Adenomyosis: a Hidden Cause of Infertility?

health care Sep 18, 2015

Hi and welcome back to Fertile Fridays!!

Well our first cycle of IUI didn’t work (boo), but we’re still in the game. I started ultrasounds again last week, took the trigger shot (the shot to induce ovulation) last night, have 2 follicles that are the right size, and will do the IUI procedure again tomorrow. What’s odd is that yesterday at the ultrasound, the doctor said she wanted me to get an MRI to investigate adenomyosis. Adeno-what, I said? So of course, I came home and Googled it.

Adenomyosis is where the lining of the uterus grows into the uterine wall (as compared with endometriosis, where the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus altogether). Adenomyosis is less common, and is not something I’ve ever come across either personally or in my naturopathic practice. I discussed it with my fertility acupuncturist yesterday, and she said she’s only seen one case of it and therefore looked it up, otherwise she would have been in the dark too.

Adenomyosis cannot be diagnosed via ultrasound, although she doctor saw something on the ultrasound that obviously raised a red flag to her. She said the tissue looked very vascular (sorry, is this TMI?!). The main doctor I’ve been seeing also saw it and said it could quite simply be that – vascular tissue, and not invading tissue, but he agreed it would be good to get an MRI.

I guess the bottom line is that if adenomyosis is occurring, there is a lower chance of implantation because the wall of the uterus is doing weird things. That makes sense.

I asked about treatment, and was given a “hmmm, it can be tricky, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”. Yeah, ok, let’s do that! My acupuncturist said that from a Chinese medicine standpoint, it’s treated like a blood stagnation, and that proteolytic enzymes would be one of the first things to do. Lucky that I just started proteolytic enzymes last week then isn’t it?!

I’m honestly not too convinced or concerned about it – it seems random that after all the ultrasounds I’ve had so far, and the Femview procedure, this is just coming up for discussion now. Also, this particular doctor, while very nice, always seems to be looking for something wrong, or a reason to risk me out of the IUI cycle we’re doing. I mean, I get that the hospital has guidelines and standards of care for their IUI treatment, such as not going ahead if there are more than 3 follicles developing because of the chance of multiples and a high-risk pregnancy, but I only need to be told that once, not every single time I go in. I’ve got used to it and now it’s water off my back, but I have nicknamed her Dr. McNegative-Pants none-the-less. It helps me to keep a sense of humor around it.

That being said, I’m going to do the MRI in a couple of weeks just to rule it out. At this point I’m open to any possible reasons why we’re not getting pregnant, when everything else that’s been tested has all been so normal, indeed optimal. If nothing else, if it indicates I do have it, we might as well take a break from any fertility treatment and work on sorting that out first.

In the meantime, we try the IUI again tomorrow and the waiting begins yet again!!