Symptoms Of Adenomyosis
What Is Adenomyosis?
The medical term adenomyosis uteri refers to a condition of glandular derangement of the muscle of the uterus. In simple terms, it means there is an irregularity of glands in the muscle tissue of the uterus. Just as endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus implanted on other reproductive organs, adenomyosis is the presence of endometrial tissue in the uterine walls. Adenomyosis used to be called endometriosis interna, meaning internal endometriosis since it can often look like endometriosis except that it occurs in the uterus rather than in the pelvic cavity, implanted on other reproductive organs.
This condition is primarily diagnosed in women between the ages of 30 to 45 and, like endometriosis, there does not seem to be a specific cause for the uterine symptoms. It just seems to happen. Although women younger than 30 have been diagnosed with adenomyosis, the symptoms generally begin after the age of 25.
Symptoms Of Adenomyosis
The primary symptoms of adenomyosis are pain and bleeding, not unlike uterine fibroids. The pain is no surprise, especially since there are hormonally active tissues displaced and pumping an irritant into the uterine muscle wall. Uterine pain manifests in a variety of ways. Premenstrual cramping is not an uncommon phenomenon a few days or even a week before menstruation. Some women suffering with adenomyosis experience uterine cramping all month long, with exacerbated pain at the time of menstruation. Some women say the feeling is akin to having a hot coal in the uterus. Not pleasant or easy to take at the best of times.
As with most chronic pain, it builds upon itself. So, by taking the analogy of a torn ligament, the pain is there but anything putting pressure upon the injured area exacerbates the pain. The uterus is positioned exactly at the far end of the vaginal canal. That means that it is hit every time there is sexual intercourse. If the woman has adenomyosis, the uterus is already painful and sex can greatly aggravate the situation-especially close to menstruation.
Bowel movements can be a source of discomfort as well since the space and tissue between the rectum and the uterus is very thin. Pain during urination is another possibility since the expansion and contraction of the bladder has the potential of affecting the uterus.
Fertility does not seem to be affected by adenomyosis. However, that is really an unknown since it is a difficult disease to diagnose in women with a uterus.
Adenomyosis is not more prevalent in women who have endometriosis. However, both endometriosis in earlier life, and adenomyosis in later life, are causes of chronic abdominal and pelvic pain.