Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition that causes the lining of the womb (the endometrium) to bury into the muscular wall of the womb.

It can affect the whole womb or just one part of the womb.

Adenomyosis is not a life-threatening condition, but the symptoms can have a big impact on your day-to-day life so it's important to get the support you need.

Symptoms

It's possible to have adenomyosis and have no symptoms. Symptoms you might experience include:

  • heavy periods that last for a long time
  • severe period pain
  • a feeling of pressure in your tummy
  • bloating (your tummy sticks out more than normal)

Causes

It's not known exactly why adenomyosis happens.

Adenomyosis is not an infection and it's not contagious. It is benign (not cancerous).

Diagnosis

When you see your doctor about your symptoms, they’ll carry out what is called a pelvic examination. They’ll look at your vulva, vagina and cervix (the opening between the vagina and the womb) to see if there is something that could be causing your symptoms. Sometimes other tests might be needed. Your doctor will discuss this with you and you can ask any questions that you might have.

As this is an intimate examination, the doctor who performs it will have another person (chaperone) present. You can ask for a female doctor to carry it out. If there isn’t a female doctor available, you can ask if there’s a female health professional who could carry out the examination.

You might be referred to a specialist who'll carry out more tests. This might include an ultrasound or an MRI, which will allow a doctor to look at your womb. This can also help rule out any other health conditions.

Treatment

Depending on your symptoms, there are different options to treat adenomyosis, including:

  • anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve mild pain
  • treatment during your period to help reduce the amount of menstrual blood loss
  • hormone therapy such as the contraceptive pill, to help control heavy or painful periods
  • a hysterectomy (removal of the womb) - this would only be considered in extreme cases, where other treatments do not work and if you do not wish to become pregnant

Your doctor will discuss this with you and you can ask any questions that you might have.

Last updated:
16 June 2022