What Are Common Symptoms of Endometriosis?
If you talk to other sufferers of endometriosis, or if you have suffered long enough, you can probably rattle off a seemingly endless list of symptoms caused by this brutal condition. WomensHealth.gov reports that the United States is home to more than 5 million women who suffer from this excruciatingly painful condition that strikes women at nearly any age, but it does seem to occur present in women in their 30s and 40s.
Listing 10 symptoms of this condition is really only a starting point. Unfortunately for women of all ages around the world, the list goes on and on. However, it might help you to learn about the 10 most common symptoms to see if you recognize them in yourself if you suspect you have endometriosis, or if you know you have the condition and need to understand that you are not alone.
While many women suffer from painful periods, women with endometriosis experience pain that soars beyond standard period-related pain. The Mayo Clinic states that pelvic pain and cramping may begin several days before your period begins and might also extend several days after. The pain might also extend to your lower back and abdomen.
Chronic Pain on the Pelvic Floor
Basically, your pelvic floor is ground zero for where all the action is when you have endometriosis. Many women experience chronic pelvic pain but also note a marked intensity during their period.
Chronic Pain in the Abdomen and Lower Back
Women with endometriosis often suffer from long-term pain in the abdomen and lower back.
Pain During or After Sex
WomensHealth.gov notes that women report this symptom as a “deep pain,” as opposed to any pain one might feel at the entrance to the vagina once intercourse begins.
Excessive Bleeding During Menstrual Cycles and Beyond
In addition to occasional heavy periods, called menorhaggia, you might sometimes experience bleeding between your period, which is also known as menometrorrhagia. While not completely unusual for those suffering with endometriosis, but if you find that you experience more frequently, talk to your gynecologist.
If your endometrial tissue attaches to your intestines, you might experience mild to severe pain in this area during your period.
Pain During Bowel Movements and Urination
This pair of symptoms can happen — together or separately — anytime, but it is more common during periods.
Gastrointestinal Pain and Discomfort
Many women report various gastrointestinal concerns that include diarrhea, constipation, bloating and nausea.
Your body is operating out of bounds with this condition, so it makes sense that processing stray tissue takes more energy.
Many times women first learn of their endometrial condition when trying to conceive. However, if you receive your diagnosis early enough, you might consider conceiving ahead of schedule since symptoms, including those involving fertility, may worsen over time.
Diagnosing Endometriosis to Understand What You’re Feeling
“Endometriosis is hard to diagnose. The only definitive way to know is via laparoscopy by a skilled specialist who knows what to look for. Because it is hard to diagnose, and also because of a general lack of knowledge, there is often a long delay between a woman going to a doctor about her symptoms and being diagnosed – eight and a half years is the average but it can take up to 12 years. Don’t waste your time with doctors who don’t know about endometriosis, find a specialist now!” -Gabrielle Jackson, The Guardian
The earlier you understand your condition, the earlier you can start searching for treatments and learning about coping mechanisms that work for you.