Is This Viral Photo Showing A Normal Uterus And A Menstruating Uterus Legit?
There's a photo making the rounds on Facebook right now that compares the size of a normal uterus to that of a menstruating uterus, and women are going wild for it.
The photo comes from the account Apples and Ovaries, which promotes conversations about women’s health. In the photo, a person holds two “life-sized replicas” of a uterus. There is a light-colored one, which is smaller, and represents the non-menstruating uterus, and another, nearly double the size, which represents the uterus during menstruation.
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“This is why we feel so heavy at the beginning of our bleed,” the caption explained. “Why it can feel like our uterus is about to drop out and hit the pavement (or is that just me?). And why we need to take things slooooooow.”
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The photo, which was originally posted in 2012 but recently resurfaced, has been shared nearly 25,000 times and women have commented, expressing their amazement and awe about the human body, in addition to remarking that this explains so much about how they feel during their periods.
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However, we spoke to two ob-gyns who aren’t buying the viral photo.
“The true size of the uterus for a woman who has never been pregnant is much more like the smaller one. I have no idea what they are showing in the larger uterus. Yes, the uterus is a bit fuller during the menstrual cycle, but not like the bigger ‘pear’—or whatever they are demonstrating,” says ob-gyn Mary Jane Minkin, M.D.
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Some women do have larger uteri, Minkin explains, like women who have given birth or those who have masses like fibroids in the uteri, but women would “not go from the two sizes demonstrated in the pictures during one menstrual cycle.”
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Alyssa Dweck, M.D., a gynecologist based in New York, says there have been limited studies regarding uterine growth changing toward the end of the menstrual cycle, but “those exact measurements (of each model and of their relationship to each other) depicted in the picture may not be accurate and the message should be taken in context.”
So there you go, Facebook isn’t always the best place to get medical advice, as shareable as it may be.
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