How To Feel Your Uterus During Pregnancy
One of the most vital organs in a woman’s reproductive system is the uterus. It is where the fertilised egg is implanted after which the cells develop into a fetus and finally into a baby who will be born after nine months. This explains why one of the most searched questions on the internet concerning pregnancy is “How to feel your uterus.”
When you are not pregnant, the size of your uterus is always the size of a pear. When you get pregnant, the uterus will enlarge as your pregnancy progresses and by the time you are in your third trimester, it will occupy the space between your pubic bone and your ribcage.
The uterus is always located below the pelvic bone, so feeling it from the outside on a normal day when you are not pregnant is impossible. However, when you get pregnant, due to its increasing size, you will be able to feel it.
Can You Start Feeling Your Uterus During The First Trimester?
In the early stages of your pregnancy before your sixth week, you may not even look pregnant or even feel pregnant. You may not even realise that you are pregnant until you miss your next period even though you will start experiencing some early signs of pregnancy.
The size of your uterus will also still be small, by now it would have enlarged to the size of an apple. You will not, therefore, be able to feel it with your hands since it will still be below your pelvis. Any attempt to try to feel your uterus within your first trimester will thus leave you frustrated, but as time goes by since your baby will be growing rapidly, the uterus will be expanding to accommodate your baby’s increasing size, and you will, therefore, be able to feel it soon.
However, if you are having twins or triplets, your uterus will expand rapidly and will soon be above your pelvis hence making it possible to feel it with your hands. If you feel your uterus before your 12th week, it might also be as a result of the incorrect dating of your pregnancy. Your pregnancy might be a couple of weeks older than you think.
When You Should Start Feeling Your Uterus
In your second trimester which is from your 13th week, your uterus will rise above your pubic bone right above your pelvis. This is because, by this time, it would have enlarged to the size of a papaya, usually at around the 16th week.
Due to its now large size, your uterus will no longer be able to fit in your pelvis. This will force it to rise above the pelvic brim into your abdominal cavity. Therefore, during this period which is the start of your second trimester, you will be able to feel your uterus as your bump will also start to show.
As your baby is growing, the uterus will also be growing hence pushing your organs out of their usual place. This will put tension on the ligaments that hold the uterus in position and also the surrounding muscles. This is what causes the belly aches and temporary pains that you feel when you are pregnant, hence you should not be worried since they are completely normal.
How You Can Feel Your Uterus
Before your 12th week, you shouldn’t bother trying to feel your uterus since you can’t feel it from the outside because it will still be below your pelvis. At the 13th week, your uterus will start to rise above your pelvic brim so that it will be above the pubic bone. At this time, you will be able to feel it. Here is how you can feel it.
- First of all, ensure that you empty your bladder.
- While lying on your back, place your feet flat on the bed with your knees bent.
- Take a few deep breathe so that you can relax.
- You can then put your left palm just above your pubic bone right in the middle of your belly.
- Lift away any fat paddings and bowel loops on your belly away from your pubic bone towards your upper abdomen.
- You can then place your right hand on the area above your pubic bone. Ensure that your fingers are pointing towards your pubic bone on the area just above it.
- While pressing your right-hand fingers gently into your belly, walk your fingertips down until you touch your pubic bone.
- Push your fingers gently downwards while gently rocking your fingers in and out of your belly.
- Just behind your pubic bone, you will feel a semi-firm ball. That is your uterus.By the 16th week, your uterus will be easier to feel as it will protrude firmly in your belly.
What If You Can’t Feel Your Uterus?
Sometimes it may not be possible to feel your uterus even if you are on your 13th or 14th week. If you aren't able to locate your uterus even after a couple of attempts, you should just relax and wait for about a week for your uterus to rise above your pelvis.
If you haven’t felt your uterus after a couple of attempts, it might be due to the following:
- Your pregnancy is younger than you think. You might think that you are on your 13th or 14th week when you are actually 12 weeks pregnant or less.
- You are overweight hence your belly fat will be making it hard to feel your uterus from the outside.
How You Can Determine The Size Of Your Uterus
Once your uterus has grown to the point that it is now visible as the baby bump on your belly, you may want to find out how large your uterus is. Do you know that the size of your uterus can tell you how many weeks you are pregnant accurately with little error margin? The measurements are only reliable when you are 20 weeks pregnant or more.
Here is how you can determine the size of your uterus:
- Lay down flat on your back on your bed and make sure that you are comfortable.
- Once you have touched your tummy to feel and your uterus, move your hand around so that you can locate the top of your uterus. The top of your uterus is also known as the fundus.
- Proceed to locate the tip of your pubic bone which is usually right above your pubic hair line.
- You should then measure the distance between your pubic bone and the fundus. This measurement, also known as the fundal length, can be used by doctors to determine the age of your pregnancy. For example, if your fundal length is 32cm, then you are likely to be 32 weeks pregnant.
If it’s difficult to feel your uterus when you are in your 13th week of pregnancy, and you are anxious about it, you can see your doctor or midwife who will teach you how you can feel your uterus. Click here to watch how you can measure your own fundus.
All in all, feeling your uterus is very easy and should not frustrate you. As you enter your second trimester, you will be able to feel your uterus, and as your pregnancy grows, your bump will finally show. The second trimester is usually the most favourite part of pregnancy since the bump becomes noticeable.
The good thing is that the bump will not make you uncomfortable since it is not that big.During your second trimester, the risks of you having a miscarriage also drops significantly. Your moods will also have settled as compared to your first trimester. Your energy will also be much better as compared to your first trimester. Enjoy your second trimester.