Adenomyosis can be treated in multiple ways, and the severity of the treatments often aligns with the severity of the symptoms that someone may suffer. From anti-inflammatory drugs to surgery, what treatments options are available for adenomyosis and which one might be right for you? Keep reading to find out!
Pain Medications and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
The symptoms of adenomyosis, such as cramps or pain in the abdomen, can be treated by taking pain medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also useful in the treatment of adenomyosis as they can reduce blood flow while you are menstruating and also help relieve cramps. These anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can be taken a couple days before your period begins and throughout the duration of menstruation to have the best effects.
Hormone medications are also an option for the treatment of adenomyosis. These treatments can help to reduce the symptoms or reduce the severity of the symptoms. Birth control pills or patches that contain hormones are an option to decrease the amount of bleeding that can occur during menstruation, by altering the levels of estrogen in your body. Vaginal rings can also reduce bleeding. Other options include progestin-only contraceptives that do not contain any estrogen, which can be taken orally or as an intrauterine device (IUD). Each of these hormone medications work to reduce bleeding during menstruation and subsequently any accompanying symptoms, such as cramps.
As adenomyosis is associated with higher levels of estrogen in the body, the condition tends to go away during and after menopause when estrogen levels are reduced. Injections can be administered that induce menopause and therefore take away the symptoms of adenomyosis. These injections can not induce permanent menopause, therefore they are only a short-term option to relieve symptoms.
This is a procedure in which a small tube is inserted into a major artery in the groin. The tube releases particles into the artery and these stop blood from reaching the area that is affected and reduces the effects of adenomyosis. This is a minimally invasive procedure and has less risks than surgery.
There are multiple surgical options available to help treat adenomyosis and its symptoms. These surgeries may be suitable for some people, but they depend on your situation in life. These treatments include endometrial ablation and a hysterectomy.
Endometrial ablation involves removing or destroying the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium. This procedure is aimed at reducing menstrual flow, and menstrual flow may completely stop following endometrial ablation. Pregnancy is possible following this procedure, but it may involve more risks. Due to the removal of the uterine lining, ectopic pregnancies increase in likelihood. If menstruation completely stops following endometrial ablation, pregnancy will not happen. Endometrial ablation and uterine artery embolization are also possible treatments for uterine fibroids.
This procedure involves the complete removal of the uterus and cures adenomyosis. A hysterectomy is a major procedure and so it is mostly a treatment option for women with very severe cases of adenomyosis. Following a hysterectomy, pregnancy is no longer possible and therefore it is only suitable for women who do not want to have any/any more children. A hysterectomy is also a treatment for other conditions, such as endometriosis and ovarian cancer. Your ovaries are not affected by adenomyosis and so your ovaries are not removed during the hysterectomy. This means that reproductive hormones are still produced by your ovaries and menopause will occur naturally.
Untreated Adenomyosis – What Happens?
Adenomyosis is not a life-threatening condition and many women are able to live with the symptoms. However, other women may experience severe symptoms that affect their daily life and might want to consider one of the treatment options discussed above. If adenomyosis is left untreated, there is the possibility that certain risks might arise. Due to the association of blood loss during menstruation with adenomyosis, anemia may be at higher chances of occurring in people with adenomyosis. Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells in the body is too low to sufficiently transport oxygen around the body and the symptoms of anemia include fatigue and dizziness. Adenomyosis has also been associated with anxiety and depression, but there are multiple ways that you can manage your mental health while living with conditions such as adenomyosis.
If you are experiencing the symptoms that are associated with adenomyosis, or have already been diagnosed and are considering some of the treatment options discussed above, talk to your doctor about what might be the best and most suitable option for you.