Adenomyosis : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

August 5, 20130 Comments

Adenomyosis is a disorder related to uterus of women in which there is breakage of the inner lining of the uterus. The lining penetrates into the wall of the uterus called myometrium causing heavy bleeding and cramps during periods. This condition can occur in any one area of the uterus or the entire uterus.

It is a condition in which the tissue growth exceeds the normal lining to enter into the wall of the uterus. This disorder happens commonly after the childbearing years or during menopause stage (45-55 years). Removing the uterus is the best possible treatment available for adenomyosis. It is harmless disorder but it can cause intense pain affecting the routine life of women.

Symptoms :

For some women, there may not be any symptoms at all when adenomyosis occur. For others there will be intense pain or menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding called dysmenorrheal in medical terms, (for 10-15 days) and bloating sensation or fullness all the time. The cramps that occur during the first or second day will prolong throughout the periods and the pain will get worse as you grow old.

There can be bleeding between periods and sharp pain while having sex. For some there will be blood clots during periods. The size of the uterus will get enlarged though it is not visibly noticed. With prolonged bleeding and heavy bleeding one can lose quality of life and can result in chronic anemia.

Who are at risk ?

Middle aged women or women who have crossed the child bearing years (late 40-50) can get adenomyosis. It can occur for women who have undergone uterus surgery earlier like a C-section.

Causes :

Exact cause of the condition of adenomyosis is unknown. But there are many expert theories speculating the reason for this disorder.

  • Hormonal Changes : It can occur due to various hormones like progesterone, estrogen, follicle stimulating hormone.
  • Invasive Growth of Tissues : Adenomyosis can develop due to the direct growth of endometrial cells into the muscular region of the uterus walls. Having had surgery like Cesarean (C-section) can promote the direct growth of these cells into the walls of uterus.
  • During Development : There are theories that believe that this disorder can be due to the growth of endometrial tissue during the developmental stage of the uterus of the woman.
  • After Childbirth : There can be a possibility of the swelling of uterus lining after childbirth thus leading to breakage of boundary of endometrial cells.

Finally some experts believe that it can be due to bone marrow stem cells invasion on the uterine muscles.

Tests :

In case of heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps your doctor will order for MRI or ultrasound scanning for detecting adenomyosis. He would first examine your uterus physically for checking if the size has expanded and uterus has become tender. Ultrasound test will give correct picture of endometrial cells growth on the muscle wall of the uterus. Sonohysterography is done for confirming this disorder in which saline solution is sent into the uterus before conducting ultrasound.

Treatment :

Home Remedies :

Mild forms of adenomyosis go away with menopause. Treatment is given after considering the age of woman, number of children she has etc. For managing menstrual cramps warm compression can be given or applying heating pad on the lower abdomen will ease out the pain. Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken for getting relief from pain. You can continue to take Ibuprofen or Advil throughout the periods to avoid cramps.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Adenomyosis :

Adenomyosis Adenomyosis Adenomyosis

Medical Treatment :

Heavy bleeding can be reduced by combined therapy of estrogen and progestin pills or by vaginal rings. It is not advised to use progestin tablets continuously since it can cause anemia. In case the pain does not respond to any of the above methods hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus) is done after considering the age of the woman.

In another method called uterine artery embolization, small particles are sent into the vagina through tiny tubing which would block the blood vessels thus arresting the flow of blood. Endometrial ablation is the procedure that destroys the lining on the wall of uterus thus managing adenomyosis.

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