Is a Hysterectomy the Only Cure for Adenomyosis?
What is Adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis is a condition in the female body in which the cells that line the uterus begin to grow into muscular tissue on the uterine wall. This can be very painful and causes the uterus to expand two to three times its normal size. It typically occurs in women later in the years of childbearing.
Causes of Adenomyosis
It is not clear as to what causes adenomyosis. Some researchers say that it is caused from when a woman has a caesarean section (C-section) because the endometrial cells are easier to escape and invade. While others say that it occurs after a woman gives birth, when the inflammation of the uterine lining is weakened and cells are able to get through the normal boundary.
Who is at Risk?
Women who are most at risk for developing adenomyosis are those who have had a C-section or fibroid removal. The risk is even increased for women who have had at least one child.
Symptoms of Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis causes longer, heavier menstrual bleeding, pain in the lower abdomen and menstrual cramps that get progressively worse as time goes by. Not everyone who has adenomyosis will experience the same pain or any at all. Many of the symptoms can be mistaken for another health problem if not properly treated. A doctor can determine this condition by doing a pelvic exam or by using an ultrasound. A blood test is not used to test for adenomyosis because it is not able to indicate the specific condition.
A hysterectomy is surgical procedure that removes the uterus and the cervix through the abdomen. In certain cases, the ovaries and fallopian tubes can be removed at the same time, although it is not always necessary. It is done for a number of reasons; some examples would be when a doctor suspects there is cancer forming, when someone is having chronic pain in the pelvis and for people with pelvic inflammatory disease. It is also an option for treatment for adenomyosis and endometriosis.
Treatment for Adenomyosis
There are several forms of treatment for adenomyosis. The first option doctors usually recommend are anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to help ease the pain. The next option is hormone therapy. This helps to control your menstrual cycle by using different types of oral contraceptives and often lead to menstrual periods stopping and then providing relief. These treatments are only temporary and partial and can be cause for the development of many side effects.
Adenomyosis and the Hysterectomy
The most common treatment for adenomyosis is having a hysterectomy. This is performed when a woman gets adenomyosis earlier in life and menopause is many years away from possibly occurring. It is mainly performed when the pain is so severe that nothing else will work to stop the pain. The hysterectomy is known as the only 100% cure for adenomyosis, currently, aside from menopause, which causes it to typically disappear in some women. Removing the ovaries alone will not cure adenomyosis and therefore is not necessary to have done. Adenomyosis is a painful female health problem that has puzzled the medical field. It is unknown how it is caused and the symptoms are not always apparent. It is best to seek medical attention for a condition such as this, to avoid serious complications and surgical procedures. Sources: http://health.discovery.com/encyclopedias/illnesses.html?article=873 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/Adenomyosis/DS00636/DSECTION=2