bleeding
  • Painful periods, which get continually worse
  • Pain during intercourse

Most women have some adenomyosis at the end of their childbearing years. Most don't require treatment, but some need medication to relieve pain. Birth control pills and an intrauterine device (IUD) containing progesterone may help decrease heavy bleeding. Women with severe symptoms may need a hysterectomy to relieve symptoms.

Other Causes of an Enlarged Uterus

In some cases, an enlarged uterus can be a symptom of uterine cancers, including endometrial cancer (affecting the lining of the uterus) and cervical cancer (affecting the lower portion of the uterus where it joins the vagina). Treatment depends on the location, the extent of the cancer, and other factors.

Symptoms of an Enlarged Uterus

If you have an enlarged uterus, you won't necessarily notice it yourself. Your doctor may discover it during a physical exam or on imaging tests. Many conditions that cause an enlarged uterus are benign and don't require treatment unless symptoms are severe.

If you experience problems such as irregular bleeding; painful, heavy periods; pain during intercourse; or feelings of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen, see your doctor, who can help determine the cause and best treatment.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on April 17, 2015
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