Adenomyosis and endometriosis are both gynecological conditions that involve the abnormal growth of the cells that normally line the inner part of the uterine wall. What are the differences between adenomyosis and endometriosis? Although some say the two are linked, they do not have the same symptoms and tend to occur in different groups of women.
Women who suffer from adenomyosis experience the growth of the tissues that should line the inner part of the uterus into the muscles of their uterine wall. It sometimes causes the uterus to significantly grow in size. Unlike endometriosis, the tissues stay inside the uterus, even though they are growing in the wrong place. This condition can be related to childbirth or previous uterine surgery, but affects older women more frequently than younger ones. After the menopause, the symptoms of adenomyosis often get better but taking the birth control pill can aggravate it, and a hysterectomy is sometimes advised.
Endometriosis is something we have written about extensively. Women who have this condition have uterine lining tissues outside of the uterus, in other parts of their reproductive system. The fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and bowels can be affected. This disease, known by its pet name endo among patients, often strikes young women who have not had any children. It causes painful periods and pelvic discomfort. The similarities are obvious, but the differences are even greater.
Both require hysterectomy in severe cases, but both adenomyosis and endometriosis can also be mild enough not to warrant any medical treatment. They can both be painful, and some doctors think that women who have adenomyosis also have higher odds of developing endometriosis. At the end of the day, these are two separate medical problems that are related to uterine lining, with different long-term consequences.