Adenomyosis is the term for the occurrence of endometrial tissue within uterine tissue, rather than resting on an external surface. Adenomyosis can be a cause of heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. This condition is caused by the uterus's endometrium "growing" into the muscle wall of the uterus. The tissue of the endometrium resembles that of uterine lining and scars it. This results in a heavy, painful period and irregular uterine bleeding.
Adenomyosis can happen to any woman anywhere from puberty to menopause years, although many women do not know they have this condition until they are post-menopausal and no longer menstruating regularly. I discuss what Adenomyosis is, how it affects your body during menstruation as well as throughout life, symptoms, treatment options like hormone therapy or surgery, other causes such as breastfeeding after birth or genes passed down from parents.
Adenomyosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. It can affect up to one out of five women and cause pain, bleeding, or both (often during menopause). Adenomyosis can affect one or both sides of the uterus and is more common in women who have had children. It's often mistaken for other conditions, such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids, or ovarian cancer. This post will cover what adenomyosis is and how to diagnose it.
Adenomyosis is a gynecological disorder that causes pain and heavy vaginal bleeding. It can also be linked to infertility. This article discusses the two types of adenomyosis, the risk factors, symptoms and what treatments are available.
Anyone who has experienced abnormal uterine bleeding or had difficulty conceiving could be at risk for adenomyosis. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 40-50 years old but younger women have been affected as well so it is not unheard of for this disorder to affect younger women too. There are two types: one that affects only the uterus lining (endometrial) and one that affects both layers of tissue in the uterus (mixed).
Symptoms and diagnosis
A physician can diagnose adenomyosis by performing a pelvic exam and looking for symptoms. Treatment for adenomyosis depends on the age of the woman and whether or not she is trying to conceive. Since there are two types of this condition, it is important to determine what type you have. Women who are younger than 40 years old with a mild case of adenomyosis usually do not require treatment. If you fail to get pregnant without treatment, however, your doctor might recommend laparoscopic surgery or hormone therapy (usually progesterone). If you are older than 40 years old, you should be offered estrogen therapy (usually in the form of birth control pills) as a first-line treatment option. If that does not work, progesterone can be used. If the symptoms are severe, your doctor may also recommend laparoscopic surgery.
Women with adenomyosis have an increased risk of developing endometriosis. Endometriosis is a gynecological condition which can lead to pain or even infertility. In order to reduce the risk of further complications, women with adenomyosis should avoid hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in later life to prevent a recurrence of the condition. Estrogen therapy has been linked to an increased risk of endometriosis. If a woman is using HRT, she might want to consider switching to progesterone therapy as a means of lowering her risk for endometriosis.
One major factor that can affect adenomyosis is genetics. Some women (2% of the population) may be predisposed to adenomyosis due to inheriting certain genes (such as ESR1 and ESR2) which can result in this condition. A woman with two copies of these genes will most likely have endometriosis and those with three copies will be almost guaranteed to have this condition.