Uterine adenomyosis is a disease where thickening occurs within the walls of the uterus causing symptoms such as pain, bleeding or severe cramps, especially during menstruation. This disease can be cured by surgery to remove the uterus, however, this type of treatment is only done when the symptoms cannot be controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs or hormones, for example.
The first symptoms of adenomyosis can appear 2 to 3 years after delivery, even in cases where the woman has had adenomyosis since childhood, and usually stop appearing after menopause, when the menstrual cycle stops happening.
The main symptoms of adenomyosis are:
- Swelling of the belly;
- Very severe cramps during menstruation;
- Pain during intimate relationship;
- Increased amount and duration of menstrual flow;
- Constipation and pain when evacuating.
Adenomyosis does not always cause symptoms, however, symptoms usually appear after pregnancy and disappear after menopause. In addition, adenomyosis can be one of the causes of dysmenorrhea and abnormal uterine bleeding and is often difficult to diagnose. Check for other signs of changes in the uterus.
The diagnosis of adenomyosis must be made by the gynecologist, and it is usually done by performing an MRI scan and observing symptoms such as pain, heavy bleeding or complaints of difficulty in becoming pregnant. In addition, the diagnosis of the disease can also be made using other imaging tests, such as transvaginal ultrasound or hysterosonography, for example, which assess the thickening of the uterus.
Can adenomyosis affect pregnancy?
Adenomyosis can cause serious complications in pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancy or abortion, for example, and regular monitoring of the obstetrician is recommended, in order to avoid these complications. In addition, in some cases adenomyosis can make it difficult to fix the embryo in the uterus, thus making pregnancy more difficult.
The symptoms of adenomyosis usually appear after pregnancy, due to the stretching of the uterus, which is why most women are able to get pregnant and have children before the onset of the disease.
Causes of adenomyosis
The causes of adenomyosis are still not very clear, but this condition may be the result of trauma in the uterus due to gynecological surgeries, more than one lifetime pregnancy or due to cesarean delivery, for example.
In addition, adenomyosis can be one of the causes of other problems such as dysmenorrhea or abnormal uterine bleeding, and is often difficult to diagnose.
How the treatment is done
The treatment for adenomyosis varies according to the symptoms experienced and must be guided by a gynecologist, and can be done with medication or through surgery. Thus, the most used treatments are:
- Treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ketoprofen or Ibuprofen, to relieve pain and inflammation;
- Treatment with hormonal remedies, such as progesterone contraceptive pill, Danazol, contraceptive patch, vaginal ring or IUD, for example;
- Surgery to remove excess endometrial tissue inside the uterus, in cases where adenomyosis is located in a specific region of the uterus and is not very penetrated into the muscle;
- Surgery to remove the uterus, where a total hysterectomy is performed, for complete removal of the uterus. In this surgery, the ovaries generally do not need to be removed.
Surgery to remove the uterus completely eliminates the symptoms of the disease, but it is only done in more severe cases, when the woman no longer intends to become pregnant and when adenomyosis causes constant pain and heavy bleeding. Learn more about treatment options for adenomyosis .
Is adenomyosis the same as endometriosis?
Adenomyosis is considered a type of endometriosis because it corresponds to the growth of endometrial tissue within the muscle of the uterus. Understand what endometriosis is.
In addition, there are several types of adenomyosis, which can be focal, when located in a specific region of the uterus, or diffuse, when it spreads across the wall of the uterus, making it heavier and more bulky.