Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website.

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Am Fam Physician. 2022;105(1):online

See related article on adenomyosis

What is adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis (say: ADD-uh-no-mai-OH-sis) is when the tissue that lines your uterus (endometrium) grows into the next layer (myometrium) of your uterus.

Is it different from endometriosis?

Yes. In adenomyosis, tissue that lines your uterus grows into the muscle layer of the uterus (myometrium). Endometriosis is when tissue grows outside your uterus on your ovaries, abdominal wall, bladder, or other areas.

How do I know if I have adenomyosis?

You may have it if you have heavy or painful periods, pain during sex, or continuous pelvic pain. Some women have trouble getting pregnant. Adenomyosis becomes more common as you get older.

How is it treated?

Although no therapies are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adenomyosis, some medicines can help with symptoms, including ibuprofen and birth control pills or other medicines to stop you from having periods. You also could get a progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD).

If other treatments do not work, your doctor might talk with you about having your uterus removed (hysterectomy).

What do these medicines do?

These medicines work in different ways, but many work by thinning the lining of your uterus (endometrium) or by decreasing the hormone estrogen.

Can I still get pregnant?

If you are taking a birth control pill or have an IUD, you will not be able to get pregnant. If you want to get pregnant, you should talk with your doctor about your best options to have a safe pregnancy.

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