Adenomyosis and endometriosis

Let’s be honest, adenomyosis and endometriosis can be painful conditions to handle. And if you’re dealing with the symptoms without having a diagnosis, the stress and anxiety that comes with not knowing what’s going on with your body can add to your restlessness. 

What’s the difference between adenomyosis and endometriosis?

The two conditions are quite similar and can happen together, but there are some differences. 

Adenomyosis usually affects women in their 40s and 50s, although it doesn't discriminate fully by age as younger women in their 20’s (and earlier) can also be affected by it. The cells that normally make the lining on the inside of the uterus end up growing in the muscle wall as well.

Endometriosis usually affects women in their 30s and 40s (again, doesn’t discriminate) and happens when cells from the lining of the uterus grow in areas outside the womb. Usually, the cells don’t go outside the pelvic area (they mainly affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvic tissue). With endometriosis, these (shady) cells outside of the uterus act in the same way as the cells inside the uterus during a period. Basically, they thicken, break down and bleed. And with nowhere to go they get stuck inside the body, causing all sorts of pain and problems.

Adenomyosis and endometriosis symptoms and changes

If you’re dealing with adenomyosis or endometriosis you’re probably noticing a lot of changes going on.

The two conditions may have lots of symptoms in common but the changes you’re likely to experience with adenomyosis, include:  

  • Recurrent pelvic pain
  • Referred pain to the back, hips and down the legs
  • Feelings of fatigue
  • Heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • Painful periods
  • Abnormal bleeding, often between periods
  • Pain during sex (read more about dyspareunia symptoms and treatment if this affects you)
  • Pressure on the bladder and rectum
  • Enlarged uterus

And with endometriosis, you may experience:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • Painful periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Painful bowel movements or urination
  • Bloating, nausea, diarrhea, or fatigue during menstruation.

All of these symptoms range from mild to severe, but sometimes (and frustratingly) there are no symptoms at all. 

If you’re not already getting professional help, we encourage you to chat to your pelvic physiotherapist or doctor. It’s worth knowing that you don’t need a referral to see a pelvic physiotherapist and begin investigating exactly what’s going on with your pelvic health.  

Relief for adenomyosis and endometriosis

The Pelvic Hub is here to help you manage your pain as you work through the root causes of symptoms with your specialist. 

Relief from painful periods

We probably don’t need to tell you how good heat therapy feels when you’re on a painful period. It can improve circulation and blood flow and soothe the discomfort that comes with adenomyosis and endometriosis. But instead of being couch ridden, there’s a mobile solution in TendHer reusable feminine soothers. These soothers can be worn while on the go, they’re you’re discreet little lifeline when you need relief.

These soothers are also great for pelvic floor pain and spasm, lower back pain, SIJ pain, toddler boo boos - you name it! Simply place them in a bowl of warm water and put them anywhere you need relief. Plus, they come in packs of two so you can have one heating while the other is in use. Constant relief!

You don’t have to put up with pain during sex

If you’re wondering how to reduce pain during sex, Ohnut could be the answer. Ohnut acts as a buffer and allows you to control the depth of penetration during sex. Once you know the boundaries, you can relax and be in the moment (which is what we want, right?!) It’s also a great tool for other conditions like genito pelvic pain penetration disorder, returning to sex after baby, vaginismus, fibroids, menopause and more.

Has your doctor recommended you use a vaginal trainer?

vaginal dilator therapy can help retrain your pelvic floor, allowing you to learn how to control, and relax, your pelvic floor muscles. Vaginal dilators can also help you warm up to sex if you’re feeling apprehensive or need to prepare your tissues and muscles.

Soul Source dilators are specially made from resilient silicone rubber to have a comfortable, natural texture. And they can be chilled to ease pain or warmed for extra comfort. They’re also thoughtfully and beautifully-made with a non-medical look, because Soul Source knows just how fed up you are of all things medical.