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Endometriosis Vs Adenomyosis: Similarities and Differences

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Endometriosis Vs Adenomyosis: both are illnesses of endometrial tissue which lines the inside of the uterus. But they grow differently and show varied symptoms. Here, get to know all about the similarities and differences between endometriosis and Adenomyosis.

What are Adenomyosis and Endometriosis?

In Adenomyosis , endometrial tissues  grow within the muscles of uterus and these misplaced cells follow the menstrual cycle, bleeding every month. The uterus wall thickens and might cause pain and intensive bleeding. It usually affects older people, and lately, it is associated with infertility.

In endometriosis, the endometrial cells grow outside the uterus. The tissue is commonly found in the ovaries, supporting ligaments of the uterus, and pelvic cavities. Here, too they follow the menstrual cycle, bleeding monthly.

It may cause pain and might affect fertility as well. It generally happens with adolescents and people of reproductive age. People may suffer from one or, at times, both disorders. Let’s understand the difference in depth.

Endometriosis Vs Adenomyosis: What are the similarities and differences in symptoms?

Symptoms of both Adenomyosis and Endometriosis, including intensity of pain, range from mild to severe. But some women with endometriosis might show no symptoms. Almost one-third of women suffering from Adenomyosis may not experience any symptoms. 

Some symptoms can imitate those caused due to other conditions, such as ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids. The usually observed symptoms are as follows:



  • Painful periods 
  • Intense pain in sexual intercourse 
  • Painful bowel movements and urination
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Fatigue, nausea, and diarrhoea, especially during your period

What are the similarities and differences in the causes of Adenomyosis and Endometriosis?

The exact causes of Adenomyosis and Endometriosis are yet to be found. Although, researchers have identified likely mechanisms and risk factors, and those include the following:

  • After trauma to the uterus, Adenomyosis and endometriosis may develop from tissue injury and repair (TIAR). 
  • Injury caused to endometrial tissue activates the stem cells. The cells develop away from their usual spot in Adenomyosis and endometriosis.
  • Menstrual blood that goes off track through the fallopian tubes may leave endometrial-like tissue in the pelvis or other areas.
  • Genetic factors may also be one of the factors. Endometriosis is likely to run in families.
  • Immune system issues may cause a failure to find and regulate off-track endometrial-like tissue in both Endometriosis and Adenomyosis.
  • Problems with the hormone system of the body and estrogen may transform embryonic cells in the abdomen into endometrial-like cells.
  • The lymph system may carry endometrial tissues to other areas.

What are the similarities and differences in risk factors of the condition?

Researchers have found some risk factors associated with Adenomyosis and Endometriosis.


A higher probability of Adenomyosis is associated with:


A higher probability of endometriosis is associated with:

  • Earlier onset of menstruation
  • A shorter menstrual cycle, which is less than the typical 28-day cycle
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • obstruction of menstrual flow
  • higher alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Family history of endometriosis – this increases one’s risk of developing endometriosis. 

Endometriosis Vs Adenomyosis: How are Endometriosis and Adenomyosis diagnosed?

It can be very difficult to know if a person has endometriosis or Adenomyosis, or both, or  other health conditions such as fibroids or cysts. Pelvic pain can be caused due to several other conditions, including pelvic floor muscle spasm, pelvic infections, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Endometriosis: At times ultrasound can show endometriosis. An MRI also may show larger areas of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, but it can miss smaller patches. The only way to know with complete surety that a person has it is with surgery. That way, the doctor can look for endometrial tissue in the pelvis and abdominal cavity. If they see any, small patches can be taken out for a lab test to confirm the diagnosis.

Adenomyosis: The uterus may feel bigger than normal and tender or sensitive to touch . An MRI scan or an ultrasound can diagnose adenomyosis. Sometimes a person might not know that they have until after a hysterectomy 

When do you see a doctor?

When the symptoms are unbearable and there are other health conditions, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention

Endometriosis Vs Adenomyosis: What are the treatment options for both?

Both endometriosis and Adenomyosis usually don’t require treatment unless they cause you severe or minor problems.

Both could be managed with pain medicines, like non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Progestin, progesterone and birth control pills, and gonadotropin-releasing antagonist hormone are all hormone medicines, and these may also be used. These control the way the hormones cycle and may help with slowing the growth of the endometrial tissue, no matter where it is, but it is important to keep in mind that they don’t make it go away. With endometriosis, hormone medicines can help keep new scar tissue from developing.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonists are another kind of hormonal treatment that could be used to treat endometriosis pain. 

Several other treatment techniques may help control heavy bleeding from Adenomyosis. 

A special kind of IUD (a birth control device) is another option to consider. Others consist of a procedure to block the supply of blood to the uterus or surgery to scar the uterine lining to help make the periods lighter.

But the only definitive cure is a hysterectomy – the removal of the uterus. A person must be extremely sure that they don’t want any more pregnancies before the decision to have a hysterectomy, embolization, or ablation is made.

For endometriosis, surgery might be a choice. The endometrial tissue lying outside your uterus and the adhesions and Scar tissue can be removed.  


Both the conditions can be painful over time. Both are progressive disorders, but they are treatable and not life threatening. Early detection and treatment may help lead to a better pain and symptom relief outcome. Menopause usually relieves symptoms.

Both Adenomyosis and endometriosis may make it quite difficult to conceive. If you want to know more and get the right treatment, talk with our doctor .

Frequently Asked Questions

How common are these conditions?

These conditions are fairly common

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