Adenomyosis is uterine thickening that occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, moves into the outer muscular walls of the uterus.

Alternative Names

Endometriosis interna; Adenomyoma


The cause is unknown. Sometimes adenomyosis may cause a mass or growth within the uterus, which is called an adenomyoma.

The disease usually occurs in women older than 30 who have had children. It rarely occurs in women who have not carried a pregnancy to term.

Some form of adenomyosis affects 60% of women, but in most cases is does not cause symptoms.


  • The uterus is often 2-3 times the normal size
  • Prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Painful menstruation
    • New onset of menstrual cramping
    • Becomes increasingly worse

Note: In many cases, the woman may not have any symptoms.

Exams and Tests

During a pelvic exam, the doctor may find an enlarged, slightly softened uterus, a uterine mass, or uterine tenderness. An ultrasound of the uterus may help tell the difference between adenomyosis and other uterine tumors.


Pain medicine may be prescribe. A hysterectomy may be necessary in younger women with severe symptoms.

Most treatment attempts using hormones have been unsuccessful.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Symptoms usually go away after menopause. A hysterectomy completely relieves symptoms.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of adenomyosis.

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