So... I've got room for twins?
September 7, 2008 2:39 AM   Subscribe

After a routine pap test and pelvic exam my doctor is sending me for an ultrasound because he thinks I have an enlarged uterus. I am not pregnant. My google-fu only turns up information on uterine fibroids. So what does it mean to have an enlarged uterus and is it bad?

After looking at the information that I did find (all about uterine fibroids) I don't have any symptoms and this has never come up in previous exams.
Also, those who responded to my previous question about kidney disease, my doctor is also including an ultrasound on my kidneys.
posted by Kioki-Silver to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
My gut feeling is that there is ZERO reason to be alarmed. I was told I had a smaller than normal uterus. So? Whatever. I had a kid and everything is fine. I'm sure though that you've gone the google route on this? At any rate - it's like saying you have a large arm or a large kidney. Yeah. So? What do they propose doing about it? Making it smaller?
posted by watercarrier at 3:36 AM on September 7, 2008

It means he's double checking to see why it's large. If it is just that you've room for twins then it's entirely harmless. Alternatively, it could be swollen because of infection or fibroids, which is why he's checking with an ultrasound, to rule them out.

Fibroids don't necessarily cause any symptoms - but also almost never turn cancerous, it's very very rare. Given you have no symptoms, AND assuming you have fibroids, you may not even need treatment. It could also very easily just be nothing whatsoever, so don't panic. Best of luck, and I hope the tests come back all clear.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:50 AM on September 7, 2008

You can get some important information from HERS Foundation (

The EXACT same thing happened to me four and a half years ago, with no previous history of problems. Thus started my journey of many tests and procedures. Three gynecologists recommended hysterectomy. I had no symptoms other than somewhat heavy bleeding for a day or two some months (that’s another story) and I had two very small fibroids (with no symptoms other than the bleeding).

Of course you do need to get this checked out, just in case, but please continue to educate yourself about uterine issues, etc., because chances are, sooner or later a doctor will recommend that you have a hysterectomy. I followed advice to have an ultrasound done at a teaching hospital, and their radiologist said there was absolutely nothing abnormal about my uterus, other than the two small fibroids which were not in any way a reason for hysterectomy. This was TWO WEEKS after being told by a well-known, popular gynecologist that my uterus was enlarged and my uterine walls were thickened, so, he said, I should have a hysterectomy. Furthermore, the bleeding resolved itself within a few months. That was more than a year ago and I am still fine.

HERS Foundation exists solely to educate and help women, and they have helped me. Of the women who have been told by their doctor that they need a hysterectomy, who then call HERS Foundation and get referred to a board-certified gynecologist in their area, more than 90 percent find that they DON’T need a hysterectomy!

If you want me to, I could e-mail you a bunch of information I’ve collected from a variety of reliable sources about uterine health and procedures.
posted by onemorething at 7:55 AM on September 7, 2008

I highly recommend using MedlinePlus for health questions. You will be offered a variety of articles that have been vetted by nurses and doctors.

I am not a doctor, but I am a librarian who works with patients at a hospital. If your doctor didn't know enough to make a diagnosis, we're in the dark as much as you. May I make a couple of suggestions? Bring pen and paper to your next appointment. If you are anxious and worried, it's a good idea to have a family member or a friend with you, so you can compare what you've heard.

Ultra-sounds are painless, and when you get the results you will have a much better picture of your own health. I've had two ultra sounds that confirmed that I had no serious health problems. So these tests might end up making you feel better and worrying less.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 9:04 AM on September 7, 2008

Did the doctor not explain any of his thinking other than telling you you might have an enlarged uterus? You need to question him closer about the possible outcomes and he should have given you more information.
posted by bjgeiger at 1:22 PM on September 7, 2008

Egads -- someone recommended a hysterectomy for an enlarged uterus/thickened wall? Count me lucky for having found an amazing gyno, then.

I had a similar diagnosis this February -- doc said my uterus was enlarged, to the point where she couldn't even palpate near it. (She said she couldn't even feel my ovaries -- to which I said "what? you can FEEL those through my skin??"). I had a transvaginal ultrasound which showed that I just have an exceptionally thick endometrial layer, and a smallish-but-in-obnoxious-position fibroid. Doc says I'll probably end up getting it out eventually but it's not a big deal. One of the docs who trained her hangs out at the shop next door and said more or less the same, and that if I decided to have it out, it's very easy to do with minimally invasive surgery.

Try not to worry too much. I know it's hard not to (it was especially hard for me, since my grandmother died of ovarian cancer at 47, and I'm a worrywart), but the ultrasound should help resolve any potential concerns. Good luck!
posted by at 1:26 PM on September 7, 2008

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