Endometriosis is a concept that we all know by now, as much has been said about it. But what about adenomyosis? It is not a term that we are very familiar with and yet it is a fairly common disorder. However, its incidence is still a matter of discussion.
Contrary to endometriosis, adenomyosis is characterized by the fact that the tissue that lines the uterus develops in the muscular wall of the uterus. While in endometriosis this tissue grows outside the uterus, in adenomyosis this does not happen. The tissue, in this case, can increase the size of the uterus, doubling or even tripling it, as Mentions MSD Manual.
It is very important that the appropriate tests are done when manifesting symptoms so as not to confuse adenomyosis with endometriosis. The way to cope with this disorder, as well as the treatments that will be recommended may be different. What works for endometriosis may not be effective.
What symptoms does adenomyosis usually cause?
The first of the symptoms of adenomyosis is the severe pain when menstruation comes. It is also common for heavy bleeding and pain to appear when having sexual intercourse. All this coincides with the symptoms of endometriosis, which is why adenomyosis is considered a variant of it. Because they are similar, but not the same.
The MSD Manual cautions that also chronic pelvic pain may occur that ends up conditioning the lives of patients. It also makes clear that “the symptoms of adenomyosis usually resolve after menopause.” This is because its affectation is between 40 and 50 years of age and is that pregnancies, especially if they are numerous, increase the risks.
Diagnosis and treatments of adenomyosis
It is not easy to diagnose adenomyosis, since the previous article explains that “35% of the affectation is asymptomatic”. Therefore, you have to attend to their symptoms and do all the appropriate tests with an ultrasound and an MRI. This can confirm the diagnosis.
After this, it is convenient to start with a treatment similar to that of endometriosis, a hormonal one that is based on taking contraceptives. But the MSD Manual makes it clear that this is not usually successful, however, placement of a levonorgestrel IUD can be effective in reducing bleeding and controlling pain.
Nevertheless, the most effective treatment is usually hysterectomy, that is, the removal of the uterus. When dealing with women who are between 40 and 50 years old, this is a very useful option, since it ends with the problem that can be tormenting these women whenever they menstruate.
Adenomyosis also affects young women, although it is less common. Severe pain in the abdomen accompanied by vomiting, constipation and rated by patients as “worse than childbirth” are indisputable symptoms that something is wrong. Given this, there is no need to wait to see a doctor because adenomyosis can be treated and undoubtedly improves the quality of life.