Adenomyosis is a condition whereby the endometrium, which is the inner lining of the uterus, break through the myometrium, the muscle wall of the uterus. This condition creates lower abdominal pain, along with severe menstrual cramps, bloating before the menstrual period often leading to heavy bleeding. Adenomyosis can happen in one place inside the uterus or even happen throughout in the uterine sack. Though this condition is not life-threatening, but the frequent pain and heavy bleeding that occurs because of this illness, can have a benign negative impact on a women’s life.
Ademomyosis is a common ailment that often occurs in women who are in their middle age and have children. It is also believed that women who had uterine surgery in the past are also at a risk of developing this agonizing malady. Although, doctors are at a loss in finding out the real cause behind the development of this disease, nevertheless, it is believed that several hormones (like prolactin, estrogen, progesterone and follicle stimulating hormones) can trigger this disease.
In the past, the only way to diagnose this disease was by performing a hysteroscopy on the patient, to examine the uterine tissue after visualizing it under a microscope. Nowadays, with development in biomedical science, this disease can be diagnosed even without any surgery. So, in the modern times, using a transvaginal ultrasound or a MRI, doctors can view the condition of the patient’s uterus with the help of state-of-art imaging technology.
To begin with, doctors primarily take a physical examination of the patient’s uterus if the physician suspect adenomyosis. Women suffering from this condition often have an enlarged and tender uterus. Although just performing an ultrasound on the patient doesn’t definitely diagnose this disease, but it aids in ruling out other diseases, which has similar symptoms like adenomyosis, like uterine fibroids. Treatment for this disease depends a lot on the severity of this condition. Often mild symptoms of adenomyosis, are treated with over-the-counter pain medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients are also advised to use heating pads to ease their lower abdominal cramps.
For patients with severe conditions, hormone therapy is prescribed for the patients, which aids in controlling heavy and painful periods. Levonorgestrel-releasing IUD, GnRH analogs and aromatase inhibitors are often used for treating severe adenomyosis patients.
Endometrial ablation and uterine artery embolism are also done to adenomyosis patients, which calls for minimal invasive surgery.
However, it has been observed that for severe adenomyosis, hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) is the only treatment that definitely cures this painful disease.