Women’s Stories

Sydney Fibroid Clinic has aided a number of women in achieving adenomyosis relief, enjoying regular activities, and leading an ordinary lifestyle.

Read their stories below.

Forever Grateful

Forever Grateful

- N.C.

In November 2015, after suffering with a disturbingly heavy, painful and highly irregular cycle for a few years I had the Mirena IUD put in. That largely solved the problem for about a year and a half before the problems returned.

Following an MRI, it was discovered that I had rather severe adenomyosis of the entire uterus and a UAE (uterine artery embolisation) was offered to me.

It’s a very simple procedure that, along with removing an overwhelmed Mirena, has from the first period after the procedure resulted in regular and much shorter periods (2 – 3 days), very light flow, next to no pain at all during any stage of my cycle and a confidence that I will no longer make a mess, get caught out or suffer with the excruciating pain of the past.

I had a follow-up MRI to discover my adenomyosis is completely gone! My cycle has remained this way for well over a year now and it has seriously improved my life in a way I could never have dreamed. I will be forever grateful for this treatment.

A New Solution to Severe Pain

A New Solution to Severe Pain

- E.A.

I felt like a prisoner. Over a month, I would probably only get five days of no spotting at all. It was so depressing. Many doctors recommended having my uterus removed, and that was something I didn’t want.

After having the procedure, I feel amazing. I wanted to scream from the rooftops: I finally got an answer to my problems!

I don’t think about these things anymore. I am feeling confident, even in the bedroom, where before there was insecurity never knowing when I would have my period.

Back to Before

Back to Before

- R.G.

After the birth of my second child, I started to experience painful, heavy periods and large blood clots.  The pain was significantly worse when I needed to clear my bowel, especially if I was constipated. I was told that this was normal after natural child birth and that it may or may not get better. Before having children, my period was normal and regular, with minimal pain.

I endured these painful periods for years before going to the doctor searching for the cause. I felt it was not normal and something was not right. It was in June of 2012 when I visited the doctor complaining of painful period and excess bleeding. The doctor performed an ultrasound and the results were normal in their report.

I continued to endure pain until 2014, when I changed doctors and decided that another opinion may change the results and determine the cause of the pain. In November of 2014, I had a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis and an ultrasound of my pelvis. They suspected diverticular disease. The results were no significant diverticular disease or bowel disease.

It wasn’t until January 2016 that I had enough and insisted I be referred to a specialist. I had another ultrasound and a referral to a Sydney Fibroid Clinic gynaecologist. He heard my symptoms and took one look at my ultrasound and diagnosed me. He suspected adenomyosis. He gave me three options: which were Mirena, uterine artery embolisation or, as a last resort, a hysterectomy.

I was so relieved to hear that something was wrong and that it was treatable. I considered the Mirena, but ultimately decided on uterine artery embolisation. I was then booked in for an MRI to confirm that I was suffering from adenomyosis and was referred to the Sydney Fibroid Clinic Interventional Radiologist, who confirmed my diagnosis. I ended up having the UAE procedure in February of 2016.

I immediately saw a change in my period after the procedure. I have had three periods since, and they have been normal. I am now back to when I was before I had children.

SFC Changed my Life

SFC Changed my Life

- K.B.

For more than 15 years I’ve suffered with heavy periods. My periods caused me to have low iron, which caused a number of other issues. I have seen numerous doctors during this time – specialists, GPs and even homeopaths trying to understand why my periods were causing such disruption to my life.

I wasn’t really aware that my normal was in fact not the average period until a discussion with my friend in my late 20s. For me, bleeding through a super tampon and super pads together and then my clothes was a normal period. I can recall a number of situations when I had to leave work due to excessive bleeding and have used so many sick days during my heavy days of my period because I literally felt I couldn’t leave the house without severe embarrassment.

For my husband and family, they had to schedule activities around my period. I wouldn’t be able to take my kids to weekend activities due to the excessive bleeding. The pain was a secondary issue to the heavy bleeding, which was the most distressing issue – although I regularly had to take prescription pain killers to deal with the pain. During my period it was not unusual to wake three or more times a night to change my pad and I had purchased a waterproof mattress protector to utilise during my period. I was tired, grumpy and hyper emotional during the period. I sat on a towel on the couch to try and minimise the risk of staining.

This issue controlled my life for such a long time that I developed a number of strategies to try and reduce possible embarrassment at work. Obviously only dark heavy pants during the period, and tucking my legs under me so that if I did have a bleed through it was onto my own pants, not the chair at work. I was prescribed mefenamic acid and at tranexamic acid at different points during this journey, I had tried hormonal birth control including an injection that made me bleed for months on end, and an implant that I would later need removed, due to the continued bleeding whilst it was in place. I conceived two children on the oral contraceptive pill and this also caused me some other issues.

