“Communities and countries and ultimately the world are only as strong as the health of their women.”– Michelle Obama
A woman’s body is delicate, complex, and interesting. Back in February 2020, I was diagnosed with having Adenomyosis. I have no clue about it. I was sad, confused, and frustrated. I felt like I was the unluckiest among the unluckiest. Yet, year after year, while I age, I am discovering new things in my body. The frustrating part is, that these are abnormalities.
From 2017 up to late 2019, I battled with my health, trying to regain my physical fitness. As a married woman in my mid-30s, one of my dreams is to bear life within me. But I just can’t because I’m dealing with hormonal imbalance, HPV 66, and iron deficiency. Finally, in late 2019, I thought I was starting to win the battle. I feel revitalized, happy, and confident, and I can see that I’m physically fit. I started doing the everyday things I usually do without any health problems. The only missing part is my hubby, who is working from abroad. We are so excited to see and be with each other this June 2020 to finally continue and build our future.
Until I found out that I have Adenomyosis. So, questions flux in my mind.
My FAQs about Adenomyosis
What is Adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis happens when the lining of the uterus becomes thicker than usual. During my monthly period, my doctor explained that the blood flowing in my uterus has cells within it. And some of those cells don’t come out as period but rather break through the uterus wall and stay and grow there, making my uterus lining thicker than usual. Having an enlarged uterus can cause painful and heavy periods, which I am experiencing.
What are the signs of having Adenomyosis?
Dra. Pinky (my ob-gyn, not her real name) told me to go online and research it. Because educating myself will help me better understand her explanation and my body. She told me some symptoms which I found in this article I read. Adenomyosis typically has no signs or only a few discomforts during periods. But it can cause the following which I experience:
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Severe cramping or sharp, knifelike pelvic pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Abdominal pain or bloating
The only thing I notice though that my lower abdomen is quite enlarged.
What is the cause and how did I get Adenomyosis?
Dra. Pinky said that the cause of adenomyosis is unknown to date. It appears that there are suggestive causes but are remained theoretically.
- Invasive tissue growth. Some experts say that adenomyosis results from the direct invasion of endometrial cells from the lining of the uterus into the muscle that forms the uterine walls; just like when Dra. Pinky explained the possibility how I got it.
- Developmental origins. Other experts suspect that adenomyosis originates within the uterine muscle from endometrial tissue deposited there when the uterus first formed in the fetus.
- Uterine inflammation related to childbirth. Another theory suggests a link between adenomyosis and childbirth. This was crossed out in my case since I haven’t had pregnancy.
- Stem cell origins. A recent theory proposes that adenomyosis is caused by a bone marrow stem cells that enter the uterine muscle.
She said this illness usually resolves after menopause! So what?! I’m just in my mid-30’s?!!
What is the treatment of Adenomyosis?
I was stunned when she said this is resolved after menopause. I started to get teary eyes. However, she also told me other options, which I also read in this article:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs. Dra. Pinky prescribed mefenamic acid which is an anti-inflammatory tablet. You may also take Advil, Panadol, or ibuprofen to ease and control the pain.
- Hormone medications. Dra. Pinky also prescribed a hormonal pill which I will take in 3 months. She said, in order to manage Adenomyosis (thickening of my uterus lining) I should not have periods in a prolonged manner. So, she must correct my hormonal imbalance by me taking pills. Hopefully, in 3 months, everything will go back to normal and life goes on.
- Hysterectomy. Dra. Pinky said if my pain is severe and no other treatments have worked, the best thing to do is surgery – removal of my uterus! I literally broke down in tears when she said this. How are we supposed to get pregnant if this is the case?
What are Home Remedies for Adenomyosis?
Dra. Pinky said not to worry too much. She told me that a Hysterectomy is the very least thing I can do. She explained that my condition is common among middle-aged women and women who have had children. It is also considered benign (which means not life-threatening). Whew! Here are some home remedies and lifestyles which I adopt:
- Warm bath
- Use of heating pad on the abdomen and lower back
- Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory tablets (only when severe pain, I don’t want to be dependent on medicines as much as possible)
- Lessen or avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks
- Avoid cold drinks
- Avoid lifting heavy baggage or alike
- Avoid salty and fatty foods
- Avoid food that causes inflammation in the body
Dra. Pinky also said once we are done correcting my hormonal problem, she will refer us to fertility experts to start having consultations and guides on how we can get pregnant.
I was pretty relieved when I heard that we have a plan. The plan may be 50-50, but at least I have something I can grasp on. I understand and recognize the difficulty, but like I said, life goes on. At times I still cry, just like while I am penning this blog post. I am a human, and I get emotionally impaired in times of trouble. But, I said to myself, it will be okay.
I hope I was able to address any of your concerns about Adenomyosis. Don’t be scared. Having such does not distinguish you from a woman. You’re still a whole woman! Always remain calm and consult with your doctor. Keep your cool in the event of a problem escalation. Adenomyosis is manageable!
We both can and will get through this in due course! You and I are beautiful, strong women!
References: mayoclinic.org, webmd.com
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