Adenomyosis: Causes, Risks, & Natural Healing Options

Adenomyosis: Causes, Risks, & Natural Healing Options

What is Adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is a rare condition in which the cells of the endometrium grow into the muscular walls of the uterus. Women may not have any outward symptoms this has happened to them, but it may become very painful. In most cases adenomyosis is harmless and painless, but in some cases it can lead to difficulties in getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Despite little being known about this condition, there are natural healing options.

In order to understand this condition more it is important to know your uterus. The uterus is intended to be the home of your developing baby. It is one of the most amazing organs in the female body. It is about 7cm long and 5cm wide at the top and 2.5cm at the bottom. The uterus is made up of 3 layers. The perimetrium is the outermost layer of the uterus; in comparison to the other layers it is relatively thin. The myometrium is the middle layer. Within this myometrium are three layers of smooth muscle arranged in spiral, circular and longitudinal muscle patterns. The endometrium is the inner mucosal lining. It has two layers. The stratum functionale contains the excretory glands and is shed as menses during menstruation. It is then built-up again by stimulation of the ovaries releasing hormones. The deeper layer that resides next to the myometrium is vascular (vessels that carry fluids) and serves to regenerate the stratum functionale after each menstruation ends.


Mayo Clinic Adenomyosis

What Causes Adenomyosis?

No one knows for sure what causes adenomyosis. Adenomyosis usually disappears after menopause. This may be because the uterus no longer produces the endometrium for a monthly menstrual cycle.

Adenomyosis shows up as large or small masses of endometrial cells in the myometrium. Doctors have yet to understand why this happens, but there are several risk factors and theories as to why this may happen.

Adenomyosis is not endometriosis, but many women who have endometriosis may also have adenomyosis. Endometriosis is defined as endometrial cells that grow outside of the uterus. Endometriosis is when excess endometrium lining of the uterus that normally grows in preparation for the implanting of the egg begins, does not completely shed during menstruation. It then begins to attach to other places of the body besides the uterus. When menses comes not only does the lining in the uterus bleed the endometriosis that has grown in other places of the body also bleeds.

Adenomyosis is similar to endometriosis in that when the endometrial cells grow in preparation for implantation, and then bleed if not fertilized, this will happen in the muscular layers of the uterus where the adenomyomas are present.

Who is at Risk for Developing Adenomyosis?

  • Women in their childbearing years are more likely to develop adenomyosis.
  • Women over 30 years of age.
  • Women who have had previous cesarean section or other uterine surgery.

Theories as to What May Cause Adenomyosis

Invasive Foreign Tissue Growth
In the case of uterine surgery, it is thought that the incisions made during surgery promote direct invasion of the endometrial cells into muscular layers of the uterus (myometrium).

Uterine Inflammation from Childbirth
This theory suggests that postpartum uterine inflammation may cause a break in the boundary between the endometrium and the myometrium. This would allow for the endometrial cells to invade the myometrium.

Abnormal Uterine Development
Another theory suggests that when the uterus is developing in the female embryo, somehow the formation of the cells of the endometrium become deposited in the muscles of the uterus.

Symptoms of Adenomyosis

Note: Many women experience no symptoms even though they have adenomyosis.

  • Painful menstrual cycles known as dysmonorrhea, usually pain may increase over time.
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Heavy, clotty or long-term menstrual bleeding
  • Mid-cycle bleeding
  • A feeling of a mass in the uterus, or the feeling of an enlarged uterus

In the case of adenomyosis, the uterus may double or triple in size.

Diagnosis

If you experience any of the above symptoms it may be a good idea to make an appointment to see your doctor. A doctor can palpate your uterus to determine if there are any large masses or enlargement of the uterus. If adenomyosis is suspected, your doctor may request an ultrasound to determine if the masses are adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, or tumors.

Natural Treatment Options for Adenomyosis

Because researchers are unable to determine the cause of adenomyosis, there is no known way to prevent it or completely get rid of it. If the pain becomes severe or bleeding very heavy or long-term, doctors may suggest hysterectomy. There are natural ways to manage pain, reduce heavy menstrual bleeding, reduce foreign tissue growth and improve uterine health to aid in healing of adenomyosis.

Support A Healthy Uterus

Self Fertility Massage™
Self Fertility Massage™ may be one of the easiest and most cost effective ways you can improve your uterine health, which is essential if you have adenomyosis. This massage can be done from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Self Fertility Massage™ is a series of massage techniques that are used to help support reproductive health, the menstrual cycle, and your fertility.

This type of massage may help to support healing from adenomyosis, reducing pain and inflammation. It also aids in removal of old blood. Self Fertility Massage™ may also help to sustain the health of the muscles of the uterus, which are greatly impacted by the adenomyomas growing in the myometrium.

