Nashville Fertility

Endometriosis versus Adenomyosis

Discover important information about endometriosis versus adenomyosis

Discover important information about endometriosis versus adenomyosisMany patients at our Tennessee fertility center are curious about endometriosis versus adenomyosis. Both endometriosis and adenomyosis consist of abnormalities in the growth of endometrial tissue, which can result in fertility challenges and symptoms such as abdominal pressure, bloating before periods, and heavy cramping during periods.

While these conditions are very similar, there are subtle differences in where the endometrial tissue grows and the potential impacts on fertility. It’s common for women with endometriosis to also have adenomyosis.

A breakdown of endometriosis versus adenomyosis

To help patients understand endometriosis versus adenomyosis, doctors at our Tennessee fertility center find it important to explain how each condition affects the reproductive system. Our physicians also help patients learn more about how they can diagnose each condition and provide treatment.

Adenomyosis. Women with this condition have endometrial tissue growing into the muscular walls of the uterus. Doctors can often diagnose adenomyosis through ultrasound, as this condition can result in an enlarged uterus with an abnormally thick uterine wall.

Women have a higher risk of adenomyosis if they have a history of pregnancy or uterine surgeries, such as a C-section or myomectomy for fibroid removal.

A key distinction between endometriosis and adenomyosis is that adenomyosis does not always inhibit a woman’s ability to become pregnant. However, if adenomyosis alters the shape of the uterus, it could become more difficult for an embryo to implant in the uterine lining.

Endometriosis. This reproductive issue consists of endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus. As the tissue can impede the proper functioning of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and sometimes result in the formation of cysts, endometriosis can significantly impact fertility.

Doctors typically utilize a pelvic exam and ultrasound to diagnose this condition. In some cases, an accurate diagnosis requires an MRI or laparoscopy.

After helping the patient understand endometriosis versus adenomyosis, and providing an accurate diagnosis, the doctor supports each woman in developing an effective treatment plan.

Endometriosis and adenomyosis treatments can help patients become parents

For women who would like to have children, various treatment options are available for endometriosis or adenomyosis. Fertility specialists at our Tennessee fertility center help women determine which options work best for their unique needs.

Treatment for adenomyosis. While treatment is not necessary for all women with adenomyosis who are trying to become pregnant, some can benefit from uterine artery embolization; endometrial ablation; or a minimally invasive surgery, such as laparoscopy. In addition, IVF can also be beneficial for some women with this condition.

Treatment for endometriosis. Laparoscopy is one of the first treatments doctors often recommend for women with endometriosis who are hoping to conceive. This procedure involves the doctor removing endometrial implants and scar tissue that could inhibit ovulation, fallopian tube access and embryo implantation.

If women are not able to conceive soon after this procedure, they might require a repeat surgery, as the endometrial tissue eventually grows back.

For women who do not want to have children, the most effective and permanent treatment for endometriosis and adenomyosis is hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus. Hormonal birth control can also minimize symptoms of endometriosis and adenomyosis in some women.

Our clinic supports women during each step of the process, from receiving a diagnosis of endometriosis or adenomyosis to utilizing a treatment that can provide symptom relief or help achieve a healthy pregnancy.

Contact us for more information about our fertility services.


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