Could my weight gain be caused by fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors that, though not usually cancerous, cause lots of problems. Heavy periods, pelvic pain and frequent urination can all be tied to fibroids. But did you know gaining weight for no reason is also a fibroid symptom?

Gaining Weight with Fibroids pain from uterine fibroids

When they are small, or first developing, fibroids shouldn’t make you gain weight. In fact, you probably won’t even know they are there. It’s when they are left to grow large that changes start to happen.

First, they can make your stomach stick out, even without adding pounds on the scale, because your uterus expands to accommodate fibroid growth. In fact, because your uterus changes so much with fibroids, we see physical changes similar to those in pregnant women.

When you aren’t pregnant, and don’t have fibroids, your uterus is tucked deep inside your pelvis. It’s about the size of a pear.

With pregnancy, your uterus is palpable at your pelvic bone by the 12-week mark. By then, it’s expanded to the size of a grapefruit. And if you have a 6-inch uterine fibroid? You’ll notice very similar changes.

Fibroids also leave you feeling bloated. Because they change the size and shape of your uterus, fibroids may put pressure on your digestive system, making it more difficult to pass a bowel movement.

The enlarged uterus could also crunch on your bladder, making it difficult to completely empty and even causing swelling in your kidneys.

Altogether, these factors will make you look heavier than you are, and may cause the scale to tick up a few notches, even when your diet and exercise plan remain unchanged.

Getting a Fibroid Diagnosis

Of course,  you’ll usually notice other symptoms if your tumors are big enough to cause weight gain. But even if you don’t, listen to your body. If you’re gaining weight, or noticing changes to your belly that you just can’t explain, it’s worth seeing your doctor to get checked for fibroids. 

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