Endometriosis and Adenomyosis

#KnowledgeIsSuccess and 8 out of 10 women will feel pain during their menstrual period at some point in their life, this is completely natural, however… Saying “At some point in your life” is not the same as saying “Constantly.” ” Having pain period, after period, after period, is not normal! And that is why Dr. Arturo Valdés, Creafam fertility expert, tells us about endometriosis and adenomyosis, they are very similar conditions but while one only causes pain and infertility, the other can cause you to lose your uterus.

  1. What are endometriosis and adenomyosis?
  2. Symptoms of endometriosis and adenomyosis
  3. Diagnosis and treatments
  4. Endometriosis, adenomyosis and fertility

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What are Endometriosis and Adenomyosis?

Unfortunately, women are used to being told that pain in the uterus, ovaries and even infections are normal and that holding on and holding on makes them more and more resistant to pain, but constant pain during periods is the main symptom of endometriosis, especially if the pain is so unbearable that you cannot attend school or work or prevent you from doing your normal activities.

Exactly what is happening? Well, inside the uterus there is a layer of tissue called the endometrium, these are the cells that swell little by little throughout the menstrual cycle and eventually shed, producing menstruation.

The problem arises when retrograde menstruation occurs, that is, part of the menstrual flow does not go down the vagina but travels in the opposite direction towards the fallopian tubes. We usually imagine that the fallopian tubes are completely attached to the ovaries but in reality they are slightly separated, for this reason the menstrual flow can escape and adhere to the outside of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries or even other organs such as the intestines and bladder .

The endometrial cells do not know if they are inside or outside the uterus, so they continue to work normally: They grow, multiply and with the arrival of the next menstruation they swell and peel, which causes irritation and pain to all the tissues with which they are exposed. that have contact. Now let’s talk about adenomyosis, which is a very similar condition, only the endometrial cells do not escape to the outside of the uterus but rather enter the uterine muscle. Let’s imagine that it is as if moisture or leaks got into a wall and little by little it was worn out from the inside.

Symptoms and remedies

So how can we combat these conditions? Every day without fail there is someone who asks us on YouTube for home remedies or diets to combat endometriosis or adenomyosis, unfortunately there are no diets or food supplements that help, it is like asking what foods help heal a muscle tear or a hernia. .. They do not exist.

In the early stages, when the invasion is minimal, various contraceptives or hormonal medications can be used to regulate the levels of estrogen and progesterone. When they reach a good balance, the activity of the uterus, ovaries and endometrium decreases and therefore the symptoms decrease.

What symptoms are we talking about? Well, the pelvic pain that we had already mentioned and that can be located in the uterus or radiate throughout the belly to the lower back or at the level of the kidneys, other symptoms include frequent cramps, pain during sexual intercourse, pain when having a bowel movement or urinating, chronic fatigue, swollen belly, nausea or even infertility.

Adenomyosis produces the same symptoms as endometriosis but is also characterized by extremely heavy menstrual flows. Unfortunately, it is a chronic condition, that is, it will continue to worsen constantly over the years and there have not been many studies done on it because, since everything happens inside the uterus, it can only be properly analyzed after a hysterectomy… And yes, adenomyosis usually forces us to have to remove the uterus when it is already very advanced.

Diagnosis and treatments against endometriosis and adenomyosis

Please go to regular consultations, with an ultrasound it is very easy for an expert to detect small spots outside or inside the uterus, which together with the symptoms they present help us determine what stage they are in.

In the most advanced stage of endometriosis, surgery must be performed to eliminate the affected regions, especially if what we know as a frozen pelvis occurs. What is frozen pelvis? It happens that endometriosis can produce adhesions, that is, the tissues stick to each other almost as if we were putting glue between the uterus, the bladder, the intestines and the muscle, so when you try to move the organs stretch and twist because they They are pulling on each other and in fact the intestines have their own internal movement when they are processing food, which is why there can be intense pain even when you are at rest and even if you don’t have your period.

The good thing about this surgery is that it is not necessary to open the entire abdomen, it can be done laparoscopically with 3 small incisions in the abdomen, the patient is discharged the same day and in the end the scars are almost invisible.

Now, in the most advanced stage of adenomyosis the only option is to remove the entire uterus because there is no way to save it, when you see it inside it really no longer has muscle and well-differentiated layers, it becomes a mass all inflamed by the endometrium, in fact, we have received patients who were told that they had a fibroid inside the uterus and in reality it was that the uterus was already completely degenerated, therefore, if you are interested in having children and adenomyosis has already been detected, it is best to start look for pregnancy early and if it is not achieved within a couple of months, immediately use fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization.

Cases of infertility por adenomiosis y endometriosis

As a final point I just want to remind you that even if you have endometriosis or adenomyosis, that does not instantly mean that you are infertile. We do not have statistics on what happens in other clinics but I would tell you that at Creafam, of all the patients who come for the first time due to endometriosis and who someone else already told them that their only option was to have surgery or in vitro fertilization, In 8 out of 10 cases we carry out preliminary studies and realize that the husband has problems with sperm and with a few weeks of medication, pregnancy is achieved.

Remember, we say it in every video: Knowledge is success. The first step is to have a correct diagnosis. Come see us!

Dr. Arturo Valdés
Dr. Arturo Valdés
Reproductive Medicine and Gynecological Endocrinology
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