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It could be adenomyosis not endometriosis

<p><span style="font-family: helvetica;"><img src="/nairobi/PublishingImages/Excision%20endometriosis%201.jpg" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></span> </p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Few women may have heard of adenomyosis but definitely many are aware of endometriosis. The conditions affect different parts of your body, share some symptoms, and may require different treatments. Here&#39;s what you need to know about this condition.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What exactly is adenomyosis?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">This is a female reproduction condition in where there are cells that are similar to the lining of the womb but found within the muscle of the womb.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">How does it manifest?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">While endometriosis is found in distant places from the womb lining and muscle whereas adenomyosis is actually on the muscle itself. Just like endometriosis, women with adenomyosis may not have any symptoms meaning they do not know they have the condition but occasionally the symptoms may be related to changes in menstrual pattern which may include heavy flow and painful periods.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What causes this condition?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Doctors do not know fully how adenomyosis arises but it&#39;s possible that during regular menstruation as the cells break away from lining of the womb, some of them may find themselves within the muscle. It is postulated that heavy short cycles can predispose one to adenomyosis. It&#39;s is also likely that as women get older they are more at risk of developing adenomyosis.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What symptoms can one be on the look-out for?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Symptoms are usually related to heavy periods as well as painful periods. There may also be some link between adenomyosis and delayed conception but this is not direct because most ladies who have adenomyosis are able to conceive.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">How different is adenomyosis from endometriosis?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Adenomyosis happens when the same kind of cells that line the uterus also grows outside the muscular wall of the uterus and thickens it but doesn&#39;t go past the uterus itself. Endometriosis on the other hand is a medical condition in women where tissue similar to the inner glands of the uterus is deposited in areas outside the uterine cavity. The most common areas where this tissue can grow include the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">These conditions may present independently but at times. You can have both at the same time and doctors don&#39;t know exactly what causes them.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">How is the condition diagnosed?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Before doctors we understood what adenomyosis was since it was discovered only after the uterus was removed, it was thought that the condition is underdiagnosed. Currently, especially with advancements in technology, we can see adenomyosis on ultrasound and MRI scans and effectively disgnose it. Diagnosis can also be made once the womb has been removed and subjected to a histology laboratory rest.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What are the complications of adenomyosis?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Heavy menstrual bleeding from adenomyosis increases your risk of anemia. Anemia occurs when your body doesn&#39;t have enough iron-rich red blood cells. You may feel chronically fatigued or cold.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Can adenomyosis inhibit my possibility of getting pregnant?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The possibility of adenomyosis limiting your ability to conceive may not be very direct but there may be delayed conception. Diagnostic findings may not conclusively explain why you are not conceiving but it&#39;s a possibility.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">How does adenomyosis affect pregnancy?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Adenomyosis tends to affect women who have had at least one child. However, the condition may also make it difficult to conceive for the first time or to have another child but infertility treatments may help.
</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">What treatment options are available?</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Since adenomyosis involves the cells of the womb lining embedded within the womb muscle, treatment is largely symptomatic like most conditions like fibroids and endometriosis. We can use hormonal medication to control the symptoms. Adenomyosis is usually not distinct from other tissues the way fibroids are and so they may not be removed from the womb. However, for women who have completed child-bearing, they may decide to remove their uterus.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;"><em>By Dr Charles Muteshi, Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist and Fertility Expert at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi</em>
</span></p><p><em style="font-family: helvetica;">This article was first published on Business Daily Newspaper on July 23, 2022</em>

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