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Adenomyosis is a condition where the lining of the womb (uterus) starts growing into the muscle in the wall of the womb. 

Adenomyosis is more commonly diagnosed in women over the age of 30. It can affect anyone who has periods. Adenomyosis is not an infection and it is not contagious. It is benign (not cancerous).

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms are:

  • Heavy, painful or irregular periods
  • Pelvic pain (pain in the lower part of your tummy)
  • Bloating, heaviness or fullness in your tummy (abdomen)
  • Back pain (constant due to the weight and pressure of the uterus)
  • Frequent urination
  • Pre-menstrual pelvic pain and feelings of heaviness/ discomfort in the pelvis

Less common symptoms are:

  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain related to bowel movements

About one third of women experience few or no symptoms, other women may suffer with many effects. It can also affect other aspects of a woman’s life including her general physical health and emotional wellbeing. Symptoms generally stop after the menopause. Adenomyosis can also affect fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage and other complications. The condition is just as common as endometriosis (link) some women can experience both conditions together.

How is adenomyosis diagnosed?

Your doctor may organise and perform a ultrasound scan and/or an MRI to investigate your symptoms.

How is adenomyosis treated?

Treatment will depend on symptoms however, other factors can include age, desire for children and preserving fertility, views on surgery and what treatments have been tried already.

If you are diagnosed with adenomyosis, treatment to help with your symptoms may include:

  • Non hormonal treatments to reduce pain and bleeding with your period. 
  • Hormonal treatment such as the oral conceptive pill, Depo-Provera™ injection, Nexplanon™ implant and Mirena™ coil or types that cause a temporary and false menopause state (Zoladex™). 
  • Hysterectomy (removal of the womb), for women not wishing to preserve fertility. 

You should see your GP if you are experiencing symptoms of adenomyosis. 

Endometriosis is a different condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body, such as the pelvis around the womb, ovaries and fallopian tubes. A hysterectomy will cure adenomyosis, although it won’t resolve symptoms of endometriosis if both conditions are present. 

Further information and useful resources