17 April 2020: April is Adenomyosis Month and I think it’s a great that it follows on from March, which was endometriosis awareness month.
Basically, adenomyosis is similar to endometriosis, where the lining of the womb is found outside of the uterine cavity. The difference is, adenomyosis is where the lining is found INSIDE the womb muscle, whereas endometriosis is elsewhere (ie tubes/side walls/ovaries) The commonest symptoms for adenomyosis is heavy and painful periods. And again, it is variable from person to person. Some women might also get pain during sex. Adenomyosis it itself can be very difficult to diagnose. Sometimes this can be done by an experienced sonologist, and MRI but often, it is only diagnosed on histopathology – where the uterus has been removed (from hysterectomy). Treatment can also be quite tricky sometimes, depending on what your preference. So, it is very important to tell your doctor what you feel is important to you. • Do you want to have more children? • How old are you – are you close to menopause? • What treatment have you tried? • How do you feel about hormonal therapy? About surgery? There is also a small association of complications in pregnancy for patients with a history of adenomyosis, mainly premature delivery and premature rupture of membrane. More often than not, it’s not just a pelvic disease… this is a condition that can be debilitating and can affect your quality of life and mental health. Remember to speak to your healthcare provider of your concern, and together, we would be stronger against it!
Dr Adeline Chan is a female gynaecologist in Sydney, servicing the Western Sydney and Hills District region.