Adenomyosis is a condition affecting the uterus, which may have effects on fertility in women. The uterus is composed of three layers: the perimetrium, a thin layer covering the outside of the uterus; the myometrium, the thick, muscular layer that composes the thickest part of the uterus; and the endometrium, the inner lining which is built up and shed every month. During adenomysosis, there is overgrowth of the endometrium into the myometrium.
Adenomyosis is basically a limited form of endometriosis, in which the uterine lining grows into the muscular layer of the uterus. The condition is most common among women in their late 30s and 40s, but it can happen to anyone at any age. The signs of adenomyosis can be subtle, and it does not have clearly defined borders, which makes it difficult to diagnose and study. In addition, many women with adenomysosis also have endometriosis.
Adenomyosis is a painful condition, and can also be associated with symptoms like heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Adenomyosis and Pregnancy
The link between adenomyosis and pregnancy is poorly understood. It is possible that adenomyosis interrupts the natural uterine contractions, preventing fertilization and implantation. Unfortunately, few high-quality studies have been performed on the link between adenomyosis and pregnancy. However, some studies do suggest a link between infertility, adenomyosis, and miscarriage.
Treatment of adenomyosis to relieve infertility is considered experimental, because the link between adenomysosis and pregnancy is poorly understood. There are two main options which may be considered for alleviating adenomyosis in hopes of allowing pregnancy: surgical removal of parts of the uterus that have adenomyosis, and the administration of estrogen-lowering drugs, which can reduce the growth of the uterine lining. The only true cure for this condition is removal of the uterus, which is only performed in extreme cases.
If a woman is infertile and is known to have adenomysosis, another option is to simply treat the infertility instead of addressing the adenomyosis. This is successful for many women, although some studies show that IVF success rates are lower for women with adenomysosis. IVF is a common choice for women with infertility; fertility medications and intrauterine insemination (IUI) may also be considered.
If you are struggling with infertility, Dr. Randy Morris would be happy to meet with you. To schedule your consultation today, please click below and enter your information or call IVF1 at (630) 357-6540.