During pregnancy many women have questions about how their body changes. You may not only wonder how big your baby is, but also how big your uterus is. Your uterus grows exponentially during pregnancy. Think about blowing up a balloon and that’s basically what your uterus does during pregnancy. Before pregnancy, the uterus is about the size of an orange and is situated deep in the pelvis.
Uterus Size During Pregnancy: First Trimester
Around 12 weeks pregnant, the uterus is the size of a grapefruit and starts to grow up and out of the your pelvis, but still fits within it. If you are carrying twins or multiples, your uterus will start growing and stretching sooner. Your OB/GYN will be able to feel your uterus by touching your belly.
Uterus Size During Pregnancy: Second Trimester
During the second trimester your uterus will grow to the size of a papaya. It no longer fits inside the pelvis. It will be situated midway between the navel and breasts. As your uterus grows, it is pushing organs out of their usual places and putting tension on surrounding muscles and ligaments. This will likely cause some aches and pains, but they are completely normal. The pressure from your uterus may cause your navel to stick out, but your navel should return to normal after birth.
Starting between 18 and 20 weeks your doctor will measure the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus in centimeters. The top of your uterus is called the fundus, so the measurement is called the fundal height. This number usually corresponds with the number of weeks pregnant you are, give or take two centimeters. For example, if you measure 32 centimeters then you should be about 32 weeks pregnant. If this is not your first pregnancy it is normal for this measurement to be a bit bigger. If your uterus is the size it should be during your prenatal visits, this is a sign everything is progressing well with your pregnancy. If it is measuring too big or too small, it could mean your due date is off, some kind of pregnancy complication or additional testing may be required.
Uterus Size During Pregnancy: Third Trimester
During your third trimester the uterus will finish growing and be the size of a watermelon. When you reach full term your uterus will extend from the pubic area to the bottom of your rib cage. As you get ready to give birth your baby should drop lower into your pelvis.
Uterus Size After Pregnancy
After birth your uterus will gradually return to its pre-pregnancy size and position. The deflation of your uterus is called involution. It usually takes about 6 weeks for this process to be complete.