What are the signs of adenomyosis?

Signs of adenomyosis vary from woman to woman. Oftentimes, women have severe cramping that can be localized to diffuse and may be associated with heavy bleeding. Other times, women have mild symptoms or none at all.
Adenomyosis more commonly diffusely thickens the junctional zone, but can be present in a more focal form (adenomyoma) which can simulate a fibroid, particularly if one only relies on pelvic ultrasound for imaging (vs. MRI). It can cause generalized enlargement of the uterus which (like fibroids) can be detected on physical exam. The thickening/enlargement of the junctional zone preferentially involves the portion of the uterus which lies just posterior to the uterine cavity. Like fibroids, the main symptoms of patients with adenomyosis are pelvic pain and increased menstrual bleeding. However, typically with adenomyosis patients, the pain is significantly worse than the bleeding, whereas with symptomatic fibroid patients, it is usually the opposite (i.e. heavy bleeding worse than the pain). In addition, patients suffering with fibroids commonly complain of increased urinary frequency which is not typically seen with adenomyosis. Finally, adenomyosis patients commonly have routinely painful intercourse (dyspareunia) or avoid intercourse due to the pain, whereas fibroid patients rarely have this symptom unless there is a fibroid near the cervix. 

Continue Learning about Endometriosis


Are you one of seven million women in the United States with endometriosis? If so, you may also be struggling with infertility. Endometriosis is a female reproductive disorder characterized by pelvic pain, inflammation and vaginal ...

bleeding. This painful condition can affect any female of menstruating age, although it is more likely to run in families. If you experience abnormal bleeding or pelvic pain, talk to your doctor. While there is no known cause, and no known cure for endometriosis, treatments do exist, including medications and surgery to reduce symptoms and restore fertility.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.