If you are a woman and have developed a lower belly pouch that is mushy feeling and tender to the touch, and the pouch refuses to go away even with dieting and exercise, it could be a condition called adenomyosis.
What is Adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis occurs when endometrial tissue that lines the uterus grows inward and penetrates and adheres to underlying muscle tissue and organs. The endometrial tissue causes the enlarged pouch in the lower belly and feels mushy when pressed. The belly pouch will also feel tender when touched or pressed and periods will be much heavier than normal when endometrial tissue has invaded surrounding organs and muscles tissue.
Symptoms of adenomyosis mimic menopause symptoms and are often chalked up to a woman being perimenopausal or menopausal if she is over 35.
Risk Factors and Causes of Adenomyosis
Any woman can develop adenomyosis, but those who have given birth or who have had uterine surgery are at the greatest risk.
The leading causes of adenomyosis is an abundance of estrogen in the body. The estrogen overload could be produced by one’s own body or be introduced through an outside source.
Treatment for Adenomyosis
An MRI or ultrasound is needed to determine the presence of adenomyosis, and if it’s discovered, treatment is determined by the severity and amount of endometrial tissue.
Treatment usually starts with the avoidance of all synthetic estrogens, which includes conventionally raised meats (which have estrogen added), all health and beauty products which contain parabens and chemically scented household cleaners. Certain forms of birth control contain estrogen (talk to you doctor to discover if your form of birth control contains estrogen) and will have to replaced with another birth control method and estrogen therapy will have to be discontinued.
The next step in treating adenomyosis will be to add progesterone (female sex hormone) to balance out the natural estrogen produced by the body. Usually progesterone is prescribed in cream form and applied to the body three weeks out of the month, between menstrual cycles.
If the condition does not show signs of improvement after four to six months of treatment, surgery is the next treatment step. Your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called a uterine artery embolism (which will cut off the blood supply to the problematic tissue) or a partial or full hysterectomy.