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Comparing Endometriosis and Adenomyosis: How Are They Different?

Both endometriosis and adenomyosis are progressive disorders of endometrial tissue which typically cause pain, but are treatable and non life threatening. Both make it harder to get pregnant, and unfortunately, some women can have both conditions.

These are some of the similarities, but what is the difference between endometriosis and adenomyosis?

Endometrial Cells Grow in Different Places

These displaced endometrial cells are the culprits leading to endometriosis and adenomyosis. With endometriosis the cells grow outside the uterus and usually in the ovaries, the cavities of the pelvis, and the supporting ligaments of the uterus.

With adenomyosis, the cells grow within the walls of the uterus. As the wall grows thicker, it can cause pain and heavy bleeding.

Age Plays a Role

Most women who suffer with endometriosis are younger adolescents and those of reproductive ages, whereas adenomyosis usually affects older women.

Symptomatic Variances

Although painful periods and painful intercourse are experienced with both disorders, there are additional symptoms they do not share. Women with endometriosis typically report the following symptoms:

  • Painful bowel movements
  • Pain during urination
  • Pelvis pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea during periods

With adenomyosis women tend to have:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Abnormal bleeding and prolonged periods
  • Infertility
  • An enlarged uterus

Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms at all, and one-third of those with adenomyosis will also not experience symptoms.

Risk Factors to Know

Woman confused about endometriosis and adenomyosis

Although these two disorders are common, they are certainly not normal, and risk factors for each can vary from one case to another.

Risk factors for endometriosis include women in their 30s and 40s, a family history of having the condition, periods that last longer than 7 days and come less than 27 days apart, and if you started your period before you were 11 years old.

Risk factors for adenomyosis include women who are age 40 or older, if you gave birth at least once, if you started your period before the age of 10, and if your cycle occurs less than 24 days apart.

Treatment Options in Overland Park, KS

Treatment for these two conditions also varies. It can range from a minimal procedure to a surgical hysterectomy, mainly due to where the tissue is located.

Newer, more conservative treatments are available, which can help to preserve your uterus.

Contact Women’s Care OBGYN if you experience symptoms of endometriosis or adenomyosis, and find out what treatments might be right for you.

COVID-19 Update

Women’s Care is closely following the most up-to-date announcements and information on the known cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Because this information is always changing, we will be monitoring all updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. 

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (913) 384-4990. We are accepting appointments, but are NOT allowing any guests with the patient. 

Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

We appreciate your patience during this time, look forward to continuing to serve our community!

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