Adenomyosis – the disease in which endometrial tissue grows into the muscular wall of your uterus, thickens, breaks down and sheds during each cycle – affects around one in ten of us. Today, Laurel Fertility Care answer top-searched questions about adeno, its similarity (but crucial differences) to endometriosis, and how it can impact our daily lives, and fertility.
Looking into adenomyosis fertility treatment in California? Dr. Collin Smikle and team are our state go-to for carefully-tailored protocols and impeccable patient care. For a plan which puts you at the center, and builds out depending on your holistic needs, connect with Laurel Fertility Care and bring them up to speed.
From adenomyosis treatment to fertility after a cancer diagnosis, or treatment, PCOS, endo and more, their integrative team is prepped to support.
Let’s take a step back, and look at what causes adenomyosis – and how it shows up in our body. Starting with the basics (in a not-so basic disease), over to Dr. Smikle.
What is adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis – ‘adeno ‘ for short – is a condition that causes your endometrium (uterine lining) to burrow into the muscular wall of the uterus. It’s not life-threatening, but it can have a serious impact on your day-to-day life and activities – and, if you’re trying to conceive (TTC), fertility. So getting support, whether it’s for pain, discomfort or fertility goals, is super-important.
Unfortunately, it’s very common for adenomyosis to go undiagnosed for years, rather than months. Symptoms can be similar to those which come with other conditions – including endometriosis, fibroids and polyp growth in the uterine lining, leading to missed adenomyosis, or confused diagnosis.
Added to this, there’s a lack of research and attention in general to this area of women’s healthcare – endometriosis is also sadly under-serviced by modern medicine.
Alongside careful monitoring of the key signs and symptoms of adenomyosis, ask your clinician to look into the following, to rule out – or help diagnose – possible adenomyosis:
- pelvic exam
- ultrasound imaging
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
As a baseline, MRI-based studies show that a general myometrium thickness exceeding 12mm seems to be highly predictive of adenomyosis.
A note on hysterectomy
The established science says that the only way to diagnose adenomyosis for sure is to examine the uterus after hysterectomy.
How you decide to approach your own treatment will depend on your unique situation and condition, as well as your plans and future fertility goals. Working as I do to help women who are trying to conceive (TTC) at Laurel Fertility Care, I 100% aim to do everything I can with my team to support women with their symptoms, trying different things to help.
We’re all about treating to improve and manage – whether it’s adenomyosis, endometriosis, fibroids or something else – empowering you to continue your TTC journey, if that’s where you’re at.
Adenomyosis is a progressive disease, so it often gets worse over time – especially if left to develop untreated. It’s powered by estrogen, which – as an important sex hormone – shows up in every normal menstrual cycle.
Even mild or early-stage adenomyosis can begin causing symptoms that impact on your daily life. Aside from pain and heavy periods, bloating and other discomfort mentioned above, you may also begin to see iron deficiency – anemia – due to heavier bleeding,
Advanced-stage adenomyosis can lead to fertility problems – particularly implantation issues, miscarriage and premature birth – as well as problems like pelvic organ prolapse.
Women may find that they’ve had very few (or mild) symptoms of the disease – or none at all – and only suspect it once it’s already pretty established.
Adenomyosis and fibroids
Aside from endometriosis, adenomyosis is also regularly confused for other conditions, including pelvic infections and other pelvic issues, IBS, and fibroids.
Fibroids and adenomyosis are not the same. They may share symptoms, but fibroids are actually noncancerous tumors which grow from the muscle layers of the uterus.
It’s really difficult, as you can see, to self-diagnose and rule out all of these potential conditions at home, or battle for a diagnosis with a clinician who isn’t up for doing a proper investigation. Whether it’s with a specialist fertility clinic – like the team here at Laurel Fertility Care – or an expert in the field of adenomyosis, don’t ignore your symptoms. Push for the care you deserve.
How does adenomyosis affect fertility?
Adenomyosis can be treated successfully. However, it can also make getting pregnant more difficult, impacting crucial aspects of conception such as implantation. Quite often, we may see pregnancies which start but don’t continue normally, due to adenomyosis blocking blood supply to the uterus, for example. Very sadly, this can lead to miscarriage.
Depending on how it’s managed, over 60 per cent of patients go on to conceive, in spite of their diagnosis.
Laurel Fertility Care are the only clinic in the US right now offering every patient a personalized Univfy PreIVF report, allowing you to make smarter decisions, based on your probability of success.
Connect with the team today for your tailored report and next steps, factoring in adeno diagnosis, possible endo, fibroids and anything else you’re concerned about.