    Ways Self Fertility Massage™ Improves Uterine Health:
    * Increases circulation to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
    * Promotes hormonal balance by strengthening the hormonal feedback loop.
    * Helps the uterus to rid itself of old stagnant blood and tissues.
    * Helps to reposition a tilted uterus.
    * Increases endorphins which help reduce pain associated with uterine issues.
    * Brings fresh oxygenated blood to the uterus.
    * Aids the uterus in getting rid of blood clots.
    * Helps to strengthen the uterine muscles.

Castor Oil Packs
A Castor Oil Pack is a cloth soaked in castor oil which is placed on the skin to enhance circulation and promote healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. Castor Oil stimulates regular detoxification of old blood. Castor oil helps to reduce inflammation and pain, while working with the bodies natural detoxification systems to eat away foreign tissue growth, scar tissues and adhesion formation. This therapy is complementary to Self Fertility Massage™.

Systemic Enzyme Therapy
This type of therapy works to eat away foreign tissue growth which may help to eat away adenomyomas, while reducing the pain and inflammation caused by adenomyosis. Systemic enzyme therapy uses systemic enzymes that work to reduce pain, inflammation, and prevent scar tissue damage.

Key benefits:

  • The systemic enzyme blend works as a biological response modifier; working with the bodies own immune defense system to moderate inflammatory response.
  • They support cleansing of the tissues, promote better circulation.
  • They break down and remove “fibrin”, the make-up of prolonged inflammation and scar tissue/adhesion formation.
  • They break down the proteins in the blood that cause inflammation, this facilitates their removal via the lymphatic and circulatory system.
  • Reduction in inflammation, increase in proper blood formation, increase in proper circulation hinders scar tissue and adhesion formation, while reducing pain.

Reduce Heavy, Long-term, Clotty Menstrual Bleeding

Slow Flow
For women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding, large blood clotting or long-term menstrual bleeding, the herbal blend Slow Flow may be a good option. This blend combines astringent herbs, uterine tonics and nutrients to support normal menstrual flow. It combines these herbs: Ginger root, Cranesbill root, Periwinkle herb, Yarrow flower, Liferoot herb, Shepherd’s purse herb.

Slow Flow should only be used to manage heavy bleeding, therefore it should only be taken on heavy bleeding days.

Manage Pain from Adenomyosis Naturally

Women’s Best Friend™
This herbal blend combines powerful herbs that work to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding, curb pain, tone the uterus, reduce abdominal congestion, regulate the menstrual cycle, fight infection, stimulate liver activity for improved estrogen metabolism, and work to balance progesterone. This blend includes seaweed, for thyroid support. Women’s Best Friend™ also contains Protease, an enzyme that works to dissolve excess foreign tissues, like those that make up adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, scar tissue and adhesion. This herbal blend reduces pain and swelling right away, so you begin to feel better right away.

Dr. Tori Hudson, N.D. Anti-Adenomyosis Tincture

Here at Natural-Fertility-Info.com we are huge fans of Dr. Tori Hudson and her Vitanica line of products. She is a well respected naturopathic doctor and educator. The following recipe comes from her herbal protocol for healing and managing adenomyosis.

1 oz. Licorice rt. (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
1 oz. Partridge berry leaf (Mitchella repens)
1 oz. Blue Cohosh rt. (Caulophylum thalictroides)
1 oz. Geranium rt. (Geranium spp.)
40 drops Cotton rt. bark (Gossypium)

Combine all tinctures together. Mix well. Suggested dosage: 1 dropperful, 2 times a day.

It would be best to find an herbalist or naturopathic doctor in your area, to suggest or make a similar blend for adenomyosis, if you are interested in an herbal protocol for your healing program.

References:
1. mayoclinic.com/health/Adenomyosis/DS00636
2. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002481/
3. Down There Sexual and Reproductive Health, Susun S. Weed, Ash Tree Publishing, 2011

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[-] 33 Comments
  1. Hi! I’m 44 and was diagnosed with adenomyosis 3 months ago and had D&C as I was bleeding profusely for almost 3 weeks. Now I am bleeding again. My doctor advised me to undergo hysterectomy which I turned down since I’m trying to conceive. I’ve never had any children.
    Could you recommend any pill that I can take to get rid of adenomyosis?

    Thanks xxxxx!

    • Dear Gerah,

      Is this bleeding different than a “normal” period? I suspect so, but must ask. Take time to revisit the Natural Healing Options for Adenomyosis discussed in this very article. There are natural options for reducing heavy bleeding, supporting the body in managing inflammation and for nourishing the uterus.

      If you are still unsure of what to try for your needs, please consider working one on one with our fertility herbalist who can lay out an entire natural fertility program for you through a Fertility Consultation.

      All my best!

