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Adenomyosis

What is Adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is a gynaecological disease, thought to be related to endometriosis.  It occurs when endometrial tissue (the tissue that lines the uterine cavity) grows in the uterine myometrium (the muscular layer of the uterus).

Adenomyosis is most commonly found at the junction between the endometrium (the lining) and the myometrium (the uterine muscle).

Adenomyosis causes changes to the muscular layer, including inflammation with thickening, proliferation and scarring of the uterine muscle.

What are the causes of Adenomyosis?

Like endometriosis, the exact causes of adenomyosis are still not fully understood.  It is believed that it occurs as a result of disruption of the junctional zone between the uterine lining and muscle.

These buried fragments of the uterine lining respond to the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle and, therefore, “bleed” whilst periods are occurring. While menstrual blood exits the body via a period, this blood has nowhere to go, causing the pain, inflammation and scarring adenomyosis is renowned for.

What are the symptoms of Adenomyosis? 

Adenomyosis affects individuals differently. Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominalor pelvic pain before and during a period, during or after sex or when going to the toilet, which may radiate into your lower limbs and may get worse over time
  • Heavy periods and/or irregular bleeding, sometimes with clots.
  • Reduced success rates with assisted reproduction and recurrent implantation failure.
  • Infertility.
  • Increased risk of miscarriage.

 

How is Adenomyosis diagnosed and treated?

 Diagnosis

Unlike endometriosis, adenomyosis can be diagnosed by a detailed ultrasound. However, as endometriosis is often seen in patients who suffer from adenomyosis, further evaluation by laparoscopy may be recommended.

Treatment

Treatment is recommended on an individual basis in accordance with the severity of symptoms and whether a patient is trying to conceive or their family is complete.

Unfortunately, as it is found within the uterine muscle, surgical intervention is often not a viable option for adenomyosis. Instead, hormonal manipulation is most commonly used.

How can Fertility North help you?

Fertility North is very proud to be a Specialist Treatment Centre: our Doctors specialise in the diagnosis of complex conditions like endometriosis and adenomyosis, and have many years of extensive experience in their treatment.

Endometriosis Australia offer a wealth of general information regarding endometriosis and adenomyosis on their website.  However, for a personalised assessment and treatment specific to your individual circumstances, please contact our friendly Administration staff.