Endometriosis Symptoms

OVERVIEW

What are the most common symptoms of endometriosis?

There are many symptoms of endometriosis, but not everyone will experience all, most or even any of the symptoms. The disease can go undiagnosed for years and only present itself once the symptoms become severe.

  • endometriosis symptoms - Abnormal periods (including: Heavy menstrual flow (menorrhagia) and prolonged periods)

    Abnormal periods (including: Heavy menstrual flow (menorrhagia) and prolonged periods):

    A typical period will last 3 to 5 days. While it is considered normal to have a period lasting as long as 7 days, women with endometriosis can have periods longer than 7 days. In addition, heavy menstrual flow will mean that tampons or pads usually need to be changed as often as every 1-2 hours.

  • Painful periods (Dysmenorrhea- painful menstrual cramps)

    Painful periods (Dysmenorrhea- painful menstrual cramps):

    Pain can last for more than one day and even continue after the period is over. Most commonly, pain can be felt in the lower abdomen, pelvis or lower back. The pain may not be easily relieved with non steroid anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).

  • Painful sex (dyspareunia)

    This may be a symptom of endometriosis that involves deeper tissues of the vagina and pelvic walls. While painful sex can also lead to relationship and body issues, women can also start to become anxious and even fearful of having sex.

  • Bowel and urinary disorders

    Disorders can include diarrhea, constipation, painful urination, bowel movements, blood in urine, and frequent urge to urinate. Women can also feel nausea, vomiting, bloating and gassiness.

  • Neuropathy

    Endometriosis can often implant in pelvic tissue underlying the nerves that lead to the legs. In these cases, it is common for women to experience nerve pain in their lower extremities.

  • Endometriosis and Infertility

    Infertility

    As scar tissue and adhesions build up, it decreases the chances of fertilization occurring. The longer these lesions or related issues go untreated, the higher the risk of infertility. Studies have shown that endometriosis is linked to 1/3 of infertility cases [1],can prevent the release of eggs, and decrease the quality and number of eggs [2].

  • Fatigue and Personality Changes

    Fatigue and Personality Changes

    Due to the chronic pain caused by endometriosis, many women find themselves feeling “different.” Women can feel fatigue not only due to the pain, but also due to the many years of stress searching for the proper diagnosis and treatment.

What should you do if you have symptoms of endometriosis?

If you think you may have endometriosis or have symptoms of endometriosis, finding an endometriosis specialist is crucial to getting a proper diagnosis and treatment for the disease. Begin by reviewing your symptoms with your OB/GYN, or another trusted medical professional, so they can assist you with recommendations, referrals, and follow-up care.

References:

  1. D'Hooghe, T.M., et al., Endometriosis and subfertility: is the relationship resolved? Semin Reprod Med, 2003. 21(2): p. 243-54.

  2. Goud, P.T., et al., Dynamics of nitric oxide, altered follicular microenvironment, and oocyte quality in women with endometriosis. Fertil Steril, 2014. 102(1): p. 151-159 e5.

 

Endometriosis Symptoms: Abnormal Periods

Endometriosis Symptoms: Abnormal Periods

What are abnormal periods? The first fundamental symptom of endometriosis, is abnormal periods. Abnormal periods can include the following symptoms which start before one’s cycle or with the onset of their period: Painful menstrual cramping…

Endometriosis Symptoms: Painful Periods

Endometriosis Symptoms: Painful Periods

Painful periods are the second chief symptom of endometriosis and can be thought of as abnormally painful cramping during one’s period. They can be excruciatingly uncomfortable, often forcing women to not take part in their day to day activities.…

Endometriosis Symptoms: Painful Sex (Dyspareunia)

Endometriosis Symptoms: Painful Sex (Dyspareunia)

The third predominant symptom of endometriosis is painful sex (dsypareunia). Patients with endometriosis often find themselves experiencing physical pain when engaging in sex, which is a very personal note for patients to express to their gynecologist.…

Endometriosis Symptoms: Gastrointestinal Distress

Endometriosis Symptoms: Gastrointestinal Distress

The fourth fundamental symptom of endometriosis is irregular bowel movements, mainly highly painful ones. A bowel movement is when your stool passes through and out of your body after the food you have eaten has gone through your digestive…

Endometriosis Symptoms: Neuropathy

Endometriosis Symptoms: Neuropathy

When endometriosis spreads to regions within the pelvic cavity, it increases the risk of causing nerve damage. Endometriosis scar tissue can pull nerves, or even attack nerves directly.

Endometriosis Symptoms: Infertility

Endometriosis Symptoms: Infertility

Infertility is often defined as the inability to conceive of a child. However, in endometriosis cases infertility can also take the form of a female not being able to carry a pregnancy to full term, often suffering miscarriages.

Endometriosis Symptoms: Fatigue & Personality Changes

Endometriosis Symptoms: Fatigue & Personality Changes

When discussing the physical effects of endometriosis, pain is generally the main symptom doctors focus on, as they should. It’s the one thing that all women with this disease have in common in some form.