Endo’s lesser known cousin
(or evil twin sister).

About 1 in 5 women and menstruating people have adenomyosis, making it even more common than endometriosis.

What is adenomyosis?

If endometriosis is a condition that still doesn’t get the attention it deserves, adenomyosis might just be endo’s even lesser known cousin. Adenomyosis (aka adeno) occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) grows into the muscular wall of the uterus.

The displaced tissue continues to act as it normally would — thickening, breaking down and bleeding — during each menstrual cycle.

It sounds similar to endometriosis, and although women with adenomyosis do often have endometriosis, they are different conditions.

How do I know if I have adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is sometimes called the ‘silent disease’ because some patients may have no obvious symptoms. Or they may have been told that their symptoms – like painful periods – are normal. Or maybe they’ve been misdiagnosed.

What are the most common symptoms of adenomyosis?

For approximately 2 out of 3 people with adenomyosis, the most common symptoms include:

Painful periods, which can be severe
Heavy menstrual bleeding
'Adenomyosis belly’: the nickname for the bloating and/or swelling in the stomach area that some women experience as the uterine wall grows thicker, which can make the woman appear as if she is months into a pregnancy
During a pelvic examination, the uterus may feel tender, and your doctor may notice that it is enlarged
Urinary problems
Anaemia or iron deficiency (due to heavy bleeding during period)
Chronic or persistent pelvic pain
Severe cramping or ‘stabbing’ pelvic pain
Fertility issues
Painful sex (aka dyspareunia)
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