Symptoms of Endometriosis
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.
The most common symptom of endometriosis is severe pain before and during menstruation (periods). The pain is more severe than “normal” period cramps and it not relieved with basic pain medication. The pain can last for days. It is important to realise that to experience extreme pain with your period is not “normal”. If you have missed a family or social event due to pain, endometriosis should be considered.
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’.
The classical symptoms of endometriosis are:
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.
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:
If you experience these symptoms, please also mention these to your doctor.
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