Adenomyosis is like the cousin to endometriosis – they are similar but different conditions. In adenomyosis, the tissue of the uterine lining grows within the muscles of this lining (the myometrium). This can cause the uterus to increase in size and can cause lots of pain and heavy bleeding.
Symptoms can include:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhoea)
- Heavy periods (menorrhagia)
- Prolonged bleeding
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
- Painful sex (dyspareunia)
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Swelling of the uterus and protruding abdomen/bloating (“adenomyosis belly”)
The Cleveland Clinic estimates that 20-65% of women may have adenomyosis, although some cases are asymptomatic. Women may be more likely to develop adenomyosis if they:
- Have been pregnant multiple times
- Are between 35 and 50 years old
- Have had surgery on their uterus, including a Cesarean section (C-section), fibroid removal, or dilation & curettage (D&C)
Hormones, genetics, the microbiome and the immune system are all involved in the development and progression of adenomyosis.
Natural support for adenomyosis may include:
- Hormone support – specifically modulation for oestrogen and progesterone
- Gut healing – as much of our immune system and hormone detoxification happens in the gut
- Microbiome restoration – as infections and imbalances in the microbiome and gut bacteria can contribute to adenomyosis
- Reducing inflammation through diet – specifically avoiding casein cow’s protein
- Herbal medicines such as curcumin/turmeric, ginger, boswellia to reduce inflammation
- Nutritional medicines such as zinc, magnesium and PEA to support hormone balance and reduce inflammation
As always, prescriptions should be individualised to each person, taking into consideration their whole health picture and symptom presentation. Speak to your healthcare practitioner before commencing any supplement regimes.