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Sexual Dysfunction


Adenomyosis is a benign disease of the uterus that can and does produce symptoms very similar to uterine fibroids. It is the growth of endometrial tissue from the uterine lining into the myometrium and is sometimes called "internal endometriosis." The endometrial cells penetrate deep into the walls of the uterus, enlarging the uterus as the disease progresses. Due to this uterine enlargement, this disease is often misdiagnosed as uterine fibroids during pelvic examination and is a prime example of why it is so important for women to seek out additional diagnostic measures for a more complete picture of their uterine condition.

Currently, the typical method of diagnosing adenomyosis is through hysterectomy. Other ways in which adenomyosis can be diagnosed are through MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and transvaginal ultrasound. When fibroids are present, however, both of these methods can prove difficult in distinguishing the fibroids from adenomyosis. In recent years, advances in differentiating adenomyosis on MRI have been made and this is now considered one of the most accurate ways one can diagnose adenomyosis prior to treatment.

Even with imaging advances, the only known definitive cure for this disease is hysterectomy. Research is moving forward some, however, as a few physicians have attempted to remove parts of the uterus containing adenomyosis disease and then reconstructed the uterus. In the cases where this has been attempted, patients are reporting that their bleeding is back to normal menstrual cycles and their pain has dissipated. This treatment option has a long road to travel before we know enough about the long-term outcome to say that this is truly an option for women with adenomyosis.

Another area of adenomyosis research involves uterine artery embolization. Because approximately 50% of women who have adenomyosis also have uterine fibroids, many of these women found themselves seeking out uterine artery embolization as a treatment option for their fibroids. Results were quite positive as both the adenomyosis and uterine fibroids reduced in bulk with this procedure. Symptoms of pain and bleeding were resolved and, as a result, additional research was launched to determine whether or not uterine artery embolization would be a viable treatment option for women with ONLY adenomyosis. Early results are showing 90% improvement in symptoms and, although this treatment option also has a long road to travel, it certainly is looking like a very promising option for women with adenomyosis.

Site Name/Author
What You'll Find
"moon" Adenomyosis & Hysterectomy journal of "moon."
Center for Uterine Fibroids
Brigham and Women's Hospital
What is adenomyosis? Definition, prevalence, cause. unknown; sponsored by Delphi Internet Services, Inc. Site focusing on the support of women who suffer from adenomyosis.
articles/Adenomyosis.htm Short synopsis of adenomyosis.
Helen Bickerstaff, MB, BChir Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London
The Presurgical Diagnosis of Diffuse Adenomyosis
Dr. Michael Toaff What is adenomyosis?



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This page last updated Saturday, February 02, 2002