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2019

Adenomyosis : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Adenomyosis is a common but poorly understood GYN condition that affects women of all age groups. This condition has become a growing concern for many women trying to get pregnant. Adenomyosis occurs when the cells that line the inside of the uterus are abnormally located in the uterine wall or myometrium. This result in an enlarged uterus, causing debilitating pain and heavy bleeding during periods.

Dr. Sharunkumar Gynecologist & IVF Specialist explained that: “Adenomyosis often starts to affect female health after 35 and causes a negative impact on female fertility however its treatment increases the chances of getting pregnant.” Before moving further to discuss the Adenomyosis causes, symptoms and available options for Adenomyosis treatment, let’s know some quick facts about this serious but overlooked disease:

  • One in every 100 women will face in their lifetime
  • About 40% to 50% of patients with this is likely to diagnosed with Endometriosis as well.
  • 1 in every 5 women diagnosed with Endometriosis after the age of 30 is at high risk of it.
  • Adenomyosis often results in hysterectomy, an operation performed to remove a woman’s uterus.
  • Women diagnosed with Adenomyosis mostly present with anemia, a condition where the body has a deficiency of blood cells or Hemoglobin resulting in pallor or weak appearance.

Adenomyosis Symptoms

Due to some major similarities and stable and differences in symptoms and causes, Adenomyosis is also called the“evil sister” of Endometriosis. Adenomyosis symptoms vary with individuals, some women experience no to mild symptoms, some may experience severe debilitating symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Painful periods and cramps and pelvic pain
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Passing of blood clots during menstruation
  • Abdominal pressure and bloating
  • Painful bowel movement
  • Bladder symptoms including uncomfortable urination,burning urination or blood in the urine
  • Peripheral nerve numbness or weakness, which can cause leg or bowel pain during periods
  • Pain upon sexual intercourse
  • Inflammation of the uterus
  • Deficiency of blood cells or hemoglobin

What are the causes of Adenomyosis?

No one knows sure cause of Adenomyosis, much more research is still needed. It is important to notice that Adenomyosis is not Endometriosis but many women who have this also have Endometriosis and it usually disappears after menopause. But there are some theories concluding causes Adenomyosis cause includes:

Invasive Growth of Foreign Tissues

Some researches say Adenomyosis may be caused due to direct invasion of endometrial cells. A uterine incision made during some operations such as C-section can promote direct invasion of endometrium cells into the wall of the uterus.

Uterine Inflammation and Childbirth

Another theory relates to uterine inflammation with childbirth. According to this theory, an inflammation of the uterine lining during the postpartum period may cause a break in the normal boundary of cells lining the uterus.

Abnormal Uterine Development

Some other theories suggest that at the time when the uterus is developing in the female embryo, the formation of the cells of the endometrium somehow becomes deposited in the muscles of the uterus.

How Adenomyosis can be diagnosed?

When Adenomyosis symptoms occur, the evaluation is strictly needed for adequate treatment. Diagnosing includes:

  • Pelvic exam revealing a large, soft or tender uterus.
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Hysteroscopy
  • MRI of pelvis

If you suspected the symptoms of adenomyosis, call your doctor to schedule an appointment for the best guidance on the required treatment.

How Adenomyosis can be treated?

Anti-inflammatory medications

An example is Ibuprofen. These medications can help to reduce blood flow during your period while also relieving severe cramps. Doctors generally recommend starting anti-inflammatory medication two to three days before the start of your period and continuing to take it during your period. You should not use these medications if you’re pregnant.

Hormonal treatments

These include oral contraceptives or birth control pills, injections, intrauterine device, and GnRH-analogs such as Lupron (leuprolide). Hormonal treatments can help to control increased estrogen levels that may be contributing to your symptoms.

Endometrial ablation

This involves techniques to remove or destroy the endometrium i.e the lining of the uterine cavity. It’s an outpatient procedure with not so much recovery time. However, this procedure may not work for everyone, since adenomyosis often invades the muscle more deeply.

MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS)

MRgFUS is a procedure in which high-intensity waves are used to create heat and precisely focused the targeted tissues and destroy them. The heat is monitored using MRI images in real time. Studies have shown that this procedure is successful in providing relief of symptoms. However, still more studies are needed.

Hysterectomy

This is the only way to completely cure this condition is to have a hysterectomy. This is a surgical procedure that involves complete removal of the uterus. It’s considered a major surgical intervention and is only used in severe cases and in women who don’t plan to have any more children. But it also needs to notice here that after this surgery a woman can’t get pregnant.

Adenomyosis and Infertility

The relationship between Adenomyosis and infertility is still not much disclosed, more studies needed. But women with this generally also have another problem named Endometriosis and that is one of the major causes of infertility. Women also face some pregnancy-related issues such as miscarriages, premature delivery, and stillbirths.

Adenomyosis generally found in women above 40 but it can happen to anyone and the extended maternity age make pregnancy more difficult with it. If you are planning to get pregnant with Adenomyosis IVF is a good option to conceive.

Conclusion

Adenomyosis is a common gynecological disorder but if you found yourself with the adenomyosis symptoms and planning to have a baby you need to get your fertility checkup done. Every small detail when it comes to infertility and thus knowing adenomyosis causes are also essential before the specialist will start your adenomyosis treatment.

At Indira IVF and fertility center, our fertility experts are keen to help and resolve all your queries related to adenomyosis and infertility. You can book your appointment for a free consultation now.

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