Adenomyosis and Infertility-Review of Medical and Surgical Approaches

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 30;18(3):1235. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18031235.


The aim of this review is to clarify the relative association between adenomyosis and infertility and the possible treatment for an infertile patient. Although adenomyosis is detected more often in women of late reproductive age, its influence on pregnancy rates is important, especially considering the tendency to delay pregnancy among women in developed countries. In this article, we present a critical analysis of the literature data concerning the impact of adenomyosis on fertility. The possible effects of treatment on the pregnancy rate will also be discussed. We conducted a literature search; publications from Pubmed, Embase and Cochrane databases published from 1982 to 2019 were retrieved using terms 'adenomyosis and infertility' and 'adenomyosis and pregnancy outcomes', extensively studied in the aspects of diagnosis, pathogenesis of infertility and possible treatment methods. Molecular studies have given deep insight into the pathogenesis of adenomyosis in the recent few years, but there is a huge discrepancy between in vitro studies and praxis. Oral contraceptive pills, anti-prostaglandins, oral or parenteral progestins, danazol and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues have all been used to control menstrual pain and menorrhagia in women with adenomyosis, but they temporarily suppress the menstrual cycle. Additionally, endometrial ablation and hysterectomy used to alleviate pain caused by adenomyosis exclude pregnancy planning. The development of imaging techniques-ultrasound and MRI-enables the diagnosis of adenomyosis with very high accuracy nowadays, but the methods of treatment mentioned above have not given satisfactory results in women planning pregnancy. For these patients, the high-intensity-focused ultrasound method (HIFU) and combined treatment before assisted reproductive techniques can prove beneficial in adenomyosis patients.

Keywords: GnRH; adenomyosis; in vitro fertilisation; infertility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomyosis* / surgery
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility*
  • Menorrhagia*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate