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Do you get heavy, painful periods? Adenomyosis could be a cause

Updated on:13 August 2021, 09:54am IST
Uterine adenomyosis is a painful condition that can cause heavy, painful periods. Read on to know more about it.
Aayushi Gupta
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myths about endometriosis
Adenomyosis uterine disorder is usually confused with endometriosis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Due to the frequent changes in a woman’s body, the risk of developing diseases related to the uterus increases. Facing issues related to menstruation, pregnancy and then menopause are enough to give you a rollercoaster ride! In this reference, heavy, painful periods are a fairly common issue for women. But common doesn’t mean normal! Painful and heavy periods can have many causes and one of the most neglected among that is adenomyosis. 

Adenomyosis is a condition in which cells that line the inside of the uterus (endometrium) are abnormally located in cells that make up the uterine wall (myometrium), often resulting in an enlarged uterus. That causes heavy, painful menstrual periods. Adenomyosis usually affects middle-aged women, and women who have had children. 

What are the symptoms of adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis symptoms vary greatly between patients, ranging from mild to critical. For some, it causes no symptoms at all. However other women may experience the following adenomyosis symptoms: 

  1. Heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding
  2. Severe cramping or pelvic pain during menstruation (Dysmenorrhoea)
  3. Painful intercourse (Dyspareunia)
  4. Bleeding between periods
  5. Abdominal pressure and bloating
  6. Inflammation in the uterus
  7. Anemia
  8. Infertility
  9. Enlarged uterus
cause of heavy and painful periods
If your period cramps are killing you, then it could be adenomyosis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Adenomyosis versus endometriosis

Adenomyosis and endometriosis are disorders that involve endometrial tissues. Therefore they may seem like related conditions. In fact, the symptoms can create confusion. But still these conditions are different from each other. So what is the difference? The difference between these conditions is where the endometrial tissues grow. 

Endometriosis: Endometriosis is when endometrial cells (the lining of the uterus) grow in place outside of the uterus such as the pelvis, lower abdomen, ovaries, or bowel. 

Adenomyosis: Adenomyosis is when these cells are embedded into the uterine wall. 

Although both can cause pain, endometriosis doesn’t typically cause heavy bleeding. And it’s possible that these conditions can occur together! 

What is the treatment for adenomyosis?

Treatment for adenomyosis depends in part on your symptoms and how close you are to the post-menopausal stage of life because adenomyosis often goes away after menopause. Your doctor might recommend anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to control the pain and may also prescribe hormonal medications such as  estrogen-progestin birth control or hormone-containing patches or vaginal rings that might also lessen heavy bleeding and pain associated with adenomyosis. 

cause of heavy and painful periods
Your doctor may also prescribe hormonal treatments such as contraceptives pills Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If your pain is severe and no other treatment has worked, your doctor might suggest hysterectomy or removal of your uterus, which will stop your menstrual cycle and cease your chance to get pregnant. 

Some home remedies and lifestyle habits you can try for relief

Natural treatments for adenomyosis generally involve managing the menstrual pain and bleeding caused by the condition. These natural tips include:

  1. Use a heating pad on your abdomen
  2. Get massage therapy or acupressure
  3. Alter your diet
  4. Drink ginger and honey tonic
  5. Consume a hot glass of milk with turmeric in it
  6. Include calcium and magnesium in your diet
  7. Warm bath

If you suspect the symptoms of adenomyosis in your body, always go for a check-up.

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.