The following are symptoms commonly experienced by women with adenomyosis. Please note: Not all women will experience all symptoms. The most common symptoms are severe pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Painful menstrual bleeding (dysmennorhea)
Heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
Prolonged menstrual bleeding (8 to 14 days)
Bleeding between periods (spotting)
Passing large blood clots
Continuous bloody discharge
Chronic anemia due to excessive blood loss
Severe abdominal cramping (sometimes can be as severe as the last stage of labor)
Pain during ovulation
Enlarged, bulky and heavy uterus (often doubling or tripling in size)
Tenderness during pelvic exam
Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
A “bearing down” sensation
Heaviness in the legs
Leg and hip pain
Nausea and vomiting
Pressure on the bladder
Painful bowel movements during menstruation
Alternating constipation and diarrhea (can mimic IBS)
Lower back pain
Depression and anxiety
Extreme mood swings
Symptoms usually resolve after menopause because of lower estrogen levels in a woman’s body.
Symptoms of adenomyosis can present as either a gastrointestinal problem or a urological issue. My symptoms were primarily gastrointestinal which led to the misdiagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for many, many years.
It is so important for general practitioners to be knowledgeable about this disorder since they are usually the first doctor a patient will see. In addition, gastroenterologists and urologists need to be up-to-date on this disorder and work with gynecologists so the adenomyosis patient will get effective treatment.