I saw two different specialists who both recommended a hysterectomy despite my being under 40. I found this extremely distressing.

I went to see my GP earlier this year to again have my iron tested as I was suffering from low iron. At the time my GP was away and I saw a different GP who looked at my file and noted that I had been taking an iron replacement for a number of years. I broke down in tears. The GP did the iron test and found the iron was still low. When we discussed this, she sent me for iron injections and an ultrasound. I now have staining on my buttock from the iron injection. It looks like a nasty bruise that I was told will stay for a number of years.

The ultrasound showed an anomaly, so she referred me to a Sydney Fibroid Clinic gynaecologist. I was reluctant to go again as I didn’t want to be told I needed a hysterectomy again. As it turns out, it was the best course of action.

I met with the specialist who arranged for me to have a MRI. After the scan, I met with a Sydney Fibroid Clinic gynaecologist and interventional radiologist. They explained that I had adenomyosis and this could be contributing to my issue,

I had the UAE and was unwell for a number of days after. The pain was manageable, but I felt lethargic and nauseous – quite unwell. When my first period came, I thought it was lighter than previous as I had just had the UAE. Prior to my second period coming, I still purchased all the same products as normal – super pads, super tampons etc. I had to go back and get regular pads!! I hadn’t ever used them before; I had always used super, overnight or maternity.

My third period was the same – just regular pads or tampons, but not both together. During my fourth period I went swimming. I couldn’t believe I was able to do this. In the past I couldn’t even have a bath. Now I’m swimming in a public pool! I haven’t had to take anything stronger than paracetamol during my period and that was just for a headache.

Despite how unwell I felt directly after the surgery I would 100% do this again. I’m due to have my iron tested again, but I FEEL better so expect a better result.

I honestly got to the point where I thought it might just be me and I was over-dramatising this and was doubting myself. I’m so relieved to have found these doctors and have had this UAE treatment. It has had such a positive outcome for me.

This procedure has changed my life so much. I feel like a different person now. I am no longer anxious about my period and am no longer in severe pain. I would recommend this procedure to any woman who is suffering from adenomyosis. Sydney Fibroid Clinic specialists changed my life.

Adenomyosis Case Studies

  • Case Study 1

    A 45-year-old optometrist suffered from severe menstrual bleeding and period pain. Her pre-UAE MRI confirmed adenomyosis, showing multiple bright foci in the wall of the uterus – signifying migration of endometrial tissue from the lining of the cavity. Her post-UAE MRI showed disappearance of the bright foci. Her periods are now much lighter and her pain has been markedly reduced.

  • Case Study 2

    A 28-year-old mother of three young children suffered severe menstrual bleeding, tiredness, exhaustion, and incapacitating pain for a few days each month. She had tried and failed NSAIDs, and was changing super absorbent pads every two hours whilst on tranexamic acid. Mirena IUD was not tolerated, due to acne and continuous spotting. Throughout this ordeal, her uterus was reported as normal on ultrasound.

    Because of her severe symptoms, a MRI was eventually performed. It showed thickening of the junctional zone, confirming adenomyosis and she was treated with uterine artery embolisation. A MRI six months post-UAE showed normalisation of the junctional zone. She now has very light, regular periods, her pain is almost completely gone, she is energetic and is able to bike ride with her children. She is very happy with the significant improvement of her quality of life.

  • Case Study 3

    A 52-year-old horse breeder with three adult children suffered heavy menstrual bleeding, requiring tampon and pad changes every 30 – 60 minutes. Bleeding occurred for as long as three weeks each month, and cramping period pain left her house-bound and unable to work during periods. Her ultrasound reported a small fibroid in her uterine wall, though it was not enough to explain the severe symptoms.

    A MRI discovered an area of adenomyosis as the real culprit and she underwent UAE to achieve adenomyosis relief. Her post-embolisation MRI at six months showed a dark area of scar tissue. All symptoms resolved. As a very active woman she did not want to have a hysterectomy, and was glad to have chosen UAE as the less invasive option.

  • Case Study 4

    A 45-year-old insurance broker suffered from severe heavy menstrual bleeding and period pain for many years. Tranexamic acid and progestogen were ineffective for her symptoms. She expelled two Mirena IUDs and failed endometrial ablation. Her MRI showed a large area of adenomyosis in the back wall of her uterus and she decided to undergo uterine artery embolisation. Six months post-UAE, her MRI showed scarring of focal adenomyosis and shrinkage from 272ml to 115ml. Her uterine wall is now normal and viable and her periods are light and no longer painful.