You’ve been a long-time sufferer of painful periods, uncomfortable bowel movements and urination, and painful sex. Now, you think you might be experiencing infertility, too.
Aunt Molly and cousin Sarah were both diagnosed with endometriosis — Sarah even had adenomyosis. Is it possible that you’re suffering from adenomyosis or endometriosis, too?
It’s likely that one of these chronic conditions is the cause of your painful and unwanted symptoms.
Learn everything there is to know about adenomyosis vs. endometriosis, including:
- How they’re similar
- How they differ
- Common symptoms
- How they’re treated
- How they’re diagnosed
- And more
Table of Contents
- What Is the Clinical Difference Between Adenomyosis and Endometriosis?
- Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Symptoms
- Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Diagnosis/Identification
- Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Causes
- Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Treatment
What Is the Clinical Difference Between Adenomyosis and Endometriosis?
Adenomyosis and endometriosis are similar in that both cause abnormal tissue growth in the endometrium and affect the lining of the uterus. But, while they both can cause extreme pelvic pain and have a hand in infertility, they do differ.
With adenomyosis, the tissue overgrows and extends into the muscle of the uterus.
With endometriosis, the tissue grows outside of the uterus, often attaching to the:
- Fallopian tubes
- Pelvic wall
Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Symptoms
Are you experiencing painful intercourse, heavy or unusual menstrual cycles, or infertility? You might be suffering from adenomyosis or endometriosis.
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Symptoms of Adenomyosis
The symptoms of adenomyosis occur from the enlarging of the uterus. If you’re suffering from adenomyosis, you might notice:
- Pressure on your bladder and rectum from the enlarged uterus.
- A change in the way your uterine muscles contract.
- Heavy and/or painful periods.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
You might also suffer from anemia if you’re experiencing adenomyosis because of menstrual bleeding. If so, you could also experience:
- Extreme fatigue
- Weakness; or
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Endometriosis tends to present with many similar symptoms as adenomyosis. However, there are also a handful of additional symptoms you could experience that might lead you to believe you’re suffering from endometriosis.
In addition to heavy and/or painful menstrual cycles, painful sexual intercourse, and fatigue, you might also experience:
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
- Pain with bowel movements
- Pain with urination; and/or
- Digestive problems
Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Pain: Is One Worse Than the Other?
The severity of both conditions is dependent from case to case as each one has varying pain levels and individuals tolerate symptoms differently. However, it is very common for people to have both adenomyosis and endometriosis.
In fact, there are many cases where those suffering from adenomyosis experience no symptoms and only find out about their condition when it has advanced or is diagnosed alongside endometriosis.
While adenomyosis is contained within the uterus, severe endometriosis can quickly spread throughout the body and cause debilitating pain. However, due to the scarring of the fallopian tubes and ovaries and blocking the descent of an egg for fertilization, endometriosis tends to be categorized as more severe since it can cause infertility.
Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Diagnosis/Identification
Because these two conditions are very similar, they can be diagnosed with many of the same techniques. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of adenomyosis or endometriosis and suspect you might be a sufferer, a medical professional may diagnose you based on your symptoms.
Diagnoses can be made for adenomyosis and endometriosis in a few different ways:
Although a doctor might be able to diagnose you through these techniques, they can’t technically identify the exact cause of your pain until they see it in surgery.
Diagnosis of Adenomyosis
Many sources report that the only way to truly diagnose adenomyosis is by examining the tissue of the uterus after a hysterectomy.
It’s also possible to identify adenomyosis through a biopsy of the endometrium, however, this is not typically done to help diagnose adenomyosis.
Instead, biopsies of the endometrium are often performed to help identify a more serious issue like uterine or endometrial cancer, and during the process, adenomyosis is also identified.
Diagnosis of Endometriosis
A laparoscopy procedure is the only true way to confirm and diagnose endometriosis.
During this procedure, a surgeon inflates the abdomen and uses a laparoscope to look at the reproductive organs and identify any abnormal patches of tissue. If necessary, a biopsy will also be done.
How Common Is Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis?
