Endometriosis and adenomyosis are two of the commonest gynaecological disorders suffered by women in the reproductive age group. Besides their detrimental impact on fertility, they also cause a range of debilitating symptoms in affected women, such as severe menstrual cramps, heavy menstrual bleeding and chronic pelvic pain. Some women may experience discomfort or pain during intercourse, or even when they visit the toilet. In the extreme of cases, profuse bleeding into the intestines and urinary tract, or even cancer may arise from severe endometriosis.
These two distinct conditions are believed to share a common mechanism, whereby the usual lining of the womb is displaced to various structures of the pelvis (endometriosis), or into the muscle wall of the womb, leading to localised thickening (adenomyosis). They often exist in the same patient, causing symptoms with a wide spectrum of severity. You should let your gynaecologist perform a detail examination and pelvic scan to look for evidence of these conditions if you have the above symptoms, or experience difficulty in conceiving.
Treatment options may be symptomatic which include a range of oral pain-killers and antiinflammatory drugs, hormonal preparations to suppress the disease (available in oral, injectable or implantable forms) or surgery to remove all visible deposits from the pelvic environment. The choice of therapy should be tailored to suit the individual woman and often, a combination of various treatments may be employed for more severe cases.
Please read more about this condition in our Patient Education on Endometriosis.