The Painful Uterus- I am Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis is a common condition that affects around 20-35% of women, it is defined as, when glandular tissue normally found in the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) is found in the myometrium (the muscle wall of the uterus).
The main symptoms in Adenomyosis are: painful cramping, especially during your periods, and heavy bleeding. Other symptoms include; Painful periods, painful ovulation, chronic pelvic pain (all month long) heavy and/or prolonged menstrual bleeding, large blood clots and pain in the thighs. There is still very little understanding on Adenomyosis, and it's cause. It can be very debilitating for patients suffering with the condition and can affect their daily life.
It is always recommended that you speak to your doctor if you are having similar symptoms. The best ways to diagnose Adenomyosis is through an MRI scan; however if your results come back as normal, it does not mean you do not have the condition. The only way to diagnose Adenomyosis with absolute certainty would be through pathologic confirmation (where a physician inspects the tissue with a microscope).
Adenomyosis pain management can be done through a few options, anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), the birth control pill, or the Mirena (coil), which has a 70% satisfactory level. Some doctors might offer patients GNRH injections such as Zoladex or Prostap, however; it’s worth noting that these have a range of side effects and can only be used for a restricted time, so it is recommended to research them well prior to starting treatment. Endometrial ablation might be another treatment offered, where the uterus lining is destroyed, however this procedure can make the Adenomyosis pain worse and it will not cure the condition.
Many women choose to go for surgical treatment for Adenomyosis, which is a hysterectomy (removal of the whole uterus). This is after they have tried all treatments and it’s not working. This should be done under great consideration, as it is a big procedure which can have complications and with the support of your specialist, and if you have no desire to have a family, or have already completed your one.
Fertility may be affected for women with Adenomyosis, there may also be links to risks during pregnancy and premature delivery. Therefore it is advisable for your specialist to do regular check ups with you. For anyone who suspects they are suffering with this condition, know that you are not alone and that there is a large support network available to you. Below are some highly recommended groups and websites.
Facebook: Nancy Nook Endometriosis Education
By Elysha H.
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