Adenomyosis (ad-uh-no-my-O-sis) occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, exists within and grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. The displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would — thickening, breaking down and bleeding — during each menstrual cycle. An enlarged uterus and painful, heavy periods can result.
Symptoms most often start late in the childbearing years after having children.
The cause of adenomyosis remains unknown, but the disease typically disappears after menopause. For women who experience severe discomfort from adenomyosis, certain treatments can help, but hysterectomy is the only cure.
April 02, 2015
- Stewart EA. Uterine adenomyosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
- Benacerraf BF, et al. Gynecologic Ultrasound: A Problem-Based Approach. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015
- Uterine adenomyosis. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology_and_obstetrics/benign_gynecologic_lesions/uterine_adenomyosis.html. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
- Cockerham AZ. Adenomyosis: A challenge in clinical gynecology. Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. 2012;57:212.
- Garcia L, et al. Adenomyosis: Review of the literature. Journal of Minimally Invasive Surgery. 2011;18:428.
- Benagiano G. The pathophysiology of uterine adenomyosis: An update. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. 2012;98:572.
- Benagiano G, et al. Structural and molecular features of the endomyometrium in endometriosis and adenomyosis. Human Reproduction Update. 2014;20:386.
- Laughlin-Tommaso SK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 4, 2015.