Common Conditions That Can Affect the Uterus
A number of medical conditions can affect a woman’s uterus(womb) and cause pain, such as polyps, endometriosis, fibroids, and cancer. Uterine pain or discomfort is usually felt in the pelvic and lower abdominal region, and it often spreads to the mid-abdomen or lower back. Accompanying symptoms of different uterine conditions are similar and may include irregular menstrual bleeding and difficulty getting pregnant,1 so it’s important to see a doctor find out exactly what is affecting you. Some concerns are serious, but others are not.
is a pear-shaped structure in the pelvis that sits behind the bladder and in front of the rectum. The uterus becomes enlarged during pregnancy and generally shrinks almost back to its original size within weeks after delivery. On each side of the uterus are the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. Together, the uterus, vagina, ovaries, and fallopian tubes make up a woman’s reproductive system.
Given the close proximity of all of these organs, pain in the pelvic region could be due to a uterine condition or something else entirely.
Conditions of the uterus can begin in the uterus itself or may be caused by factors outside the uterus, such as hormones.2 Most of these conditions can be managed with medication, but some may necessitate a which is surgical removal of the uterus.3
Dysmenorrhea is that can occur before and/or during the menstrual period. It is not usually a sign of uterine disease or any other medical condition, and it often improves with pain medication or hormonal therapy.4
Menorrhagia is prolonged or It can occur without any known cause, but it can also result from hormonal imbalances, uterine fibroids, polyps, certain types of birth control, or cancer, among other conditions. Often, menorrhagia causes anemia (low red blood cell count), so you may need treatment to control the bleeding as well as treatment for anemia.5
Uterine prolapse occurs when the muscles and ligaments that hold the uterus in place become weakened, allowing the uterus to descend near the bladder. Many women have mild to moderate uterine prolapse as they get older. The most common symptoms are urinary urgency and leaking of urine, but severe cases can cause pain as well, especially during or after sexual intercourse.6
The uterus can be tilted toward the back of the spine, which is described as a retroverted uterus. Most of the time, there are no symptoms, and it rarely causes complications during pregnancy.7 Your doctor would notice if you have a retrograde uterus during your routine pelvic examination.
Congenital Uterine Malformation
Sometimes, the uterus itself is abnormally shaped. This can interfere with pregnancy and may raise the risk of miscarriage.8 Your doctor would identify a uterine malformation on your pregnancy ultrasound if you are pregnant, and it can be seen on an abdominal or ultrasound even when you are not pregnant.
There are several typical malformations:9
- Septate uterus: The uterus is composed of two separate sides with uterine tissue completely or almost completely partitioning the sides from each other.
- Bicornate uterus: The uterus is shaped like a heart, resulting in an appearance of two almost equal-sized halves that are not as definitively separated as those of a septate uterus.
- Didelphys uterus: The uterus is divided, particularly near the lower opening, with two sections that each have a separate cervical opening.
- Unicornate uterus: The uterus appears smaller, as a section may be compressed or undeveloped, resulting in only one “real” cavity, which is especially small in size.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
When bacteria or organisms enter the cervix and spread upward, the infection. Symptoms include discomfort, discharge, a foul smell, and urinary urgency or pain.10
Many women have which are small, soft growths inside the uterus that can cause pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, spotting between periods, are growths in the walls of the uterus. Sometimes, a fibroid attaches to the outside of the uterus by a stalk. They can be as small as a seed or a pea or as large as an orange or small melon. Symptoms include heavy or prolonged bleeding between or during menstruation, pelvic pain and/or pressure, back pain, pain during intercourse, and difficulty getting pregnant.