  2. Hi, I was diagnosed with Adenomyosis Aug 2014. I am 38 next month and now waiting for the ablation. I have 2 children and do not wish to have anymore. I asked the consultant about a hysterectomy but was told the hospital board would take a dim view of it if I hadn’t tried other things. I don’t want to take the pill, I took it briefly but had sore breasts and bled badly, not to mention acne. I experience painful intercourse. I have started taking Vitex, what else can I take for the awful pain?

    • Hello Beth!

      Thank you for reaching out to us and I am sorry for what you are going through!

      Consider taking time to revisit the Natural Treatment Options for Adenomyosis in this article for other suggestions of natural therapies and nutritional supplements to consider. If may be most helpful to consider working one on one with our fertility herbalist who can lay out an entire natural fertility program (even in not intending to conceive again) for you based on your specific fertility health needs. This if offered through a Fertility Consultation.

  3. Hello,
    I have been diagnosed with Adenomyosis & Endometriosis (both mild) I had a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy in March 2015 and had endo removed from ovaries and PoD. The surgeon noted ‘obvious signs of Adenomyosis’, which was identified because of a bulky uterus. Since them, my periods have remained quite painful. I have been trying to conceive via IUI and I have noticed that on each failed attempt my period symptoms are far more severe (blood clots, extreme pain and heavy bleeding which only lasts 1-2 days) I am concerned I am having an auto immune response because of the Adenomyosis. My clinic are keen for me to continue trying before testing for this. Please can you provide any advice?

    • Dear Emma,

      We understand the value of surgical removal of endometriosis for many, but we also know that surgery does not address the underlying cause of its growth. We feel it important to consider the ways to naturally support the body in managing potential regrowth and learning hormonal balance. The article The Best Natural Alternative Therapies for Endometriosis is a comprehensive guide to consider reviewing to learn how to offer the body the aforementioned support and more.

      Some of what you have read in this article may be reiterated in the articles in the guide I just linked you to as well. Consider also learning more about Systemic Enzyme Therapy.

      Pain and heavy bleeding from either of these fertility health issues does not automatically make me this autoimmunity, but if concerned there are reproductive immunologist who specialize in determining if immunoloigal infertility might be a concern for those they work with. Your doctor may be able to refer you to this type of specialist.

      All my best!

  4. Hey, I had a D&C in Nov. of 2014 and was diagnosed with Adenomyosis in Dec. of 2014. I’m only 20 years old and it’s starting to get really out of hand. Extremely painful periods and most months I have two periods. My gyno recommeded going on an anti-estrogen hormone to treat it. He’s trying to make it where I can wait as long as a need to for the hysterectomy (which apparently is the only treatment available.) I have been think of going for a second opinion before I start any treatment. What is your opinion?

    • Dear Taylor,

      It is my personal opinion that if you are not comfortable with the first opinion, a second is certainly warranted. Having a hysterectomy removes your chances of every carrying a child as I am certain you realize.

      While the tips in this article could be considered, it may be most helpful to work one on one with someone, a fertility herbalist, to help and guide you on the best natural fertility health program for your needs. This if offered through a Fertility Consultation. I hope you will consider!

      All my best to you!

  5. Hello. I was diagnosed with adenomyosis late last year but I think it is a condition I had for a while given the heavy/painful periods. My worry is that I’m 29 and would love to have my own babies. Will your products help? Also is there like a dietary/exercise plan you can share.
    There is no joy like motherhood. Thank you.

    I’m from Nairobi, Kenya

    • Dear LuLu,

      I am sorry you have been faced with this challenge, but glad you are being so proactive by educating yourself on how to best support your fertility health.

      In addition to the herbs and natural therapies discussed in this article, we feel following a Fertility Diet is the most beneficial to a reproductive health plan. Learn more about exercise, one of the Top 5 Tips for Your Natural Fertility Plan by clicking that link.

      I hope this information is helpful as well!

  6. Is the Dr. Tori Hudson. Anti-Adenomyosis Tincture something you ingest?

  7. Hi! I am 40 years old have three old lad. I have been trying for the last 2 and a half year to conceive until recently I have been diagnosed with Adenomyosis. Is there any hope for me to get pregnant with another child? I would really appreciate your input and advice.

    • Dear Rabia,

      We never want a woman to lose hope! Consider revisiting the natural healing options for adenomyosis in this article as you learn more about this condition and possibly working one on one with our fertility herbalist through a Fertility Consultation. Through this experience, she can evaluate your overall and fertility health, diet and lifestyle to create a concise program from your fertility health needs.

      I hope you will consider this invaluable experience.

  8. Hi! Thank you for your very informative site! I was diagnosed with mild adenomyosis after completing a treatment for endometrial cyst which was already dissolved. What should I do so that my mild adenomyosis won’t advance? I was wondering if you can ship products in the Philippines? Thank you…

    • Dear Janice,

      The Natural Treatment Options for Adenomyosis discussed in this article certainly can be considered. The Natural Fertility Shop does ship to the Philippines. Contact customer care for help with ordering if needed.

