Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis is a disease that occurs when the cells that normally line the uterus grow into the muscular tissue of the uterine wall. It occurs most often in women older than 30 who have had a full-term pregnancy. It is rare in women who have not had a full-term pregnancy.
Adenomyosis does not occur after menopause. But adenomyosis that was present before menopause may be diagnosed after menopause. It may also be found in tissue samples after pelvic surgery in postmenopausal women.
The cause of adenomyosis is not fully understood. Some researchers believe that it is the result of damage to the inner wall of the uterus during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or a surgical procedure.
Most women with adenomyosis do not have any symptoms. Adenomyosis is frequently found in uterine tissue biopsies after pelvic surgery such as laparotomy or laparoscopy has been done. When symptoms are present, they include:
When symptoms occur, the evaluation of suspected adenomyosis may include:
The diagnosis of adenomyosis can be made only after a pathologist examines uterine wall tissue samples. Adenomyosis is often discovered after a hysterectomy.
Most women with adenomyosis do not have any symptoms. When pelvic pain or heavy menstrual bleeding is present, suspected adenomyosis is often successfully treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A hysterectomy may be needed if you have severe symptoms but are not approaching menopause. Symptoms go away after menopause is complete or after hysterectomy.
The use of birth control pills may make symptoms of heavy bleeding or pain worse. Symptoms go away after menopause is complete or after a hysterectomy.
If you have symptoms of adenomyosis, call your doctor to schedule an appointment.
Current as of: February 19, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineKevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of:
February 19, 2019
Medical Review:Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.