For the last few months you’ve noticed you’re making more trips to the restroom and have been experiencing constipation more than usual. Even when you try to eat healthy foods, your digestion just feels…”off”. To make matters worse, nothing in your closet fits anymore, like your favorite pair of jeans, because your belly is getting bigger as time goes on. Thankfully, you’ve ruled out pregnancy, but are still concerned what these symptoms may mean.
When you see your doctor, they rule out common digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or colitis – however, those are not the case. As a last effort, your physician suggests an ultrasound. Suddenly, your doctor realizes it’s not specifically a digestive issue in itself, but a less common uterine condition known as adenomyosis.
What Is Adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis is a condition that involves the encroachment of the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus into the muscle tissue. Although it often goes undiagnosed, around 20% to 65% of women are affected by this condition in the U.S. Adenomyosis is noncancerous; however, women with this issue often experience extremely painful symptoms such as:
- Painful, sharp cramps
- Severe, prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Blood clots passed during menstruation
- Discomfort during intercourse
- Bloating and a protruding abdomen
- Chronic constipation
- Frequent urination Issues with infertility
- Fatigue caused by anemia
Adenomyosis pain and other symptoms should be taken seriously. Many women wait for their symptoms to subside, only for them to worsen as time goes on. It’s important to track your period length, severity, and heaviness to know if they are becoming unmanageable. Adenomyosis and stomach problems often get worse over time and can impede on your social as well as your work life. If your periods or other symptoms are interfering with your everyday routine, you should see a doctor immediately.
Is Adenomyosis Similar to Fibroids?
There are many similarities and differences when it comes to fibroids and adenomyosis. One of the most stark differences is that fibroids are benign tumors that develop within the uterus. Adenomyosis is misplaced endometrial tissue that grows in the wrong place. Unfortunately, these two health conditions sometimes go hand-in-hand. They both share many similar symptoms like painful, prolonged menstruation, discomfort during sex, an enlarged uterus, fatigue caused by anemia, infertility, and bowel issues. Additionally, a recent study showed that 80% of women with adenomyosis have other uterine issues. In fact, close to 50% of patients also have uterine fibroids.
One of the most profound differences between fibroids and adenomyosis is the type and severity of cramps. With adenomyosis, pelvic pain may feel like a sharp, knife-like experience that becomes chronic over time. Many patients say the severe abdominal pain can make them nauseous or bed-ridden. Women with fibroids often say their pain is constant, dull aching that feels like severe menstrual cramps with waves coming in and out – but not sharp.
Does Adenomyosis Cause Enlarged Uteruses?
Yes, depending on the severity of your adenomyosis you may experience an enlarged uterus. This happens when the endometrial tissue causes the uterine walls to grow thicker. Over time, the uterus can put pressure on surrounding organs like the bladder or intestines. If the uterine walls grow even thicker, you may notice a protruding abdomen also sometimes nicknamed an “adenomyosis belly”. An adenomyosis belly can sometimes resemble a pregnancy of almost three to six months. Adenomyosis bloating can become frustrating if you aren’t able to fit into your everyday clothes. It can also impact your self-esteem and confidence within social or intimate relationships.
It’s important to understand what can cause an enlarged uterus as well as why adenomyosis and bloating occurs. Additionally, if you have adenomyosis and uterine fibroids, fibroids can grow larger or more numerous within your uterus to enlarge the uterus as well.
Adenomyosis and Stomach Problems
Whether you have an enlarged uterus or you are just experiencing adenomyosis and stomach problems, you may know the discomfort of having to run to the restroom every five minutes. Adenomyosis can cause a myriad of digestive issues such as:
- Constipation, mild to severe
- Nausea caused by intense, sharp pain or constipation
- Frequent urination
All of these symptoms can impact your daily life by interrupting your schedule. When the uterus becomes enlarged, adenomyosis affects bowels by putting excess pressure on your surrounding organs like the bladder, intestines, and rectum. Depending on where the endometrial tissue is growing, will determine which organ it may affect more.
Adenomyosis and digestive issues are quite common and women often feel like their body is out of control. Symptoms like these can be frustrating and stressful, especially if you’re out in public. Until you can get treatment, make sure to be prepared with an extra change of clothing, locate convenient bathroom locations, and track your symptoms. Additionally, you can adjust your water intake before you’re leaving the house or eat a healthy diet to help temporarily manage your symptoms. When you’re ready to get help for adenomyosis and stomach problems or other bladder issues, the Fibroid Fighters Foundation will be here.
How to Treat Extreme Bloating: Adenomyosis and Fibroids
As we mentioned above, women with adenomyosis often have other women’s health issues like endometriosis or uterine fibroids. Additionally, many people often live with painful symptoms for years before getting diagnosed. At the Fibroid Fighters Foundation, we want women to know that they don’t have to live with adenomyosis and digestive issues as well as other uncomfortable symptoms. If you’ve ever avoided going out with family or called in sick to work because of your symptoms, it’s time to find an effective treatment solution.
Thankfully, women don’t have to worry about going through a major surgical procedure to alleviate their adenomyosis or fibroids. The Fibroid Fighters Foundation is committed to helping women find nonsurgical treatment options like Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE is minimally invasive, outpatient and allows women to avoid a hospital stay, general anesthesia, and post-op stitches. It can be used to treat both uterine fibroids as well as adenomyosis. After a 30 to 45 minute UFE treatment, patients are able to recover in the comfort of their own home in as little as seven to 10 days. Adenomyosis and digestive issues or other bladder problems doesn’t have to be your life. We want women to understand that they have options.
Give us a call at 855.455.5262 to learn more about non-surgical UFE treatment. You can also conveniently contact us online. We look forward to helping answer your questions about adenomyosis or fibroids and help get you back to a healthier, more active life.