Can Endometriosis Cause Missed Periods?

Can Endometriosis Cause Me To Miss A Period?

Endometriosis is not generally linked to missed periods (technically called secondary amenorrhea). It is more often associated with painful periods (dysmenorrhea) or occasionally heavy prolonged periods (menorrhagia). The most common symptoms of endometriosis are:

1. Painful menstrual period. Pain usually starts a few days before the period is due, or 5 to 6 days before the heaviest part of flow starts.
2. Pain during or after urinating, particularly when you have your period.
3. Pain during or after bowel movements. Anywhere between 5-30 percent of women with endometriosis have bowel problems. Symptoms usually only occur when menstruating.
4. Persistent pelvic pain unrelated to periods.
5. Heavy, prolonged periods.
6. Pain during and after sex (dyspareunia).
7. Infertility. See, causes of infertility.
8. Spotting or bleeding between periods, see what causes brown spotting?

More Likely Causes Of A Missed Period:

1. Pregnancy, see what are the early signs of pregnancy before a missed period?
2. Rapid weight loss.
3. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is quite common for women to have both PCOS and endometriosis. See, symptoms of PCOS.
4. Ovarian cysts, particularly functional cysts. Again, it is quite common to have both ovarian cysts and endometriosis.
5. Starting the birth control pill can delay a period by up to 8 weeks. This should regulate itself by the next menstrual cycle.
6. Thyroid disease. See symptoms of thyroid disease.
7. Menopause (if you are over 40). See early signs of menopause.

More About Endometriosis Symptoms

The majority of women who start to experience symptoms usually do so before the age of 20 and the condition is more frequently found in women under the age of 35. There are different stages of endometriosis (see, what are the stages of endometriosis?), but there is no direct link between severity of symptoms and severity of disease. For example, some women with advanced stages of endometriosis can have few symptoms while those with minimal stages may suffer intense pelvic pain and heavy periods. Research suggests that up to 80 percent of women with chronic pelvic pain may have endometriosis. Endometriosis is more common in white females than black or Asian. It is also more frequent in taller women with a low body mass index (BMI). Pregnancy after 35 may also increase the risk.

When It Spreads

Endometrial implants, although non-cancerous, can spread like cancer throughout the female reproductive system. It may even spread to distant locations in the female body: there have many been cases where implants have been found in the bladder, liver, lungs, thighs, arms and even the brain (read more about this in our article on the causes of endometriosis). In such instances it can cause a general feeling of unwellness as well as pain or bleeding in the affected organs. Any condition which appears to improve and worsen with the menstrual cycle should be suspected of having an endometriosis origin. See also, can endometriosis lead to cancer?

Related Questions
How is it treated? Endometriosis treatment options, and alternative treatment for endometriosis.
Pregnancy risks: Can endometriosis cause miscarriage?
Diagnostic Procedures: Can endometriosis be seen on ultrasound?

• Need more information? See: Guide to Endometriosis and Guide To Periods.
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

Return to homepage: Womens Health Advice

original content

Please Note: Information provided on this site is no substitute for professional medical help. See Disclaimer.
Copyright. All rights reserved.