Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition that occurs when the cells that normally line the uterus grow into the muscular tissue of the uterine wall. While most women with adenomyosis have no symptoms, it can cause heavy or prolonged menstrual periods (menorrhagia), painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), and menstrual cramping that gradually gets worse from one period to the next.

The cause of adenomyosis is not fully understood. Some experts believe that it is the result of damage to the inner wall of the uterus during pregnancy, childbirth, or a surgical procedure. Symptoms can worsen with use of birth control pills and decrease after menopause.

Adenomyosis pain and bleeding can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a levonorgestrel intrauterine device (IUD), or in severe cases, removal of the uterus (hysterectomy).

Last Updated: January 28, 2009

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine & R. Hugh Gorwill, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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