What is adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is similar to endometriosis. It occurs when the inside lining of the uterus (endometrium) is found within the muscular wall of the uterus. This may cause the uterus to become enlarged. Adenomyosis may be patchy, or severe, causing a severely enlarged uterus.


These include heavy and painful periods. A specialist may notice a ‘bulky’ or ‘boggy’ uterus on examination. It can also be tender to move. Adenomyosis may be difficult to diagnose accurately.

Vaginal ultrasound scan and MRI have become increasingly useful, and diagnosis is usually made using a combination of your patient history, examination findings and pelvic imaging. Severe adenomyosis is easier to diagnose.


Treatment for adenomyosis depends on many factors, including your symptoms, the effect it is having on you, and the presence of other issues such as endometriosis and infertility. A review with a specialist is recommended. A hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be recommended if your family is complete and other strategies have been unsuccessful.

How we can help

If you think you may have adenomyosis and would like to talk to us about how we can help, please feel free to contact us. You can also request an appointment online.

Further reading

Further information


Heavy periods

Typically women may menstruate (bleed) for 2-5 days, and lose around 30-40ml of blood. Abnormally heavy bleeding is when: your periods last longer than 7 days; the volume is more than 80ml; there is flooding or clotting; you are anaemic. Find out more

Painful periods

The medical term for painful periods is dysmenorrhoea. You may describe it as pain, discomfort or cramps around the time of menstruation. There are 2 types of dysmenorrhoea: primary and secondary. Find out more

Persistent pelvic pain

If you have pain on and off for more than 6 months we call it 'persistent pelvic pain'. There are a number of conditions that can be involved, and sometimes more than one will be present. In some cases the cause is obvious, such as an ovarian cyst, or a urinary tract infection, but in other women the cause is elusive. Find out more

Prolonged periods

If your period lasts more than 7 days, you have prolonged bleeding. The term is often used synonymously with menorrhogia (heavy bleeding), but is more descriptive of periods that go on for an annoyingly long time. Find out more



A hysterectomy is when a woman's uterus is removed. This may be because methods to stop heavy bleeding are not successful, side effects of medications are intolerable, fibroids are problematic or endometriosis is severe enough that a more permanent solution is required. Find out more


A mirena is a small plastic device placed inside the uterus with small strings extending out through the cervix. In addition to being used for contraception, mirena can be used to treat adenomyosis and endometriosis. Find out more