Endometriosis is a medical condition that occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. It can cause a wide range of signs and symptoms, which can vary in severity from person to person. Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:
Pelvic Pain: The most common and prominent symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. This pain can range from mild to severe and may be constant or cyclical, often worsening just before or during menstruation.
Dysmenorrhea: Painful menstrual cramps that are often more intense than what is considered normal. These cramps can be debilitating and may be accompanied by lower back pain.
Chronic Pelvic Pain: Women with endometriosis may experience chronic pelvic pain that isn't necessarily tied to their menstrual cycle. This pain can interfere with daily activities.
Painful Intercourse (Dyspareunia): Endometriosis can cause pain during sexual intercourse, often described as deep pelvic pain.
Painful Bowel Movements or Urination: In some cases, endometriosis lesions can grow on the bowel or bladder, causing pain during bowel movements or urination, especially during menstruation.
Irregular Menstrual Bleeding: Some women with endometriosis may experience irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding.
Infertility: Endometriosis can lead to fertility problems, although not all women with endometriosis will experience infertility.
Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Endometriosis can affect the gastrointestinal tract and cause symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstruation.
Fatigue: Chronic pain and the stress of dealing with a chronic illness can lead to fatigue and overall decreased energy levels.
Painful Ovulation (Mittelschmerz): Some women with endometriosis experience pain during ovulation.
Painful Pelvic Exams: Pelvic examinations or certain medical procedures can be painful for women with endometriosis.