There is a lot you can do about painful periods. However, it is important to know the exact cause of your pain. Check out the list below;
- I experience painful menstrual cramps
- My period is longer than normal
- I have a feeling everything is not right with my body, my gyna has no clue on how to help
- I have a heavy flow
- My periods affect my day to day activities
If any of these describe you, there is a possibility you are suffering from one of the two painful female health problems. These two problems can be treated easily by a doctor through prescribed medicine or surgery. The problem is patients and doctors almost always misdiagnose the ailment.
It is abnormal to have painful periods that extend to a level that your normal daily functions are interrupted. If your body at any point tends towards curling in bed for days anytime you are ripe on your cycle, and normal medications are not helping, then you could be suffering from either Adenomyosis or endometriosis.
A couple of days ago, the endometriosis awareness month just ended and we wrote lots about it. Kindly check back to continue educating yourself about endometriosis. Endometriosis is when the endometrial lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterus. This lining is normally inside your uterus and is discharged from your body during your monthly cycle. The pain or cramps you feel during your monthly cycle is the result of your uterus trying to expel the lining.
We would like to pay a little more attention on Adenomyosis. It is basically almost closely related to endometriosis yet almost opposite at the same time.
Adenomyosis is when your endometrial lining begins to grow into your uterus. Every time you have your period, you bleed inside your uterine wall. This can cause cramping pain as well as an enlarged uterus.
Sometimes the pain is so severe, over the counter medications do not help.
The name of this ailment Adenomyosis, basically explains itself in medicine like many other medical terms do. In Adenomyosis (adeno~ is gland, ~myo~ is muscle and ~osis is a condition), the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus), pushes through the myometrium (muscle wall of the uterus). It is most common but is not limited to women in the middle ages (30 to 35).
Causes of Adenomyosis
No medical practitioner, researcher or expert can tell you exactly how Adenomyosis is caused. The trail of of causes can only be traced back to the experiences of women who have suffered from the ailment before. As such, the following occurrences in women raise the chances of one being diagnosed with Adenomyosis;
- Tubular ligation
- Cesarean section form of delivery
Pregnancy can also be a risk factor for Adenomyosis. The prevalence in women above thirty years has also been associated with the increase in the level of estrogen in this stage in women
Symptoms of Adenomyosis
In many cases Adenomyosis just like endometriosis does not display regular symptoms. This is what makes its diagnosis a little difficult. The following are the most common symptoms;
- Heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding that lasts more than 8 days
- Severe menstrual abdominal cramps
- Abdominal pressure and bloating
- Persistent and intense abdominal pain
- Pelvic pain or vaginal discomfort during intercourse
- Bleeding of clots
Hysterectomy was the only definitive way of diagnosing adenomyosis until recently. The process included performing hysterectomy and then examining the uterine tissue under a microscope a process that always required surgery. Today, the advent of imaging technology makes it possible for medical practitioners to recognize developing endometrial tissue in the myometrium without necessarily having to perform a surgical process.
Magnetic resonance and imaging (MRI) or trans-vaginal ultrasound helps doctors to see the features of the disease from within the uterus.
Diagnosis begins with a suspicion from the doctor who then does a physical exam which basically confirms by revealing either an enlarged or tender uterus. An ultrasound is then used to look at the endometrium and the myometrium thus rule out many other conditions that share similar symptoms as adenomyosis. Sonohysterography can also be used to strengthen the understanding of the condition.
In case of uterine bleeding an MRI is used to confirm Adenomyosis.
Treatment of Adenomyosis
The following are options available for treating Adenomyosis;
- Over-the-counter pain medications in case of mild symptoms and use of a heating pad for cramps
- Doctor prescribed Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- Hormone therapy for heavy or painful periods
- Uterine artery embolization, a minimally invasive procedure to reduce blood flow
- Endometrial ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the uterine lining