Adenomyosis occurs when cells that are normally found in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) begin to grow into the muscle of the uterus (myometrium), thickening the uterine wall. Adenomyosis can vary greatly from case to case. It can be localized (appearing in one area of the uterus), diffuse (involving large areas of the uterine muscle), scattered or clustered. Adenomyosis can cause debilitating pain and severe menstrual bleeding for some women. However, some women with adenomyosis have no symptoms at all.
The symptoms of adenomyosis may include:
- Heavy bleeding
- Severe or chronic pelvic pain
- Severe menstrual cramps
- Pain in the legs and back
- Pelvic pressure
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Abdominal bloating
- Pain with intercourse
- Clots in the legs and pelvis
Many of these symptoms are similar to symptoms of other medical conditions, such as endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). To avoid a misdiagnosis, it’s recommended to see a GYN specialist to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
Adenomyosis vs. Endometriosis
Many patients ask the difference between adenomyosis and endometriosis because the symptoms sometimes resemble each other or occur simultaneously. The main difference is in the location of uterine tissue. Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue spreads in locations outside of the uterus. Adenomyosis occurs when uterine tissue embeds into the uterine wall. Although both can cause pain, endometriosis does not typically cause heavy bleeding.
When to See a Doctor
When adenomyosis symptoms are interfering with or disrupting your regular level of activity, it’s time to be evaluated by a doctor. Heavy, prolonged bleeding or severe cramping can quickly become a life-threatening situation. Don’t delay your care. CIGC’s adenomyosis specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating adenomyosis. Get the care you deserve today.