Adenomyosis and Pelvic Pain
Adenomyosis is identified in approximately 1 out of every 500 women, although this number is likely low because many women do not experience any symptoms or for those that do, they are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as fibroids due to the relatively low resolution of pelvic ultrasound.
Many women who experience symptoms due to adenomyosis such as pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding just think these are a normal part of their monthly period or an expected consequence of getting older. If the symptoms get to the point that the patients seek treatment, they are often attributed to other conditions (usually fibroids) and are therefore misdiagnosed.
Chronic Pelvic Pain Caused by Adenomyosis
Because the adenomyosis symptoms are similar to those of several other women’s reproductive conditions, many women suffer for years with heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, and even pain during sex.
Adenomyosis pelvic pain can sometimes be mistaken for pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, and even a urinary tract infection. Some women experience sharp stabbing adenomyosis pelvic pain or a continued ache that also sends pain down their back or thighs.
Women who have been diagnosed with adenomyosis have shared that they have had to put their life on hold for several days each month because of the significant pelvic pain and heavy bleeding.
What Is the Best Pain Relief for Adenomyosis?
The main reason that adenomyosis results in pain is because the condition causes the uterus to enlarge as much as 3 times its normal size. The enlarged uterus can exert pressure on neighboring organs or nerves creating pain in the lower back, painful cramps in the abdomen, or dull or sharp pelvic pain.
Often, doctors will prescribe hormone therapy or advise the use of non-steroidal over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to help ease discomfort, e.g. ibuprofen, and tranexamic acid. If the symptoms continue to worsen, most OB/GYNs will tell their patients that the only way to treat adenomyosis is the surgical removal of their uterus (hysterectomy).
Is a Hysterectomy the Best Way to Eliminate Adenomyosis Pelvic Pain?
Medical experts have published study after study proving how essential the uterus is to a woman’s health even after she is done having children. What do you do if you’re interested in having children or if you do not want to undergo surgery?
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is an outstanding nonsurgical treatment option for adenomyosis. This procedure is done as an outpatient procedure and has an ~80% success rate. The recovery time after UAE is 5 to 7 days compared with the 6 to 8 weeks after a hysterectomy.
Heavy periods, chronic pelvic pain, and pain during sexual intercourse, are symptoms of adenomyosis. These and other symptoms can be eliminated through UAE. Contact Atlanta Fibroid Center today to find out more!