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Symptoms of Endometriosis
The symptoms of endometriosis vary from woman to woman, and some women may not experience symptoms at all.
Common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- recurring pain
- abnormal bleeding
- other symptoms such as fatigue or mood swings.
Recurring Pain Relating to Endometriosis
Although some women have continuous pain related to endometriosis, symptoms are usually the most painful just before and during the menstrual cycle, and they improve as the period is ending. How much pain you feel is not necessarily related to the extent of the disease. Some women with extensive scarring have little or no pain, while women with only small areas of endometriosis may have severe pain.
The location of the lesions determines where the pain is felt. The lower belly, rectum, vagina or lower back are typically painful areas. Some women have lower back pain a day or two before their period starts. Menstrual cramps can range from mild to severe and even disabling. During menstruation, there may also be pain during sexual intercourse or pain during a bowel movement or urination.
A proper diagnosis of endometriosis is very important since women with this condition may have gastrointestinal symptoms that mimic irritable bowel syndrome. These symptoms include mild to severe abdominal pain, bloating and a change in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation.
Heavy and/or long menstrual periods are another common symptom of endometriosis. There may also be bleeding after intercourse, spotting or bleeding between periods, or blood in the stool or urine.
Sometimes women have no symptoms at all but are diagnosed with endometriosis when they cannot get pregnant. Endometriosis is found in approximately 48 percent of women who are infertile.
Other Symptoms of Endometriosis
Women with endometriosis may experience fatigue, frequent yeast infections or mood swings. Women may also urinate more often or experience urinary urgency.
If you are having any signs or symptoms of endometriosis, it is important to see your doctor. Discovering the problem early can help you avoid complications and pain.