Adenomyosis is a condition in which the Endometrium(uterine lining) implants inside the muscular wall(myometrium) of the uterus. This causes the Endometrium to become stuck in the wall of the uterus with no way to exit. The Endometrium can be localized to one section of the uterus or become spread all over.
Adenomyosis is NOT the same as Endometriosis! However most women that have Adenomyosis ALSO have Endometriosis. Just like Endometriosis the cause of Adenomyosis is not known. Adenomyosis occurs most often in childbearing ages. For most suffers it often occurs after having a child. For most patients Adenomyosis is no longer an issue after reaching menopause. However the condition is ONLY curable by Hysterectomy.
Although Adenomyosis is not life threatening it is a very difficult condition to be forced to live with.
What are the symptoms of Adenomyosis:
- Severe Pain & Cramping(often knife-like pains).
- Lower abdominal pressure.
- Tender lower abdomen.
- Bloating of the abdomen.
- Passing clots during menstruation.
- Heavy and/or prolonged bleeding during menstruation.
- Pain that worsens as you age.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Cramping throughout your cycle.
- Enlargement of the uterus.
However some women with Adenomyosis have little to no symptoms at all!
How is Adenomyosis Diagnosed?
Unfortunately the only sure way to diagnose Adenomysosis is through a Hysterectomy. This is where the uterus is removed and then taken apart and it’s cells are tested for Endometrium cells. However recent technology have come a long way as far as imaging is concerned. Things such as an Ultrasound or MRI make it possible for a doctor to see Adenomyosis. It is also very possible for your doctor to detect during a physical examination. Be careful that Adenomyosis is not confused for Uterine Fibroids which have similar symptoms as they require different treatments.
What treatments are there?
Because there is no cure for Adenomyosis other than Hysterectomy there aren’t a lot of options.
However here are a few
- Heating Pad for Cramping.
- OTC medications.
- Anti Inflammatory medications(NSAIDS).
- Hormone Therapy.
- Presacral Neurectomy(PSN).
- Uterine artery embolization.
- Endometrial ablation.
If you suspect Adenomyosis please consult your physician for the best plan of action for your care!