Adenomyosis is often confused with uterine fibroids and is very difficult to diagnose. The uterine lining cells find their way into the wall muscles of the uterus. When the uterine line bleeds during the menstrual flow, the lining cells in the muscle wall bleed too. Direct bleeding in to the muscles causes pain and discomfort. This is among the first adenomyosis symptoms.
With time the blood accumulates in the muscles and the muscles react by swelling and form fibrous tissue. The swollen area in the uterine wall muscle is called adenomyosis, and a physical examination by a medical practitioner may diagnose it as a fibroid. Even sonograms may identify adenomyosis as fibroids.
Adenomyosis is difficult to diagnose and is almost always confused with fibroids.
There may be no or very little symptoms of adenomyosis and in some women it could be the cause of heavy menstrual bleeding and severe cramps.
Physical examinations and sonograms will almost always fail to distinguish adenomyosis from fibroids.
The only reliable diagnostic tool is the MRI. It is an expensive test and is rarely put to test in the condition. It is contra-punto, but the disease is almost always correctly diagnosed only after a hysterectomy. The only way to confirm it is to observe affected uterine wall muscle tissue under a microscope.
With no definite diagnosis adenomyosis symptoms are difficult to treat. The patient may be prescribed drugs that will cease her menstrual flow and give her relief from the cramps. In some cases the muscle swelling starts to subside too. But these effects remain only as long as the patient is on the medications. The symptoms return soon after the drugs are discontinued.
A skilled surgeon may contemplate removal of affected uterine muscle and repair of the left over damaged uterus. Surgery is the only solution to this complex uterine condition. If large parts of the uterus are affected, the surgeon will recommend a complete hysterectomy.
There have been unsuccessful attempts at treating adenomyosis symptoms with Uterine Artery Embolization. The symptoms have almost always returned within a year or more of the procedure. The one reason why it does not work is because adenomyosis is basically uterine cells that have gone astray, thus unlike fibroids they continue to receive their blood supply.
Some success has been recorded with the use of Progesterone IUD’s in patients suffering from this condition. It helps to reduce the severity of the menstrual cramps. So it may be the treatment of choice for women who are suffering from acute cramps.
Adenomyosis is a silent disease and its presence is rarely diagnosed. The only effective and 100% way to treat this non-cancerous disease is to perform hysterectomy. It may have no symptoms in most women suffering from it.
Others may complain of prolonged or heavy menstrual flow. Severe cramping and sharp pain during periods, painful intercourse, mid cycle bleeding and blood clots in menstrual flow are some of the adenomyosis symptoms that may be present in some women.