Adenomyosis is a benign, non-life threatening condition. But it’s very painful, and patients need relief. Unfortunately, doctors often confuse adenomyosis with uterine fibroids and other conditions, so it can be difficult to diagnose without proper medical attention.
One of the newer treatments for Adenomyosis is UAE, or Uterine Artery Embolization. How does its effectiveness stack up against other treatments?
What Is Adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis occurs when the endometrial tissue lining the uterus moves into the muscle wall of the uterus. As a result, the lining of the uterus becomes thicker, which can cause the uterus to double or even triple in size.
It is believed that hormones like estrogen trigger the condition since its symptoms go away after menopause. Female levels of estrogen go down in the first year after menopause and the symptoms dissipate as well.
Signs You May Have Adenomyosis
Many of the symptoms of this condition are similar to fibroids, so getting a conclusive diagnosis can be difficult.
Recently, in a review of adolescents with adenomyosis, study authors found many common symptoms in all 43 young women included in the study. First, almost all the women had some evidence of pelvic endometriosis. Their uterine walls became asymmetric. Many developed cysts. And all the young women faced heavy periods.
Now, this study is important because it shows women of any age can develop this condition. And, regardless of age, other common symptoms include:
- Heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle
- Prolonged cramping
- Blood clots
- Longer cycles
- Spotting between cycles
UAE And Other Treatments For Adenomyosis
Let’s begin by stating that the only cure for Adenomyosis is a hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus. For those patients not ready to embrace that extreme treatment, there are other ways to get relief.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms and how close a woman is to menopause, she may wish to discuss with her OBGYN DOCTOR which treatments may be best.
- Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help with the pain and reduce the blood flow. The Mayo Clinic advises to start the medication several day prior to the beginning of the cycle.
- Taking birth control pills and other hormones is another treatment frequently used.
- Lingzagolix drug therapy: this drug is a newly discovered adenomyosis treatment. It blocks your body from producing certain sex hormones. In studies, menstruation stopped and severe adenomyosis symptoms improved with this drug.
- Endometrial Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the lining, but its success depends on how deeply the tissue has penetrated into the wall of the uterus.
- UAE or Uterine Artery Embolization is a technique commonly used to treat uterine fibroids.
UAE for Adenomyosis
Performed similarly to UFE, we inject particles into the uterine artery to block the blood flow to the specific problem area. The goal is to deprive the tissue of both blood and oxygen so it the condition will abate. The procedure involves an overnight stay in the hospital.
More recently doctors have begun using three types of particles: smaller, normal and larger particles thereby increasing its effectiveness rate to 80%. In either case UAE seems to be an excellent short term option.
Speak to your doctor today to learn about about the best treatment options for your Adenomyosis. To speak with one of our doctors, please give us a call anytime at 713-575-3686.