What is adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis is a painful condition in which endometrial tissue-like cells grow into the muscle of the uterus (myometrium). During the menstruation this tissue, which lies into the muscle of the uterus, bleeds and leads to inflammation, acute pelvic pain, and often , heavy bleeding.
What is the difference between adenomyosis and endometriosis?
These two conditions often relate to each other and cause painful menstruation and painful sexual intercourse.
In endometriosis (find here) the lesions are located outside the uterus in different areas of the abdominal cavity. In adenomyosis the lesions are located inside the muscle of the uterus. In other words adenomyosis is the endometriosis of the uterus.
Who can get adenomyosis?
The shortest answer is any woman. Nevertheless there is research that indicates that high-risk for developing adenomyosis are women who have already given birth and women who already have endometriosis. It is worth mentioning that adenomyosis can appear also in younger women aged 20 to 25 years old though without being able to explain this fact with current medicine’s data.
How is adenomyosis being diagnosed?
A competent gynaecology endometriosis surgeon can suspect the presence of adenomyosis initially from the personal medical history as well as from the clinical examination. The uterus, in case of adenomyosis, is very bulky, soft and tender during palpation.
Most of the times transvaginal ultrasound and MRI can also assist in diagnosis.
How can adenomyosis be treated?
Treatment of adenomyosis depends on various factors which should be examined in detail during the consultation with the endometriosis specialist.
Generally speaking adenomyosis, based on the corresponding symptoms, can be treated with:
- simple painkillers
- suppression of monthly periods using hormones
- use of Mirena IUCD
- laparoscopic hysterectomy (as the last resort and definite treatment for adenomyosis)
The decision for the treatment will come after detailed discussion with the Gynaecologist- Endometriosis specialist who will try to balance the pain that the patient experiences with her personal preferences and of course her desire for a future pregnancy.