Naga Munchetty was 'nervous' to reveal debilitating womb condition - what is adenomyosis?

Naga Munchetty, who has adenomyosis. (Getty Images)
Naga Munchetty experiences distressing symptoms from the condition adenomyosis. (Getty Images)

BBC's Naga Munchetty has revealed that she was 'nervous' about disclosing that she suffers from a a debilitating womb condition called adenomyosis.

However, the 48-year-old told Vogue that the response from her listeners has been 'amazing' and that she's glad to have raised awareness about it as there is little 'mention of it on the NHS England website'.

Earlier this year Munchetty shared her diagnosis with listeners, saying that the condition causes her constant pain. At the time, she said that she'd had a flare-up that was so extreme her husband had to call an ambulance.

"The pain was so terrible I couldn't move, turn over, sit up. I screamed non-stop for 45 minutes," the presenter revealed to her BBC Radio 5 Live listeners.

While the condition is not life-threatening, symptoms can have a big impact on your daily life.

"Right now as I sit here talking to you: I am in pain. Constant, nagging pain," she said. "In my uterus. Around my pelvis. Sometimes it runs down my thighs. And I'll have some level of pain for the entire show and for the rest of the day until I go to sleep."

What is adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis causes the lining of the womb (endometrium) to bury into the muscular wall of the womb, according to the NHS. It can affect the whole womb or just one part.

It is not an infection or contagious, and is benign, meaning it's not cancerous or dangerous.

But as the symptoms can be debilitating, it's vital to get the support you need to limit the impact on your day-to-day-life as much as possible.

While endometriosis (where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places) and adenomyosis are both endometrial problems that can cause pelvic pain, they are considered separate gynaecological conditions.

It is possible to have both at the same time.

Adenomyosis causes

It is not known exactly why adenomyosis occurs.

However, it is thought that some women with adenomyosis have a predisposition due to their genes, immune system and hormones.

Adenomyosis symptoms

While you can have adenomyosis without any symptoms at all, if they do present, they can be be extremely uncomfortable.

They might include:

  • heavy periods that last for a long time

  • severe period pain

  • a feeling of pressure in your tummy

  • bloating (your tummy sticks out more than normal)

Woman on sofa hunched over with period pain. (Getty Images)
Severe period pain could be a sign of adenomyosis. (Getty Images)

Adenomyosis treatment

Depending on your symptoms and their severity, treatment options may include:

  • anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve mild pain

  • treatment during your period to help reduce the amount of blood loss

  • hormone therapy like the contraceptive pill, to help control heavy or painful periods

  • a hysterectomy (removal of the womb)

A hysterectomy would only be considered in extreme cases when other treatments don't work or if you don't want to become pregnant.

If you experience any symptoms or suspect you might have adenomyosis, speak to your GP for advice. They might carry out a pelvic examination and other tests to see if a diagnosis is needed and rule out other health conditions, before suggesting the right treatment for you.

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