Many women who come to our centers share about the frustration of looking pregnant while struggling with infertility. If you aren’t pregnant but have unusual abdominal swelling, this may be a sign of an enlarged uterus. This distention can be caused by a number of different issues, including uterine fibroids. No matter the cause, a bulging belly can contribute to pain in your lower abdomen, bloating, constipation, headaches, abnormal menstruation, frequent urination, and infertility.
The only way to discover what is behind your stomach bulge is to contact your doctor, as they can help you obtain an accurate medical diagnosis. Once the cause is determined, you can discuss the best course of action. If fibroids are behind your swollen stomach, we recommend visiting a fibroid specialist to learn about your full range of treatment options.
Stomach Bulging from Fibroids
If your stomach is bulging because of uterine fibroids, you may wonder what is going on. As fibroids grow, the uterus sometimes needs to expand to accommodate them. Your uterus is a muscular organ that can transform from the size of a fist to that of a baby –– and even larger.
Many women first notice an expanding waistline when clothing begins to fit differently. You may even get comments from people in your life asking if you are pregnant. Others have difficulty bending over or moving around: some experience frequent urination, digestive problems, or worsening menstrual cramps. In extreme cases, an enlarged uterus can impact the ability to perform daily activities.
Why Does My Stomach Look Like I’m Pregnant?
If you have large and/or numerous uterine fibroids, your uterus can swell so much that you may appear pregnant. Fibroid treatment is usually required to resolve this unfortunate effect.
Why Do I Look 5 Months Pregnant?
An enlarged abdomen due to fibroids can cause women to appear to be as many as five months pregnant. Along with causing extreme discomfort and possible damage to surrounding organs, this situation can have a devastating emotional impact on affected individuals.
If you look five months pregnant due to the presence of fibroids, you may suffer from a lack of self-esteem. You may feel sad, angry, or depressed. If you are also struggling with fertility and someone mistakenly thinks you are pregnant, this can be especially heartbreaking.
Fortunately, our fibroid experts care about both your physical and emotional health. We want you to know that effective, non-surgical fibroid treatment exists that can potentially resolve this difficult situation.
Your Stomach Bulge Might Be An Enlarged Uterus, a Symptom of Fibroids
We encourage you to visit your doctor at the appearance of any new, unexplained abdominal bulge. As discussed above, a swollen stomach may indicate an enlarged uterus, which is a common fibroid symptom.
If you believe your stomach swelling or bloating may be due to fibroids, make sure to keep an eye out for additional fibroid symptoms:
- Heavy and prolonged menstruation between or during your periods
- Anemia, which can lead to fatigue
- Pain in your pelvis or lower back
- Increased menstrual cramping
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent urination
- Constipation and/or bloating
If you notice any of the above issues, please contact your doctor as soon as possible. You should be aware that not all women with fibroids experience symptoms. You should also know that the size, location, and number of fibroids can determine your overall symptom severity.
Still not sure whether fibroids are a possibility? Explore our online symptoms checker. In general, we recommend that when fibroid symptoms affect your career, social life, self-esteem, or relationships, it is probably time to look into treatment.
As Well As Stomach Bulging, Fibroid Growth Can Cause Weight Gain
Along with sometimes causing the uterus to expand, fibroid growth can also cause weight gain. Many women are surprised to learn that large fibroids can grow to the size of a watermelon and weigh between 20 and 40 pounds.
When left untreated, your fibroids may continue to grow larger over time –– the largest fibroid ever recorded weighed 140 pounds! –– which makes it easier to understand why some women with fibroids are mistakenly thought to be pregnant.
Another related factor that can cause weight gain is anemia, a common fibroid symptom. Anemia often develops as a result of heavy periods or prolonged menstrual cycles. The ongoing loss of blood can lead to reduced iron levels, resulting in fatigue and weakness. Some women find that these symptoms leave them vulnerable to comfort eating, contributing to weight gain. Additionally, they may avoid exercise, which further impacts their weight.
Weight gain due to fibroids can affect your mental health. You may not be able to wear your favorite types of clothing, which may leave you feeling self-conscious. Or, you may avoid intimate encounters because you feel unhappy with your body.
If you have recently gained weight and can’t explain why, please know that fibroids are only one possible explanation. Any unexplained weight gain is a good reason to contact your doctor. A physical examination and medical imaging like ultrasound or MRI can confirm the presence of fibroids or help detect other health problems.
The good news is that fibroid treatment is widely available and can alleviate symptoms like your fibroid belly bulge.
Noticing a Stomach Bulge? It Could Be Fibroids, Contact USA Fibroid Centers Today!
If you are concerned that your stomach bulge may be due to fibroids, don’t wait around any longer to find out. You may not realize this, but uterine fibroids can damage surrounding organs, affect fertility, and cause painful, uncomfortable, and inconvenient symptoms. Fortunately, we can help.
At USA Fibroid Centers, we strive to educate women about their full range of uterine fibroid treatment options. If you believe that having a hysterectomy is the only available treatment, this isn’t true. The reality is that you probably don’t need fibroid surgery to improve symptoms like an enlarged uterus.
Instead, our fibroid specialists perform a minimally-invasive, outpatient treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE does not require a hospital stay, takes only 30 to 45 minutes, and allows you to return to most normal activities within one to two weeks.
The majority of women who undergo Uterine Fibroid Embolization experience drastically better lives afterward. Many report an improvement or elimination of their symptoms, such as:
- Lighter periods
- Less severe cramps, if any
- Less abdominal bloating, if any
- Normal urination
- Resolution of anemia
- Smaller fibroid belly
- Weight loss
To learn more about UFE and explore your full range of treatment options, schedule an appointment online today. We have 90 clinic locations nationwide and offer both in-person and virtual doctor visits. We look forward to meeting you!