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Health & Wellness

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Health & Wellness



My Experience of Managing Adenomyosis with Mirena: The First Month


What is Adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis (not to be confused with endometriosis) is medical condition that affects many women, causing pain and discomfort due to the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue (uterine lining) into the muscle (myometrium) in the wall of the uterus.

Some women with adenomyosis have no symptoms. For those who experience symptoms (like myself), we often have painful periods (severe menstrual cramps) and heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding. Other symptoms may include pelvic pain and abdominal bloating.
The agonizing cramps that I experienced closely resembled that of contraction pain, which were debilitating enough for me to apply sick leave nearly every month.

Who Is at Risk of Adenomyosis?

Did you know that adenomyosis is most commonly diagnosed in women between the ages of 40 and 50 who have had multiple pregnancies and childbirths? I have never heard of adenomyosis until the day I was diagnosed in August 2021.
I also read that there is a link between hormonal factors and adenomyosis. Premenopausal and perimenopausal women may be at a higher risk because adenomyosis is believed to be estrogen-dependent or hormone-sensitive. Adenomyosis tends to regress after menopause when hormonal fluctuations decrease (when estrogen levels decline). You know what? Initially, upon diagnosis, I actually thought of just waiting it out until menopause.
As I mentioned earlier, adenomyosis is not to be confused with endometriosis. However, there is a known association between adenomyosis and endometriosis, another medical condition where endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. Well, someone close in my family has endometriosis, and these conditions tend to run in the family. 
In some cases, adenomyosis occurs without any identifiable risk factors or clear reasons.

How Is Adenomyosis Treated?

Typically, treatment options include pain medications (NSAIDs) and hormonal medications (birth control pills, Mirena IUS). Surgery is only necessary if medications don't work.
Regarding painkillers, I have been popping Panadol, Ponstan, Celebrex, and Arcoxia like candies for many months. It came to a point that I decided something else has to be done.
Hence, I opted for Mirena as the treatment option. You can read about how I ended up choosing Mirena in my previous blog post here.

How Mirena Helps Manage Adenomyosis?

Mirena is a small, T-shaped intrauterine device that is inserted into the uterus by an Obgyn specialist. Mirena releases a low dose of levonorgestrel, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, directly into the uterus.

Reducing Menstrual Bleeding & Alleviating Pelvic Pain

Adenomyosis is often associated with painful period cramps and heavy bleeding. This is true in my case.
The continuous, slowly-released levonorgestrel by the Mirena helps to thin the endometrial lining, which often leads to a decreased amount of menstrual flow. It also has a local anti-inflammatory effect, potentially reducing the severity of pelvic pain. For women with adenomyosis, like myself, the reduction in cramps and bleeding definitely provides significant relief.

Minimizing Uterine Growth

By altering the uterine environment (high local concentration of progestogen turns down the responsiveness of estrogen receptors in the adenomyotic tissues), Mirena may help slow the growth of the adenomyotic tissue within the uterine walls. This can contribute to a decrease in the overall symptoms and severity of adenomyosis.
In summary, Mirena helps manage adenomyosis by slowing down the growth of excess endometrial tissue, which in turn leads to decreased bleeding, pain, and disease progression. Women with adenomyosis often experience a significant improvement in their overall quality of life after Mirena insertion due to the alleviation of physical symptoms mentioned above.

How's My First Month with Mirena?

The conclusion of my first period post-Mirena insertion marks a noticeable difference. Upon comparing it with my pre-Mirena periods, I observed a lighter flow, the absence of blood clots, and minimal cramps that were quite manageable without the need for painkillers.

However, it takes 3-6 months for Mirena to settle, and my uterus will need time to adjust to having Mirena in it. Therefore, I'll continue to monitor and track the pattern on a monthly basis. So far, I feel very hopeful that I won't be experiencing debilitating cramps moving forward! Wish me luck!

Disclaimer: This blog post is written for informational purposes only and is not intended for self-diagnosis. The content is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified healthcare professionals with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and to get an accurate diagnosis.

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