Adenomyosis is a medical condition where the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) breaks through the thick muscular wall of the uterus (the myometrium). Endometriosis occurs when the presence and growth of functioning endometrial tissue in places other than the womb that often leads to severe pain and infertility.
Women with this disease do experience painful menstruation, heavy menstrual flow, severe pains in the pelvic region, pains during mating, and inflammation of the urinary bladder. These conditions could occur in a particular site or the entire womb.
Although this disease is not a life-threatening disease, the continuous heavy flow of blood and pains could make a woman feel uncomfortable.
Signs and Symptoms Of Adenomyosis
Although some women don’t experience any symptoms when diagnosed with the disease but below are some likely signs and symptoms:
Chronic menstrual pains
Severe pelvic pains
Annoying sensation down the legs and thighs
Abnormal bleeding of the uterine
Painful sex during intercourse
Prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding
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What Causes Adenomyosis?
The cause of this disease is still not known but the functioning of the thick muscular wall of the uterus plays a bigger part in the development of adenomyosis.
The previous injury to the uterus and age increases the risk of one contracting the disease. Autoimmune factors and hormones like prolactin, estrogen, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and progesterone are also associated with a higher chance of having the disease.
Diagnosis Of Adenomyosis
Diagnosis of adenomyosis do involve hysterectomy and microscopic examination of the uterine tissue, but improved imaging technology is now possible to accurately diagnose the disease without performing surgery. The characteristics of the disease in the womb could be detected with the help of MRI scanning.
The doctor will first want to know your family background of the disease, before performing a physical examination. An ultrasound will aid doctors to know the womb, lining, and its thick muscular wall. Although, ultrasound does not detect this disease
Also, confirmation of adenomyosis diagnosis in women with unusual bleeding of the uterus could be done using an improved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI has 74 percent sensitivity and 91 percent specificity for adenomyosis detection.
Consequently, in sonohysterography, a saline solution is injected using a tiny tube leading into the womb as the ultrasound is performed.
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Treatment Of Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis treatment is performed depending on the symptoms, its severity, and if you are through with bearing of kids. Acute symptoms could be treated using over-the-counter pain medications and heating pads to reduce the pains.
Uterine artery embolization (UAE): This method helps reduce the size of fibroids and the tiny particles block the blood vessels that would have allowed the free flow of blood to the adenomyosis. The particles are directed using a tiny tube placed inside the vagina passing through the cervix. The adenomyosis will shrink since the supply of blood is being restricted.
Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine devices or hormonal intrauterine devices: They are inserted into the womb, gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs (GnRH), and aromatase inhibitors which help regulate heavy menstrual flow and cramps.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce mild pains associated with the disease. These NSAIDs do start between 1-2 days before your menstrual period and last through the first few days of your period.
Endometrial ablation: They are suitable for women who are through with childbearing. Endometrial ablation involves the removal of the lining of the womb through the hysteroscope. This method is suitable with adenomyosis which is not deep.
Does Adenomyosis Cause Impotency?
Although, since most women who have adenomyosis do have endometriosis concurrently, it is difficult to conclude that this disease causes infertility. At least some recent researches have shown that the disease may lead to infertility in women.
How Can Adenomyosis Be Cured?
Adenomyosis can be cured by complete removal of the womb and is mostly preferred by most women showing good symptoms. Hysterectomy has different types ranging from complete removal of the cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries and could be done using different surgical methods.
The following are the ways hysterectomy could be carried out effectively:
Operative procedure performed using combined laparoscopic and open techniques through small holes in your abdomen
Using robots to perform the operation which is similar to the laparoscopic procedure
Completely through the vagina with no incisions on the abdomen
Using a larger abdominal cut made into your body during surgery
Read Also: Management of Adenomyosis
Prognosis Of Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis is benign and most women are not at higher risk of developing cancer. Women with this disease are still likely to contract uterine fibroids. Menopause proffers natural solution to estrogen-dependent conditions.
Adenomyosis Foods To Be Eaten
People with the disease should mostly consume plant-based foods to ease the menstrual pains and reduce heavy blood bleeding.
Below are the recommended foods for a patient with adenomyosis:
Foods that are rich in antioxidant like oranges, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, and plums
Millet which is a good source of vitamin B to the body
Drinking of enough purified water
Fibrous foods like legumes, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables
Foods that are rich in essential fatty acids such as herring, salmon, walnuts, sardines, trout, and flax seeds
Iron-rich foods like dark leafy green vegetables, seeds, broccoli, fortified grains, and beans
Also, having exercises could help regulate estrogen levels and releases the hormone that makes you feels good. You can undergo massage, meditation, acupuncture, and yoga to help control the disease. Do make an appointment with your doctor if you are allergic to some of these foods and in a severe case of adenomyosis.
Adenomyosis Foods Not To Be Eaten
The following foods should not be eaten by any patient with adenomyosis:
An increased diet with trans fat
Oils that are refined
Drinking of alcohol
Eating of red meat
Drinks high in caffeine
Saturated and trans fat
Refined sugar and gluten tend to promote inflammation in the body.
The Adenomyosis Treatment Center In The USA
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA