Are you struggling to find an effective treatment for adenomyosis? Or to understand this complicated condition? While adenomyosis isn’t life-threatening, it is very painful. So it’s only natural to seek relief. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to diagnose adenomyosis. Many practitioners confuse its symptoms with those of uterine fibroids or other pelvic problems. As such, your pathway to relief may be delayed.
Fortunately, our Dallas area interventional radiologists are very familiar with adenomyosis. Plus, we offer one of the newer treatments options, Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE.) So, how does this treatment compare to other options? Today, we’ll take a closer look. But first, let’s get a better understanding of this complex condition.
This is a condition in which your uterine lining (endometrial tissue) penetrate’s its muscular wall. This migration makes your endometrium thicker, enlarging your uterus to double or triple its usual size. While not a common condition, around 1 in 5 women develop adenomyosis.
While we don’t know exactly what causes adenomyosis, we think hormones such as estrogen play a role. After all, most women see their symptoms disappear after menopause. (Coincidentally, women’s estrogen levels also go down in the first year after menopause.) But what are those symptoms?
Luckily, about one-third of women with adenomyosis have mildly irritating or no symptoms. But, for those who do experience the impact of adenomyosis, their symptoms mimic those of fibroids. And, as we mentioned earlier, that makes it harder to reach a conclusive diagnosis.
What do most women complain about with this condition? In one scientific review of adolescents with adenomyosis, all 43 participants reported similar complaints. First, the majority of women showed signs of endometriosis along with adenomyosis. Also, they’d experienced changes in the shapes of their uterine walls, making them asymmetric. Many developed cysts. And all the young women were dealing with heavy periods.
What does this study teach us about adenomyosis? First, it shows women of any age can be affected. Also, it highlights the most common and concerning symptoms. And they include:
- Heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle
- Prolonged cramping
- Blood clots
- Longer or irregular cycles
- Spotting between cycles
- Pain with intercourse
- Discomfort when moving your bowels
- Increased risk for miscarriage or pre-term births
Treatment for Adenomyosis: UAE and Other Options
Sadly, the only cure for Adenomyosis is a hysterectomy. (That’s the complete removal of the uterus) But, for those patients not ready to embrace that extreme treatment, there are other ways to get relief.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms and how close a woman is to menopause, she may wish to discuss with her OBGYN DOCTOR which treatments may be best.
Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help with the pain and reduce the blood flow. The Mayo Clinic advises to start the medication several day prior to the beginning of the cycle.
Taking birth control pills and other hormones is another treatment frequently used.
Lingzagolix drug therapy: this drug is a newly discovered adenomyosis treatment. It blocks your body from producing certain sex hormones. In studies, menstruation stopped and severe adenomyosis symptoms improved with this drug.
Endometrial Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the lining, but its success depends on how deeply the tissue has penetrated into the wall of the uterus.
UAE or Uterine Artery Embolization is a technique commonly used to treat uterine fibroids.
UAE for Adenomyosis
Performed similarly to UFE, we inject particles into the uterine artery to block the blood flow to the specific problem area. The goal is to deprive the tissue of both blood and oxygen so it the condition will abate. The procedure involves an overnight stay in the hospital.
More recently doctors have begun using three types of particles: smaller, normal and larger particles thereby increasing its effectiveness rate to 80%. In either case UAE seems to be an excellent short term option.
Request a consultation our Dallas UAE specialists today to learn about the best treatment options for your Adenomyosis. To speak with one of our doctors, please give us a call anytime at (469) 946-9315.