What is adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is a thickening of the uterus. The condition occurs when endometrial tissue moves into the uterus’ outer muscular walls. Normally, endometrial tissue lines the uterus. Adenomyosis may result in an adenomyoma, which is a mass or growth inside the uterus. Some form of the condition may affect 60% of women.

What causes adenomyosis?

The condition’s cause is not known, but it usually occurs in women over the age of 30. Adenomyosis rarely is found in women who have not carried a pregnancy to term.

What are the symptoms of adenomyosis?

In many cases, there are no symptoms for the condition. Symptoms that may occur include:

  • Painful menstruation that may involve new cramping that becomes increasingly worse
  • Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • A uterus that is 2-3 times its normal size

How is adenomyosis diagnosed?

The condition is unlikely be diagnosed during a pelvic exam. However, there may be a uterine mass, tenderness in the uterus, or an enlarged and slightly softened uterus. Doctors may order ultrasound to distinguish masses caused by adenomyosis from other tumors in the uterus. However, the condition is more frequently diagnosed with the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

How is adenomyosis treated?

Doctors may prescribe pain medication for the condition. In some cases, a hysterectomy is performed if the pain is severe. In rare cases, hormones may be helpful.


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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 4/30/2013…#14167