Adenomyosis is a condition in which the cells that line the inside of the uterus (endometrium) are abnormally located in cells that make up the uterine wall (myometrium). This can result in a somewhat enlarged uterus. Adenomyosis can cause very painful periods and heavy bleeding. There could be Diffuse Adenomyosis that involves the extension of endometrium throughout the uterus lining or there could be Focal Adenomyosis where there is a localized collection of endometrial tissue within the myometrium (leading to the formation of a tumor or nodule).
Adenomyosis causes very painful periods and heavy bleeding. It is more common in middle to old age d women but can also occur in teenagers. Adenomyosis is considered benign or not a life-threatening condition but its impact’s a women living in a big way.
Symptoms of Adenomyosis
Symptoms of Adenomyosis varies from woman to woman. Some of the most common symptoms of Adenomyosis are:
- Heavier periods accompanied by frequent severe cramps
- Prolonged menstrual bleeding and spotting between periods.
- Pain during sexual intercourse and chronic pelvic pain
- Abdominal pressure, tenderness in the abdominal area, and bloating
- Some women experience no symptom at all.
Causes of Adenomyosis
- The real cause of Adenomyosis is not known but it could be due to hormones like estrogen, progesterone, prolactin and follicle stimulating hormone.
- Termination of a pregnancy, endometriosis, swelling of the uterine lining, inflammation of uterine lining during the postpartum period is some of the causes of Adenomyosis.
- The endometrial cells are somehow able to migrate and invade the normal uterine wall or the cells in the uterine wall develop into endometrial cells.
- Women who had prior uterine surgery, cesarean section, may be at the risk of Adenomyosis. Women with short menstrual cycles, childbearing age, and the ones that had an early age of menarche are more prone to get Adenomyosis.
Diagnosis of Adenomyosis
Symptoms and pelvic examination to reveal an enlarged or tender uterus help to determine Adenomyosis.
A pathologist examines the uterus after hysterectomy is completed. MRI is done to diagnose Adenomyosis. An ultrasound is also performed and even Endometrial biopsy is done to rule out other problems.
Treatment of Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis goes away after menopause, so treatment is based on the current age of the patient. Anti-inflammatory medicines and diet are often prescribed. Medicines to balance the hormone levels are recommended. Medicines to induce temporary menopause are given in severe cases. Uterine artery embolization and hysterectomy (complete removal of the uterus) is done if medicines are not helping.
Adenomyosis can be managed through herbal medicines that can eliminate the pain, cramps, heavy bleeding and fight against the complications completely.
Natural treatment options include Self Fertility Massage that can help increase circulation or the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes and helps the uterus to rid itself of old stagnant blood and tissues. Massage helps in bringing freshly oxygenated blood to the uterus. It also helps to strengthen the uterine muscles. One can do the massage at home.
One of the most effective treatment options includes Castor Oil Packs which helps with circulation and healing of the tissues and organs under the skin. Castor oil helps in reducing inflammation and pain and also detoxifies the body of old blood.
One may get relief using aromatherapy, warm baths and heating pads.
- Right diet plan for Adenomyosis patients can help in faster recovery. It is highly recommended for the patient to drink at least 2 liters of water. They should drink raspberry juice, Aloe Vera juice or orange juice daily.
Consuming fresh fruits especially berries, apples, grapes, papaya, pears, cantaloupe, coconut, kiwi and vegetables like cabbage, spinach, carrot, beans, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Swiss Chard and coriander, whole grain cereals, bran cereals, brown rice, wheat pasta, oats and foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like fish oil, flaxseeds, flax oil, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and walnuts is very beneficial for the patients. Foods rich in calcium and magnesium should be consumed to balance the mensural process and reduce the severity of adenomyosis.
- Spices like mint, turmeric, ginger are good for the patients. Turmeric with a glass of hot milk should be consumed daily by the patient as it will help with inflammation and relieving pain and swelling. Ginger has powerful antioxidants and is also anti-inflammatory, a natural analgesic that helps in reducing the pain of menstruation.
- Herb like Shepherd’s Purse helps with Adenomyosis as it causes uterine contraction, it constricts the blood vessels and reduces the blood flow during periods.
- Two spoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water may be consumed daily. Apple cider vinegar may be applied to the abdomen for relief. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and helps with cramps and bloating.
- Vitamin B6 supplements helps in controlling estrogen levels by removing them from the liver.
Prevention Tips for Adenomyosis
- As the cause of Adenomyosis is unknown, so it is very difficult to identify any specific factor that can prevent or cure the problem completely.
- The best way to avoid any disorder is to exercise regularly, practice yoga and meditation. Yoga is used to re center the body and balance the hormones. It can reduce cramping and discomfort during periods. Specific yoga asanas like Adho Mukha Asana, Supta Baddha Konasana, Bhujanasana, Uthita Anguli Sukhasana and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana are very beneficial for Adenomyosis patients. Yoga helps boost the metabolism and eliminate toxins from the body.
- The patients should avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, acidic foods, spicy foods, and cold foods completely. All these aggravate the pelvic congestion and inflammation and may cause uterine muscle contraction and exacerbate the symptoms of dysmenorrhea. Too sweet or too salty food should be avoided as much as possible,
- Fruits like lemon, mango, watermelon, cherry and bananas should be limited.
- The patients should stay away from fatty foods like potato chips, doughnuts, French fries, peanut butter and limit dairy and animal products as much as they can.
- Women suffering from Adenomyosis can have difficulty getting pregnant or sustaining the pregnancy. There is still no permanent cure for the condition but it can be managed to great extent.