Endometriosis Symptoms
Signs of Endometrial Implants

Signs of endometriosis

Pelvic Pain

Symptoms of Endometriosis


Most Common Symptoms
Less Common Signs
Other Health Problems Associated With Endometriosis
Risk Factors

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Guide To Endometriosis


Many women with endometriosis do not experience any symptoms, which is why they may remain (unharmfully) undiagnosed. In fact the first time some women become aware of the condition is when they experience difficulties in becoming pregnant. Infertility in women is one of the main symptoms of endometriosis. Occasionally however it is discovered through a routine examination for another condition completely. Women who do develop symptoms often mistake the early signs of endometriosis for those of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Early signs can be painful or irregular periods and pelvic pain. As the months progress the woman may begin to suspect a problem if symptoms worsen and her general health declines.

The majority of women begin having symptoms before the age of 20 and the condition is more frequently found in young women. Endometriosis may also flare up during perimenopause before finally disappearing after menopause. There is very little connection between the severity of the disease and the pain experienced by the woman. In fact, the earlier stages of endometriosis are often more painful than later stages. This possibly may be due to an increase in prostaglandin hormones which cause inflammation, spasms and digestive disturbance. Pain can vary from month to month. While some women's symptoms worsen over time, for others, pain disappears of its own accord.

Where endometriosis becomes severe and adhesions (masses of tissue or scarring) 'stick' the pelvic organs together, normal pelvic functions can become painful and impaired. Adhesions can cause infertility, digestive problems, bowel disorders and mobility issues.

Most Common Symptoms of Endometriosis

1. Painful periods (dysmenorrhea): Pain usually occurs a few days before a period is due, or 5 to 6 days before the heaviest part of flow is experienced. Pain usually lasts up to 3 days and it can be mild to severe, occurring in the vagina or pelvic area or the stomach and lower back. See also, can endometriosis cause missed periods?
2. Pain with sexual intercourse, also known as dyspareunia.
3. Heavy periods (menorrhagia) or irregular periods (oligomenorrhea).
4. Continual dull chronic pelvic pain which is unrelated to menstruation. Originally it was thought that pelvic pain was caused by the bleeding of the endometrial tissue. Now it is thought pain results from the inflammation of the tissue caused by the release of prostaglandins.
5. Lower back pain, although this is more common with advanced stages. See, what are the stages of endometriosis?
6. Painful bowel movements, constipation and frequent bowel movements (diarrhea). Reports suggest that anywhere between 5-30 percent of women who suffer endometriosis have bowel problems. Symptoms usually only occur during menstruation and are not caused directly by the presence of endometriosis but rather due to irritation from implants and nodules in the area. Occasionally bowel problems are caused by adhesions twisting, tightening or pulling on the bowel.
7. Painful urination during menstruation.
8. Blood in the urine.
9. Infertility, the presence of endometriosis tissues may distort the structure of the reproductive organs, including the fallopian tubes. See, can endometriosis cause miscarriages?
10. Fatigue and constant tiredness.
11. Bloated stomach and nausea.
12. Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods, see also what causes brown spotting?

Less Common Symptoms

1. Depression, see effects of depression.
2. Headaches.
3. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
4. Low grade fevers (100.4 F to 102.2 F).
5. Anxiety.
6. Frequent vaginal yeast infections.
7. Susceptibility to allergies, asthma, infections and chemical sensitivities.

Remember any of these symptoms can occur for other reasons and do not necessarily constitute an endometriosis symptom checklist. This is particularly true if just one symptom occurs in isolation. Always consult your doctor for an accurate endometriosis diagnosis and take a look at other possible causes of reproductive disorders. Endometriosis symptoms are not unique and can be similar to other conditions such as ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infections from a contraceptive IUD device (Intrauterine Device).

Other Health Problems Associated With Endometriosis

If endometriosis develops there is a risk that a woman's autoimmune system becomes depleted and unable to defend itself. This is only one of the reasons why endometriosis treatment is so important. Increasingly research indicates that women with long-term endometriosis are more susceptible to other serious health conditions including:

1. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, hypothyroidism and multiple sclerosis.
2.Chronic fatigue syndrome (is one hundred times more common in women with endometriosis).
3. Fibromyalgia syndrome.
4. Mitral valve prolapse, a heart problem where a valve of the heart does not close properly.
5. Rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Increased cancer risks, particularly breast cancer, endocrine, kidney, ovarian, thyroid, colon and brain cancer.
7. Increased risk of developing melanoma cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. See also, can endometriosis lead to cancer?

Useful Fact: Endometriosis Alternative Treatments
Reflexology and Chinese medicine are achieving excellent results in reducing symptoms.

Risk Factors

Statistically a woman is more likely to develop endometriosis if she:

1. Suffers irregular periods, particularly heavy periods (menorrhagia) which last more than 7 days.
2. Has a menstrual cycle shorter than 27 days.
3. Suffers from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
4. Has a mother, aunt or sister who also suffers from the disease. Read about the causes of endometriosis suggesting a genetic link.
5. Has experienced a health problem (such as polyps) which has prevented the passage of normal menstrual blood.
6. Has damaged pelvis cells from a previous infection.

  Related Articles on Endometriosis Symptoms

For more conditions related to endometrium issues, see the following:

How long does it take to get pregnant?

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