Adenomyosis is a disease that occurs when the cells that normally
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.
By Lori Gottlieb
Remember the scene at the end of the first Sex and the City movie, when the fabulous foursome was sitting down to cocktails? Samantha had just left Smith, her gorgeous, adoring boyfriend — whom she loved and who had lovingly supported her through breast cancer — because "I love myself more." That's right: She dumped a keeper using what was arguably the most idiotic grrrl-power proclamation in the history of chick flicks (and there's some formidable competition there). And how did...
Cause 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.
Symptoms Most women with adenomyosis do not have any symptoms.
Adenomyosis is frequently found in uterine tissue
biopsies after pelvic surgery such as
laparoscopy has been done. When symptoms are
present, they include:
The diagnosis of adenomyosis can be made only after a pathologist
examines uterine wall tissue samples. Adenomyosis is often discovered after a
Treatment Most women with adenomyosis do not have any symptoms. When
pelvic pain or heavy menstrual bleeding are 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.
What to think about 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
When to call If you have symptoms of adenomyosis, call your doctor to schedule an appointment.