Most women have never heard of adenomyosis, but most gynecologists have, and it is a condition that may affect your chances of having a baby.
What is adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis is a disease where the glands that line the uterine cavity (the endometrium) are growing into the muscle of the uterus (the myometrium). In the past adenomyosis was considered a form of endometriosis, a disease in which the glands that normal grow in the endometrium grow outside of the uterus.
What are the symptoms of adenomyosis?
The symptoms of adenomyosis are similar to those of fibroids, painful and heavy periods. Not everyone with adenomyosis had symptoms though.
How is adenomyosis diagnosed?
In the past and sometimes still, adenomyosis was diagnosed when the tissue from a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), usually done on someone who is thought to have fibroids, is examined in the laboratory. Sometimes, adenomyosis can be seen on ultrasound and can be seen even better on MRI.
Does adenomyosis affect fertility?
In the past, the answer was unclear. Recent research suggests that it may harmful to your fertility. Women undergoing with adenomyosis undergoing IVF had lower implantation rates, lower pregnancy rates, lower live birth rates and higher miscarriage rates.
How is adenomyosis treated?
Most adenomyosis is treated by hysterectomy, but this is not an option for fertility patients. There are newer experimental procedures such as ultrasound ablation, but it is not clear how safe and effective they are.