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Hum Reprod. 2014 Mar;29(3):473-9. doi: 10.1093/humrep/det451. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

Is adenomyosis associated with menorrhagia?

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1
Gynaecology Diagnostic and Outpatient Treatment Unit, University College Hospital, London, UK.

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION:

Is the presence of adenomyosis associated with menorrhagia?

SUMMARY ANSWER:

There was no significant association between adenomyosis and menorrhagia, but there was a significant positive correlation between the severity of adenomyosis on ultrasound and the amount of menstrual loss estimated using pictorial blood loss assessment charts.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY:

There is no consensus in the literature with regards to the association between adenomyosis and menorrhagia. Previous studies have been limited to retrospective studies of highly selected populations which mainly included women who underwent hysterectomy. There are no large prospective studies evaluating the association between adenomyosis and menorrhagia, either in the general population of women or in a general gynaecology clinic setting.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION:

This was a prospective observational study set in the general gynaecology clinic of a university teaching hospital between January 2009 and January 2010.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS:

There were 714 consecutive premenopausal women who attended the clinic and underwent structured clinical and transvaginal ultrasound examination in accordance with the study protocol. Morphological features of adenomyosis were systematically recorded on ultrasound scan. Menorrhagia was determined subjectively by direct questioning and objectively by completion of pictorial blood loss analysis charts.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE:

A diagnosis of adenomyosis was made in 157/714 women [22.0% (95% CI: 19.1-25.2%)]. Multivariable analysis showed significant associations between submucous fibroids [OR 5.60 (95% CI: 2.69-11.6)], any fibroids [OR 1.53 (95% CI: 0.91-2.58)] and endometrial polyps [OR 2.81 (95% CI: 1.15-11.7)] and menorrhagia. There were also significant associations between increasing gravidity and BMI and menorrhagia (P < 0.01). There was no significant association between adenomyosis and menorrhagia in the study population, when adenomyosis was assessed as a binary outcome. When severity of adenomyosis was assessed by counting the number of morphological features of adenomyosis in each woman, we found a significant 22% increase in menstrual loss for each additional feature of adenomyosis [OR 1.21 (95% CI: 1.04-1.40)].

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION:

A classification of severity of adenomyosis based on the number of ultrasound features present is a novel concept that should be prospectively evaluated in different populations.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS:

A better understanding of the relationship between adenomyosis and menorrhagia can help improve counselling of women regarding the significance of this common condition and facilitate future studies assessing the effectiveness of different conservative treatments protocols.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S):

The authors have no competing interests. The study was not supported by an external grant.

KEYWORDS:

adenomyosis; menorrhagia; transvaginal ultrasound

PMID:
24408315
DOI:
10.1093/humrep/det451
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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