What is Adenomyosis?
It's the first day of Adenomyosis awareness month, many of our Hug friends experience painful periods, so we are here to do what we can to raise awareness!
What is Adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis is a condition where the cells of the lining of the womb (endometrium) are found in the muscle wall of the womb (myometrium). It can affect any women who are still having periods, and is most common, but not exclusive to women over 40 and who have had children
What are the symptoms?
Adenomyosis can result in:
- Menstrual cramps, pain in lower back and lower abdomen
- Lower abdominal pressure
- Bloating before menstrual periods
- Prolonged periods, irregular periods
- Heavy periods
The condition can be located throughout the entire uterus or localized in one spot. Symptoms are not likely to stop when menopause occurs.
How common is Adenomyosis?
According to the NHS, around 1 in 10 women have Adenomyosis. Though adenomyosis is considered a benign (not life-threatening) condition, the frequent pain and heavy bleeding associated with it can have a negative impact on a woman's quality of life.
It can be challenging to diagnose
It can take a long time (years even) to get a diagnosis. This can be because
- The symptoms are very similar to other conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, fibroids or IBS.
- Symptoms vary widely from patient to patient.
One of the most reliable forms of diagnosis is to have an internal (vaginal) ultrasound, which, if inconclusive, is often followed by an MRI.
Treatment can take many forms, and does not have to be surgical. You can discuss the best options for you with your doctor.
What can I do for relief while waiting for diagnosis or treatment?
Complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation, and gentle exercise may help with painful periods. Some women find that changing their diet is helpful. You may also find that a TENS machine provides relief, or you can try heat therapy with a wearable product like www.mywarmhug.com to relieve the pain.
Why do I have it?
It is not yet known exactly why adenomyosis happens. One theory is that in certain conditions when the lining of the womb tries to heal itself after injury, this re-growth happens inwards instead of outwards, resulting in adenomyosis. It is likely that your genes, hormones and immune system may play a part as well. It is no one’s fault if adenomyosis occurs, and there are no known ways to prevent it.
Some studies also suggest that women who have had prior uterine surgery may be at risk for adenomyosis.
Adenomyosis is not the same as Endometriosis, but..
Adenomyosis can be found in over 40% of patients with severe endometriosis and so differentiating the two can be challenging as they often co-exist. Research also indicates it is common to have fibroids alongside Adenomyosis.
What's the difference?
Endometriosis is endometrial cells that appear outside the endometrial lining of the uterus and are responsive to the normal menstrual cycle and hormonal influences. Adenomyosis is endometrial cells that are inactive and present in the muscle of the uterus called the myometrium.
For more information
Adenomyosis Advice Association w: www.adenomyosisadviceassociation.org Pelvic Pain Support Network w: www.pelvicpain.org.uk e: firstname.lastname@example.org