Research suggests that adenomyosis is more common than endometriosis, affecting around 20-35% of women globally. Women who have been treated for miscarriages tend to be at a higher risk of experiencing adenomyosis.
Endometriosis affects around 10-15% of women in their reproductive age — nearly 190 million women globally. Among those with symptoms, the prevalence may be as high as 70%.
However, endometriosis can often go undiagnosed due to mild symptoms or doctor’s not taking their patients' symptoms seriously.
Research done by BBC shows that the average endometriosis diagnosis takes 7.5 years and that most women eventually diagnosed with endometriosis visit their doctor more than 10 times before receiving a diagnosis.
- 43% of women report going to the hospital 5+ times
- 53% of women report going to the emergency room from symptoms
Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Causes
Medical professionals and researchers don’t know for sure what causes adenomyosis or endometriosis. However, they are aware of risk factors and possible causes that might make women more prone to suffering from one of these two conditions, if not both.
One theory suggests that endometriosis might be caused by a backward menstrual flow through the fallopian tubes, allowing the tissue that is shed during a period to move elsewhere in the body.
Researchers believe that for adenomyosis, there might be a disruption in the boundary between the uterine muscle and the deepest layer of endometrial tissue.
One thing is for sure, both adenomyosis and endometriosis are estrogen-dependent, which means they can only occur when high levels of estrogen are present to allow the endometrial tissue to grow.
Adenomyosis Risk Factors
You might be at a higher risk for adenomyosis if:
- You’ve had increased exposure to estrogen
- You have a higher body mass
- You use oral contraceptives
- You have a history of uterine surgeries, like D&C
- You use the medication tamoxifen
Endometriosis Risk Factors
You might be at an increased risk for endometriosis if:
- You have a family history of endometriosis
- You began menstruation before 11 years old
- Your monthly cycle is shorter than 27 days
- Your periods last longer than 7 days
- You’ve experienced infertility
- You have lean body mass or low body fat
Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis Treatment
Although there are no cures for either condition, many treatment options are available for adenomyosis and endometriosis based on the symptoms present and their severity.
Both conditions are commonly treated through:
- The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Hormonal birth control; or
Additionally, treatments specific to only endometriosis include:
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists
- Aromatase inhibitors
- Laparoscopic surgery
- Fertility treatments
Maybe your adenomyosis or endometriosis pain isn’t severe enough for surgery. You might not be interested in taking different pills daily. Or maybe, despite every effort, you’re still suffering from symptoms.
Chiavaye has created an all-natural personal moisturizer designed to nourish the vaginal tissue in a healthy, chemical-free way to help ease the symptoms of adenomyosis and endometriosis.
Are There More Natural Ways To Cope With Adenomyosis and Endometriosis?
Living with a chronic condition can be both emotionally and physically taxing. And stuffing your body with medications might not be the solution you’re looking for, especially if your diagnosis of adenomyosis or endometriosis leads to feelings of depression or anxiety.
Instead, there are many natural remedies to help cope with these conditions, including:
- Exercising regularly
- Massage therapy
- Heating pad application
- Staying active during heavy/intense period days
- Properly fueling your body
- Using an all-natural vaginal moisturizer, like Chiavaye, to nourish the vaginal tissue
Chiavaye Makes an All-Natural Personal Moisturizer To Help You Manage Some Symptoms of Adenomyosis and Endometriosis
As a long-time sufferer of endometriosis, I understand the importance of nourishing your body with all-natural, chemical-free, and healthy ingredients.
Chiavaye’s all-natural personal moisturizer was designed to help women keep their vaginas and the surrounding tissue healthy.
Not only do our products help with symptoms of endometriosis and adenomyosis, but they are also beneficial to:
- Women going through menopause.
- New moms or women struggling with vaginal dryness or painful sex.
- Cancer survivors struggling with similar symptoms.
If you’re searching for a safe, chemical-free lubricant to help manage your symptoms of endometriosis, adenomyosis, or any other vaginal or pelvic issues, look no further — Chiavaye is designed just for you. Shop now to get some relief.