Why Is My Tummy Bigger Than It Should Be?

Why Is My Tummy Bigger Than It Should Be?

pregnant belly

Having an abnormally bigger tummy than normal doesn’t necessarily mean you are carrying a big-sized baby. You may be surprised to know that the commonest reason to explain this is because of the inaccurate date – the expected date of delivery being earlier than what it should be. As such, a dating ultrasound of the baby is important in the late first trimester.

 

Though less common, you still ought to pay attention to the other reasons for a big tummy that include multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets etc), excessive fluid in the womb (polyhydramnios) and pelvic masses such as ovarian cyst or uterine fibroid.

 

 

 

UTERINE FIBROID

Uterine fibroid is 99.9 percent non-cancerous. However, if you experience pain, rapid increase in size or vaginal bleeding, then it could be malignant. It is estimated around 20 percent of women of reproductive age has uterine fibroids. Unfortunately, the cause for uterine fibroid to happen remains unclear.

 

Uterine fibroids close-up view on dark blue

 

Uterine fibroids are classified by the site of the masses such as the following:

 

  • Intramural (within the wall of the womb)
  • Submucosal (beneath the lining of the womb)
  • Subserosal (at the outer wall of the womb)
  • Cervical (at the neck of the womb)

 

Interestingly, subserosal fibroids can detach themselves from the womb and grow elsewhere in the tummy.

 

 

How do fibroids affect pregnancy?

Women with uterine fibroids generally have lesser chances of getting pregnant. It is probably due to the delay in conceiving, whether voluntary or involuntary, which may predispose towards the development of fibroids.

 

The mechanism of how fibroids adversely affect conception is unclear, but disturbance of the blood flow of the womb could be a factor.

 

How are uterine fibroids diagnosed?

The fibroids usually can be visualised with the baby on ultrasound. The number, site and size of the fibroids should be noted.

 

 

What happens to the fibroids in pregnancy?

 

A 37-week predictant woman who is bloated with uterine fibroids

 

Fibroids can enlarge in pregnancy but not all do. If the fibroids grow too big overwhelming the blood supply, degeneration of the core may occur resulting in tummy pain. The treatment is bed rest and pain relief. Fibroids will regress after delivery.

 

 

Are there any risks to the pregnancy?

Most pregnancies associated with fibroids proceed uneventfully. However, there is an increase risk of miscarriage and pre-mature labour.

 

How should the baby be delivered?

Normal delivery is encouraged unless a lower segment fibroid interferes with the engagement of the baby’s head in labour which makes it necessary to have a Caesarean section.

 

 

 

Can the fibroid be removed during the Caesarean section?

 

childbirth in operation room c-section surgery

 

Surgical removal during delivery is not encouraged due to the increased risk of bleeding. However, subserosal or pedunculated fibroid could be removed.

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