Symptoms typically occur in women between 40 and 50 years of age. The most common symptoms are abnormal uterine bleeding (most often heavy periods) and dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Upon a physical exam, the gynecologist will find the uterus is often enlarged and boggy (spongy to the touch and inadequately contracted). About one-third of women with adenomyosis will have no symptoms.
Adenomyosis is difficult to diagnose. Symptoms such as heavy bleeding and painful periods, combined with a physical examination revealing an enlarged, boggy uterus, can suggest the condition.
To diagnose this condition, your doctor will need to perform a minor procedure to obtain sample tissue. The sample will then be evaluated in the lab. Ultrasound and MRI can also sometimes be helpful in diagnosing adenomyosis. Adenomyosis commonly co-exists with other gynecologic problems, such as endometriosis, fibroids and endometrial polyps.
Effective treatment options for adenomyosis are limited. Most women are treated with hysterectomy or endometrial ablation, although some alternative therapies may have limited benefit.