Diagnosing and Treating Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis is an often painful condition in which the endometrial tissue within the uterus grows into the muscular wall. In addition to several complications, adenomyosis can greatly affect a patient's fertility. At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, we can diagnose adenomyosis, provide treatments to reduce the pain caused by this condition, and increase your chances of pregnancy. Our experienced physicians, Drs. Ketan Patel, Diane Hammitt, and Mark Johnson, are here to help on your fertility journey. To learn more about adenomyosis treatments, contact our Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler, or Scottsdale, AZ, offices today and schedule a consultation.
The process of diagnosing and treating adenomyosis begins with an ultrasound of the uterus. There are several unique characteristics that can increase the risk of adenomyosis. It most commonly occurs in women who have high levels of estrogen, who have had one or more children, and who are middle aged or older, although it can affect women who do not present these risk factors.
The symptoms of adenomyosis include:
- Severe cramping and pelvic pain during menstruation.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Bleeding between periods.
- A swollen or tender abdominal area due, in part, to the excess endometrial tissue growth, which can cause the uterus to grow as much as two or three times in size.
Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis
Both adenomyosis and endometriosis are conditions relating to the abnormal growth of endometrial tissues, and they cause similar symptoms. For patients with adenomyosis, this tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. For patients with endometriosis, the same tissues grow on the outside of the uterus, rather than inside. Our physicians will help determine which type of abnormal tissue growth is causing your symptoms. Patients with one of these conditions often have the other, as well.
Adenomyomas Tumors vs. Diffuse Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis can develop as several small tumors, called adenomyomas. In other cases, this excess endrometrial tissue will diffuse more widely throughout the uterine muscle. Both types of adenomyosis damage the uterine muscles, which can lead to miscarriage and difficulty becoming pregnant.
The goal of adenomyosis treatment is to reduce painful symptoms and increase chances of fertility through the use of medications or surgery. There is no true cure for adenomyosis, other than hysterectomy, in which the uterus is completely removed.
At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, we will recommend prescription or anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce swelling and pain. We may also provide hormone therapy, which can regulate heavy bleeding and balance excessive estrogen, which may slow the spread of adenomyosis.
Ablation therapy, in which some excess tissues are surgically removed, can be a solution in some cases. These treatments are recommended when a patient still has enough healthy uterine tissue to possibly support a pregnancy. Women whose adenomyosis has spread extensively may want to consider some alternatives, such as using a surrogate carrier. We can help you explore these options and determine what is best for you.
Adenomyosis can be painful and especially troubling for hopeful parents. We are here to help you determine how to realize your dreams of parenthood in spite of this condition. Contact Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health today to learn more.