Asherman's syndrome, also known as intrauterine adhesions or intrauterine synechiae, is a medical condition that involves the formation of scar tissue (adhesions) inside the uterus. These adhesions can develop as a result of uterine surgery, such as dilation and curettage (D&C), which is often performed after a miscarriage, abortion, or to remove placental tissue after childbirth. Other potential causes include infections, particularly those that cause inflammation of the uterine lining (endometritis), and radiation therapy directed at the uterus.
The scar tissue that forms in Asherman's syndrome can lead to various reproductive health issues, including:
Adhesions can disrupt the normal shedding of the uterine lining during menstruation, leading to lighter or absent periods.
Infertility: The scar tissue can obstruct the fallopian tubes or interfere with implantation of a fertilized egg, making it difficult for a woman to conceive.
If pregnancy occurs, Asherman's syndrome can increase the risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy (where the embryo implants outside the uterus), and placental abnormalities.
Some women with Asherman's syndrome may experience pelvic pain or discomfort.
Diagnosis of Asherman's syndrome is typically made through a combination of medical history, imaging studies (such as hysteroscopy, where a thin tube with a camera is inserted into the uterus), and evaluation of symptoms. Treatment often involves surgical removal of the adhesions, a procedure known as hysteroscopic adhesiolysis. In some cases, hormonal therapy may also be used to help prevent the recurrence of adhesions after surgery.
It's important for women who have undergone uterine surgery or have experienced infections to be aware of the potential risk of Asherman's syndrome and to seek medical attention if they experience abnormal menstrual patterns, infertility, or other reproductive health issues.