June 18, 2023/Women's Health

Do Uterine Fibroids Make You Gain Weight?

Depending on their size, these noncancerous growths can create an abdominal bulge

Graphic of uternie fibroid tumers placed anotomically in a silhouette of a body

If you have uterine fibroids — a noncancerous growth in your uterus — you’re already familiar with challenging symptoms like heavy bleeding, pain, pressure and fatigue.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

But can uterine fibroids cause weight gain?

Ob/Gyn Lindsey Valentine, MD, explains the connection between uterine fibroids and weight gain.

Can uterine fibroids cause weight gain?

First, it’s important to understand uterine fibroids.

Uterine fibroids affect about 40% to 80% of women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB). Risk factors like a higher body weight, not having children and a family history of fibroids can increase your chances of getting uterine fibroids.

“Uterine fibroids are benign tumors or growths from the muscle wall of the uterus,” explains Dr. Valentine. “They can grow inside the uterus or they can grow on the outer surface of the uterus.”

Hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which are prevalent during childbearing years and start to decrease during menopause, can increase your risk of uterine fibroids.

You may have one uterine fibroid or you may have many that grow in a cluster.

“The size of a single fibroid can vary greatly. It can be really small — a couple of millimeters, which is the size of a pea or marble — or a larger fibroid could be the size of an orange or grapefruit,” Dr. Valentine further explains. “Or in rare situations, a uterine fibroid can be greater than 10 centimeters, which is the size of a melon.”


And as uterine fibroids grow, they can cause abdominal bulge or bloating.

“That can certainly give an appearance of weight gain or increased abdominal girth,” notes Dr. Valentine. “If someone has larger fibroids, it can create a visible abdominal bulge.”

How much weight can you gain from uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids don’t typically cause weight gain.

“Smaller fibroids typically don’t weigh much, maybe a few grams,” Dr. Valentine clarifies. “But in rare cases, large fibroids could weigh maybe four or five pounds.”

An important distinction: The mass and size of a uterine fibroid can cause weight gain, meaning it’s unlikely that a uterine fibroid is causing other metabolic or systemic changes that lead to true weight gain.

Common symptoms of uterine fibroids

Smaller uterine fibroids may not cause any symptoms, but you may experience the following if you have larger uterine fibroids:

Can uterine fibroids make your stomach bulge?


“Especially with larger fibroids or a larger cluster of fibroids, they can increase or stretch the size of the uterus,” states Dr. Valentine. “You can experience a lower stomach bulge or pressure along with an increased abdominal girth. It can be accompanied by a feeling of fullness or bloating. And if the uterine fibroids start to get larger, you can even look like you’re pregnant.”


Will I lose weight after a uterine fibroid is removed?

Probably not.

“Once you remove a uterine fibroid, the weight of the fibroid itself and that pressure should be gone, and then any of the subsequent pressure on your bowel, bloating and fullness also should decrease after removal,” says Dr. Valentine.

There are many treatment options for uterine fibroids, including removing them during a surgical procedure, but it all depends on the size, location and number of fibroids. Your healthcare provider will also take into consideration your wishes for future pregnancies, as certain operations can damage the uterus.

But many small fibroids don’t cause any problems. And if you experience symptoms, your provider may suggest trying over-the-counter pain medication to help with pain as well as hormonal medications like birth control, which can help control heavy bleeding. There are other medications that can help shrink your fibroids, too.

“Even with large uterine fibroids, significant weight loss is not typical after surgery,” reiterates Dr. Valentine. “But patients may notice that clothes fit better and visible abdominal bulging, if related to fibroids, should improve.”

Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Female speaking with doctor, with uterus and ovary with cysts
February 21, 2024/Women's Health
Can PCOS Cause Weight Gain?

The common hormonal condition is linked to insulin resistance, which can cause weight gain

Elder woman performs a plank on a green mat on the floor while in an online exercise class.
July 2, 2023/Women's Health
Menopause Weight Gain Is Normal — Here’s How To Combat It

Losing menopause weight may take more effort, but it’s doable

woman holding lower abdomen in discomfort
June 15, 2023/Women's Health
How Uterine Fibroids Affect Your Digestive System

Depending on size and location, they can affect your rectum, stomach, bladder and kidneys

2 glasses of diet sodas with ice
May 18, 2023/Nutrition
Sad but True: Diet Sodas Are Bad for Your Health

Diet sodas are associated with weight gain, and may even cause insulin confusion

Woman driving and eating a hamburger
February 28, 2023/Diet, Food & Fitness
You Guessed It: Long-Term Stress Can Make You Gain Weight

Stress hormones trigger cravings in an attempt to keep us safe from danger

Large head of cabbage.
November 24, 2022/Nutrition
Can Certain Foods Reduce Uterine Fibroids?

Eating more fruits and veggies and less red meat could help prevent or shrink fibroids

Foods with vitamin B.
November 20, 2022/Women's Health
Living With Uterine Fibroids

Mild symptoms may be manageable, but severe bleeding, pain and depression demand treatment

A medical professional and female patient talking
June 23, 2022/Women's Health
What To Know About Uterine Fibroids After Menopause

How uterine fibroids can change with your body

Trending Topics

Person in yellow tshirt and blue jeans relaxing on green couch in living room reading texts on their phone.
Here’s How Many Calories You Naturally Burn in a Day

Your metabolism may torch 1,300 to 2,000 calories daily with no activity

woman snacking on raisins and nuts
52 Foods High In Iron

Pump up your iron intake with foods like tuna, tofu and turkey