Adenomyosis Information Network - Treatments - Haymarket, VA
Adenomyosis Information Network - Promoting research and support for the uterine disorder adenomyosis
Treatments
 
Currently, the only treatment for complete resolution of symptoms is hysterectomy.  However, some progress is being made in the treatment of adenomyosis.  Check out the possible treatments below for more information.
 
Note: The Adenomyosis Information Network does not promote or recommend any of the following treatments. This information is given FYI so that you may be prepared when going through your treatment for adenomyosis. Please know that there can be side effects and/or complications from any of the treatments or medications below.
 
 
NSAIDS
 
Medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and Aleve are examples of NSAIDS.  These medications block prostaglandins such as COX-2 and have been shown to be effective with menstrual pain.  However, if the adenomyosis is severe, these medications may not be sufficient.  In my case, the adenomyosis was so diffuse and severe through the uterine muscle that these medications were ineffective.  If that is your case, you may want to talk to your doctor about stronger pain relievers and/or some of the other options below.
 
Progesterone cream
 
The use of natural progesterone cream has shown some promise in the treatment of adenomyosis.  Dr. John Lee has coined the term estrogen dominance and has developed his own natural progesterone cream.  See "Hormonal Imbalance" for more information.
 
Continuous birth control therapy
 
Using continuous birth control therapy can be very effective in treating symptoms of adenomyosis.  This involves being on the hormone pills continuously (no placebo pills during the week of menstruation) except about 4 times per year.  With this therapy, you will usually have about 4 menstrual cycles per year instead of once per month.  It is recommended that if this therapy is used, a progesterone dominant birth control pill is used for the treatment of adenomyosis.
 
Progesterone (levonorgestrel)-releasing IUD
 
The lovenorgestrel releasing IUD may be helpful in that it has been shown to reduce VEGF expression.  This device can be easily inserted and can last up to 5 years.  A speculum is used and a small tube is threaded into the uterus.  The IUD is placed into the uterus, and a small string remains in the vaginal canal so the doctor/patient will know that it remains in the correct position.  The patient may feel some discomfort after insertion including cramping and back pain.  Other side effects include possible pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and pregnancy complications in case of IUD failure.  Benefits include lighter periods and a decrease in menstrual cramps.
 
Do you have your own story about adenomyosis and IUD?  See "My Blog" and add your own comments!
 
Progestogen tablets or injections
 
Danazol
 
This drug inhibits steroid hormone production, reducing estrogen secretion.  It may also increase testosterone production.  Side effects include weight gain, increased body hair, oily skin, reduced sex drive, hot flashes and an increase in blood sugar.
 
Aromatase inhibitors
 
Aromatase inhibitors are a newer class of drugs and are typically used for breast and ovarian cancer in post menopausal women.  Aromatase synthesizes estrogen, and these drugs block receptor sites for aromatase which in turn decreases the production of estrogen.  Examples of aromatase inhibitors include exemestone (Aromasin), anastozole (Arimidex) and letrozole (Femara).  Side effects include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, infertility, foggy thinking, muscle and joint pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, adrenal insufficiency, liver disorders, kidney failure and possible heart problems.
 
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs
 
These drugs basically modify the release of lutenizing hormone(LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).  These hormones control ovulation and menstruation.  And example of this type of medication is Lupron.  It is given either by injection or intra nasally.  They have been used in the treatment of endometriosis, leiomyomas (fibroids), infertility, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and hormone dependent tumors.  In one study, these drugs were linked with a decrease in the thickness of the myometrial JZ (see "Causes").  Examples of GnRH analogs include Lupron, Synarel, Zolodex, cetrorelix (Cetrotide), and ganirelix.  Side effects include menopausal type symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, headaches, mood swings, decreased sexual drive, and nausea. 
 
Uterine artery embolization
 
This procedure has been shown in several studies to be helpful in the treatment of both endometriosis and adenomyosis.  See "Surgical Procedures" for more information.
 
The Osada procedure
 
Check out the video below to learn more about a surgery called the Osada procedure that is currently being performed on women who wish to retain uterine function and are not yet ready for a hysterectomy:
 
 
 
Pentoxifylline
 
Also known as Trental or Pentoxil, this medication is typically prescribed for those suffering from intermittent claudication, vascular dementia or other circulation problems.  It improves blood flow throughout the body.  Some recent studies have shown that this drug may be promising in the treatment of endometriosis and/or adenomyosis.
 
MRgFUS
 
Another promising radiological exam that is actually able to pick up diffuse adenomyosis is now available.  It is called magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS).  This is so exciting to see a test that can actually pick this disorder up; however, my concern is that women generally won't be able to access this technology due to cost and insurance requirements.  That is why it is so important for EVERYONE to be aware of this condition and to know that this technology is out there!  MRgUS is now being used in the treatment of fibroid tumors, but it is also effective in the treatment of adenomyosis.  It has been reported that 70-90% of cases will be picked up using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  Please educate everyone you know about MRgFUS!  Check out the videos below on this technology:
 
 
 
 
 
The following article contains excellent information on the technical aspects of MRgFUS:
 
 
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