What is adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is a condition where the cells of the lining of the womb (endometrium) are found in the muscle wall of the womb (myometrium). Around 1 in 10 women will have adenomyosis.

It can occur in any woman who still has periods but is most common in women aged 40-50 and in women who have had children. It cannot be spread between people and it is not cancerous.


It is not known exactly why adenomyosis happens. One theory is that in certain conditions when the lining of the womb tries to heal itself after injury, this re-growth happens inwards instead of outwards, resulting in adenomyosis. It is likely that your genes, hormones and immune system may play a part as well.

However, there are no known ways to prevent it.


The most common symptoms are:

  • heavy, painful or irregular periods
  • pre-menstrual pelvic pain and feelings of heaviness/discomfort in the pelvis.


Less common symptoms are:

  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • pain related to bowel movements.


Around one third of women will not have any symptoms. Adenomyosis may just have been found coincidentally on a scan, for example. It is a long-term condition and can affect many areas of a woman’s life, including emotional wellbeing, relationships and daily routines.

Any symptoms will stop when you have the menopause.


Adenomyosis does not seem to decrease the chance of getting pregnant, but it may increase the risk of miscarriage or having a premature baby.


Do you suspect you have adenomyosis? Then contact your GP.

To find out more visit: Adenomyosis Advice Association