Endometriosis Symptoms

It is estimated that between 2 and 10% of the women within the general population have endometriosis and that up to 50% of the infertile women have endometriosis.
Women with endometriosis often have severe complaints and significantly reduced quality of life, including restraint of normal activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression.

EAI Endometriosis Information Leaflet 2014 - Click to download our information leaflet.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is defined as the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus (Kennedy et al., 2005). Endometriosis triggers a chronic inflammatory reaction resulting in pain and adhesions. Adhesions develop when scar tissue attaches separate structures or organs together. The activity and the complaints due to endometriosis may vary during the woman’s menstrual cycle as hormone levels fluctuate. Consequently, symptoms may be worse at certain times in the cycle, particularly just prior to and during the woman’s menstrual period. While some women with endometriosis experience severe pelvic pain, others have no symptoms at all or regard their symptoms as simply being ‘ordinary menstrual pain’.

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

The classical symptoms of endometriosis are:
- Dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation
- Nonmenstrual pelvic pain or pain occurring when a woman is not menstruating.
- Dyspareunia or painful intercourse
- Infertility
- Fatigue
- Cyclical intestinal complaints: periodic bloating, diarrhoea or constipation
- Cyclical dyschezia, painful or difficult defecation.
- Cyclical dysuria, painful urination
- Cyclical hematuria, or the presence of blood in the urine
- Cyclical rectal bleeding
- Cyclical shoulder pain
- Any other cyclical symptom
Cyclical symptoms are symptoms that develop a few days before a woman’s menstruation and disappear a few days after her menstruation has stopped, or symptoms that occur only during the menstruation. The symptoms reappear the next month, following the woman’s menstrual cycle.
If you experience one or more of these symptoms and they cause you (severe) pain, you should go to your family doctor and ask him to consider endometriosis. Severe pain can be measured by not doing your normal daily activities (without taking pain medication).

Some symptoms are frequently reported by women with endometriosis, however it is unclear whether these symptoms are actually caused by endometriosis. Some of these symptoms may be indicative of other diseases or be side effects of treatment, but some may also be related to endometriosis (although these were not yet examined in clinical studies). These symptoms include:
−Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
−Weight Gain
−Fungal Infections
−Cardiac Arrhythmia
−(Lower)Back Pain
−Radiating pain
−Pain during ovulation
If you experience these symptoms, please also mention these to your doctor.