What are intrauterine adhesions?
Intrauterine adhesions are scar tissue that forms in the uterine cavity. This condition is also called Asherman’s syndrome. This condition most often develops after uterine surgery.
What causes intrauterine adhesions?
The most common cause of intrauterine adhesions is trauma to the uterine cavity. In most cases, the trauma occurs in women who have had several dilatation and curettage (D&C) procedures.
Severe pelvic infections unrelated to surgery can also lead to the formation of intrauterine adhesions.
Intrauterine adhesions can also form after infection with tuberculosis or schistosomiasis.
What are the symptoms of intrauterine adhesions?
Intrauterine adhesions may cause amenorrhea (lack of menstrual periods), repeated miscarriages, and infertility.
There is a chance that the symptoms can also be related to several other conditions. They are more likely to indicate intrauterine adhesions if they occur suddenly after a D&C or other uterine surgery.
How are intrauterine adhesions diagnosed?
The doctor will perform a pelvic exam and review the symptoms. However, the pelvic exam does not reveal the problems in most cases.
The doctor may order one or more of the following tests to help in the diagnosis:
- Transvaginal ultrasound examination
- Blood tests to detect tuberculosis or schistosomiasis
How are intrauterine adhesions treated?
Treatment of intrauterine adhesions (Asherman’s syndrome) involves surgery to cut and remove the adhesions or scar tissue. This is most often done with hysteroscopy, which uses small instruments and a camera placed into the uterus through the cervix.
After surgical removal of the scar tissue, the uterine cavity must be kept open while it heals to prevent adhesions from returning. Your doctor may place a small balloon inside the uterus for several days.
Your doctor may also recommend taking estrogen while the uterine lining heals. He/she may also prescribe antibiotics if there is an infection.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.