Adenomyosis is a medical condition that affects the uterus. It occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus, called the endometrium, begins to grow into the muscular wall of the uterus, known as myometrium. This misplaced endometrial tissue functions and responds to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. The exact cause of adenomyosis is unknown, but hormonal factors may play a critical role.
Causes of Adenomyosis
Here are some potential factors that may contribute to the development of adenomyosis
- Hormonal Factors. Imbalance hormones may disrupt the normal boundary between the endometrium and myometrium, leading to the invasion of endometrial tissues into the muscular layer of the uterus. Furthermore, fluctuations in hormones like oestrogen may also lead to adenomyosis.
- Invasive growth. It is believed that certain invasive processes, such as endometrial cells penetrating the muscular layer of the uterus during childbirth or uterine surgeries, may contribute to the development of adenomyosis.
- Inflammation. Chronic inflammation of the uterus has been proposed as a contributing factor. Inflammation in the uterine lining may disrupt the integrity of the uterus tissue, allowing the endometrial cells to infiltrate the myometrium.
- Prior uterine surgery. Surgical procedures involving the uterus, such as caesarean section or uterine fibroid removal, may increase the risk of developing adenomyosis.
- Multiparity. Adenomyosis has been associated with a higher number of deliveries(child birth). The thinning of the uterus wall during pregnancy and childbirth may create an environment conducive to the invasion of endometrial tissue into the myometrium.
Symptoms of Adenomyosis
Common symptoms associated with adenomyosis include
- Menstrual Pain. Many women with adenomyosis experience intense and prolonged menstrual cramps. The pain is often described as being more severe than typical menstrual cramps and may travel to the lower back and thighs.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding. Adenomyosis can cause excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Clots in the menstrual flow may also be present.
- Painful sexual intercourse. Adenomyosis can cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse, known as dyspareunia. The pain may be deep and may persist even after intercourse.
- Pelvic pain and pressure. Some individuals with adenomyosis may experience chronic pelvic pain or a feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen.
- Enlarged uterus. In cases of severe adenomyosis, the uterus may become enlarged. This can sometimes be detected during a pelvic examination or noted through imaging tests.
Treatment For Adenomyosis
Below are some common treatment methods for adenomyosis:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can help alleviate menstrual pain.
- Hormonal medications. Hormonal therapies, such as combined oral contraceptives, progestin-only contraceptives, or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, may help reduce heavy bleeding and slow the growth of adenomyosis.
- Intrauterine devices. Certain types of hormonal IUDs, such as the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD, can effectively reduce heavy bleeding and relieve pain associated with adenomyosis.
Minimally invasive procedures.
- Uterine artery embolisation. In this procedure, tiny particles are injected into the blood vessels that supply the uterus, causing them to block.
- Endometrial ablation. This procedure involves the destruction or removal of the lining of the uterus, which can help alleviate heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery. This non-invasive procedure uses high-intensity ultrasound waves to generate heat and destroy the adenomyosis tissue.
Hysterectomy. In severe cases or when other treatment options have failed, removal of the uterus may be recommended. It is a definitive treatment for adenomyosis and effectively eliminates symptoms.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert Gynecology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Adenomyosis is a condition where endometrial tissues grow into the muscular wall of the uterus. Its symptoms include severe pain, heavy bleeding, painful intercourse and an enlarged uterus. Treatment options include medications, invasive procedures, and in severe cases hysterectomy. A quick visit to a doctor can help manage and successfully eliminate the problem.
Q. What is adenomyosis?
A. Adenomyosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. It can cause symptoms such as severe menstrual pain, heavy bleeding, and multiparity have been suggested as potential factors.
Q. What causes adenomyosis?
A. The exact cause of adenomyosis is unknown. However, hormonal imbalances, invasive growth during development, inflammation, prior uterine surgeries, and multiparity have been suggested as potential factors.
Q. How is adenomyosis diagnosed?
A. Adenomyosis can be diagnosed through a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging techniques such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.
Q. Can adenomyosis affect fertility?
A. Adenomyosis may affect fertility, but its impact varies among individuals. Mild cases may significantly not interfere with fertility, while severe adenomyosis and associated symptoms may require treatment or potentially impact fertility.
Q. Can adenomyosis be cured?
A. Currently, there is no known cure for adenomyosis. However, various treatment options are available to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life.