Asherman’s Syndrome (Intrauterine Adhesions)
Asherman’s syndrome refers to the presence of scar tissue in the uterus or cervix and is also known as intrauterine adhesions.Asherman’s syndrome, or intrauterine adhesions (IUA), is a condition of the female reproductive system that refers to the presence of scar tissue in the uterus or cervix. Unlike other cases of pelvic adhesions, Asherman’s syndrome can actually reduce the size of the uterus by causing its walls to stick together. This is a rare condition that most often occurs in women who have had surgery related to complications during pregnancy.
What Causes Asherman’s Syndrome?
Asherman’s syndrome is an acquired disease, with most cases being linked to uterine surgery such as a dilation and curettage (D&C). While this procedure is the cause of the vast majority of intrauterine adhesions, additional causes may include:
- Cesarean section
- Radiation therapy
- Pelvic infections
Recognizing the Signs of Asherman’s Syndrome
Some women show no symptoms of Asherman’s syndrome when intrauterine adhesions are present, while others will show signs such as:
- Hypomenorrhea (extremely light menstrual periods)
- Amenorrhea (the absence of a menstrual period)
- Severe pelvic cramping or pain
- Cervical blockage during a pelvic exam
- Infertility or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term
Diagnosing Asherman’s Syndrome
Intrauterine adhesions are not commonly found during a physical examination, so a doctor typically has to conduct additional tests in order to diagnose Asherman’s syndrome. These may include a saline infusion sonogram, hysteroscopy or other procedure.
What Are the Treatments for Asherman’s Syndrome?
Treatments for Asherman’s syndrome are designed to restore the uterus to its normal size, shape and function. A hysteroscopy or other procedure can be used to remove the adhesions, and a doctor will likely prescribe post-procedural hormones to encourage the proper growth of the uterine lining.
At Tampa General Hospital’s Women’s Institute, gynecologic experts specialize in Asherman’s syndrome and work to develop personalized treatment plans to successfully remove intrauterine adhesions and promote healing.