Adenomyosis is less well-recognized than the related condition endometriosis, but if you’re affected by adenomyosis, the excessive menstrual bleeding and pain can make your life a misery. Carolyn Kaplan, MD, of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Group in Atlanta has many years of experience in diagnosing and treating women with adenomyosis and helping them with any fertility problems. Call the clinic today to make an appointment with Dr. Kaplan, or book using the online tool.
Adenomyosis is similar to the more well-known endometriosis, in that both conditions involve endometrial tissue that normally lines the uterus growing where it shouldn’t. In endometriosis, this is outside the walls of the uterus, on the organs, ovaries, or fallopian tubes. In adenomyosis, the endometrial tissue grows within the muscles in the wall of the uterus.
The endometrial tissue behaves exactly as the lining of your uterus does, thickening and breaking down every month. The trapped endometrial tissue in the muscles of your uterus bleeds, but the blood can’t escape and it builds up, causing enlargement of the uterus and painful, heavy periods.
Symptoms most frequently develop when a woman is coming to the end of her childbearing years, but in some cases adenomyosis can cause infertility because it interferes with blood flow to the endometrium, preventing normal implantation and pregnancy.
Some women don’t experience symptoms or have only mild problems during menstruation. For other women, adenomyosis can be a debilitating condition, with the pain likened to that of appendicitis, and blood flow that is not just hard to manage but leaves you feeling weak.
Adenomyosis can be tricky to diagnose, because the endometrial tissues are hidden inside the muscles of the uterus and thus can’t be seen using normal diagnostic techniques. However, modern magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and transvaginal ultrasound can help Dr. Kaplan confirm adenomyosis.
Mild cases may respond to anti-inflammatory medication taken during menstruation, and in some cases, heavy, painful periods respond to treatment with hormone therapies. If adenomyosis is causing fertility problems, Dr. Kaplan can prescribe medications to shrink the tissues and enable normal embryo implantation.
For more serious cases, uterine artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that causes the adenomyosis to shrink, or endometrial ablation may be effective if the adenomyosis isn’t too deep. In the most severe cases that don’t respond to other treatments, hysterectomy may be advisable, but Dr. Kaplan goes over all the options with you so you can make an informed choice.
If you’re experiencing any kind of problem with your periods, visit Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Group for an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatments. Call the clinic today, or book an appointment online.