Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can an enlarged uterus make one appear bloated?"
I've been feeling kind of bloated, and I thought it was my just PMS... but now my period's over and it won't go away. Could this be a swelling in my uterus? Uterine cancer runs in my family, and I don't want to waste any time if this is a possible symptom.
New symptoms of abdominal distention or bloating should always be addressed by a physician. In many cases these symptoms can be entirely harmless, but they could represent a more serious illness. A primary care physician can take an initial history and exam and direct you to additional specialists such as a gynecologist or gastroenterologist if necessary. Abdominal bloating and cramping that resembles PMS-like symptoms can be caused by changes in the reproductive tract. Uterine cancer typically does not cause abdominal bloating, but ovarian cancer can present with these kinds of symptoms. Such cancers are rare, but they can occur which is why it is always best to have new symptoms evaluated. Uterine fibroids are also a common cause of abdominal bloating and can cause very heavy or long periods. In some women, fibroids can grow so large that they cause the uterus to reach the size of a 3 or 4-month pregnancy. Abdominal bloating can also be caused by many other things, including gas, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, food allergies (such as lactose intolerance), or problems with the liver or pancreas. Some people will even have a nervous habit of swallowing air which can then cause abdominal bloating. Overall, because there are so many things that can cause abdominal bloating, some of which are harmless and some of which can be serious, it is always best to have these symptoms evaluated by a physician.
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