    • Hi Janice! I was also diagnosed of adenomyosis just last month. I was looking for natural ways to prevent this disease from spreading. I really don’t like hormones and planning to try Slow Flow. Were you able to purchase any products yet?

      Thanks,
      From Baguio City

    • Dear Shellamie,

      The guidance offered in this article may be worth considering. There are a variety of natural therapies that may be supportive of a healthy uterine environment.

      I also should share that Janice may not see your email to her. She would have to re-read the comments on this article to see it. She will not receive an email directly.

      Know that we offer one on one personalized guidance through a Fertility Consultation if you would like help in learning the best natural fertility program for your needs. This may be the most helpful as you work to naturally support the body.

      All my best!

  9. What are the chances of my getting pregnant with adenomyosis and delivering a baby? Can your therapy help? If so, how do I order?

    • Dear Ngosi,

      I am thankful you found this article because it is filled with what we feel is the most important information about and suggestions for naturally supporting a healthy uterine lining and environment.

      I don’t have a black and white answer to your question. There are many beyond the severity to which you suffer from andeomyosis, like how well your body responds to the support it is offered, how well you stick to your program, your diet and lifestyle, as well as the severity of the underlying cause of this fertility issue for you. This all being said, the suggestions here are certainly worth considering.

      Please contact customer care for assistance with ordering.

      In health ~ Elizabeth

  10. Actually this condition cannot be discovered through ultrasound or pelvic exam. A hysteroscope is required to look at the actual tissue in the uterus, and a sample of the tissue should be examined. A mass of endometrial tissue looks just like a fibroid via ultrasound, and until the mass is cut in to, a doctor can’t tell which it is. I’ve just gone through a surgery by a very reputable doctor (hours from me in another state) for a fibroid removal, and it was confirmed I have adenomyosis. He was 70% sure prior to the surgery. Two other doctors I saw in my own state never mentioned adenomyosis. The ‘fibroid’ turned out to just be a mass of endo. tissue as this article mentions.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Ann,

      Thank you for sharing her experience. We will take a look at updating the information in the article, as this was written a couple of years ago.

      Take care!

  11. Hello,

    I am 44 years old and have been diagnosed with adenomyosis in my mid thirties. I never had children; had early menarche (10 years old); have had hormonal imbalance at 15, and the list goes on. A few years ago, I tried Estroven regular strength for almost a year and my “regular” symptoms disappeared – with the exception of painful intercourse. This was 6 years ago. My cycle has been on and off since. This month, the cramps are back, not as severe as before, but it’s back. Can the fertility massage and castor pack be beneficial for me and prevent painful intercourse? I am planning on going back to taking Estroven too. I’m not TTC.

  12. How do you know if you have this or not? What kind of testing is there for this? I’m having several different things going on with me and I just know my body is changing and I cant put it into words but if I wanted to be tested for something like this how would I go about it? Or is there an alternative?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Heather!

      A doctor can examine your uterus in a physical exam to feel for any large masses, or determine if there is enlargement of the uterus. If adenomyosis is suspected, your doctor may request an ultrasound to determine if the masses are adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, or tumors.

  13. Hi
    For someone in Kenya, how can the herbal blend be accessed by those who would like to use it?

  14. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  15. Dear Dalene,
    I want to thank you for your response and for sending this article and for the recommendations. Unfortunately Getting a health care provider to help in my part of the country is difficult. I tried a couple in the Pst and they all failed me. Rather my condition grew worse as a result of taking the herbs they recommended. I so afraid to try again.
    I am hoping that we keep this channel of communication open so you can assist me whenever I need help and advise.
    Once again thanks and may God continue to use you to give hope to people.

    Regards,
    Ann

  16. Hi
    I have been trying to conceive for about 2 years now. I have been unsuccessful due to a bad case of Adenomyosis. I have managed to get my bleeding down to 5-7 days. Day 2-4 is the worst with pain and heavy clotting. At this point it is so bad I am not able to get a pelvic exam using the clamps to insert. My uterus has gotten so heavy it is pushing my cervix down. I do not have pain with sex, but I do feel the change and the heaviness in just the past few months. I am considering ordering order the castor oil pack and the enzymes. I am still hopeful that I do not have to get a hysterectomy. My doctor could barely see both of my ovaries. She said at this point I may not be able to have a baby at all. Is there any chance of saving my uterus at this point in your opinion?

  17. I have been following your programs is very educative what can use to reduce the inflammation in side my vagina on the cervix. fluid comes out from my breast and I am not pregnant

    • Breast milk in the absence of pregnancy, is commonly associated with hyperprolactinemia (elevated prolactin hormone levels). Speak with your doctor regarding this.