12 Common Signs of Endometriosis Each Woman Should Know
Many women experience unmanageable period pains But did you know that this is actually one of the most common signs of endometriosis? Only a doctor is able to determine the root cause of your pains. But it’s important to visit a specialist.
So, what should you do if you’re worried about your period pains? How do you understand if you’re dealing with a symptom of endometriosis or something else entirely? Although, it’s impossible to know for sure without talking to a doctor. Diagnosing endometriosis can be difficult. However, there are some common symptoms of endometriosis that might help you understand this condition.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar that in the uterine lining starts to grow outside the uterus. According to scientists, about 6 to 10 percent of women are suffering from the disorder.
During a normal reproductive cycle, the uterine lining thickens to prepare to support a potential pregnancy. If you don’t get pregnant, you get your period and the walls of your uterus contract to remove that lining. However, with endometriosis, these endometrial-like cells can bleed during your period, which can provoke many symptoms of endometriosis.
Experts still don’t know the root cause of endometriosis but have certain theories about why this happens. One of them is retrograde menstruation, which occurs when blood flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis.
What Are The Signs Of Endometriosis?
Although severe pain is a common sign of endometriosis, it’s not enough to determine whether you have this disorder. Women actually can have endometriosis lesions without severe pain. So, let’s look at the most common symptoms of endometriosis:
Pain during sex
Severe pain during period
Pain during urination
Bleeding between period
Heavy period bleeding
Trying to live a normal life and trying to find effective pain management options for endometriosis can be complicated. Moreover, these symptoms can get worse with time and it usually takes years to get an accurate diagnosis because endometriosis can only be recognized through minimally invasive surgery aka laparoscopy. Oftentimes, endometriosis can be misdiagnosed as disorders like irritable bowel syndrome or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Endometriosis And Different Types Of Pain
Though women with endometriosis don’t always experience any symptoms, there’s a reason excruciating pain has become one of the most obvious signs of the condition. When it comes to a condition as medically mysterious as endometriosis, every potential insight helps to understand the disorder. Let’s look at the most common kinds of pain linked to endometriosis.
Pain During Urination
The severity and frequency of this type of pain depends on where the endometriosis lesions are located in your body. If they are on your large intestine, for example, you might have pain when you have a bowel movement as well as constipation.
Intense Belly Pain
If you have cysts on one or both of your ovaries caused by endometriosis, you might experience sharp and intense pain in your stomach. In fact, you can experience heavy abdominal cramps for many other reasons. While this type of pain might be an indicator of endometriosis, severe pelvic pain requires attention, no matter what the potential cause might be.
Painful Cramps During And Between Periods
Usually, women who experience menstrual cramps due to PMS will have pain or discomfort right before their period. While pain due to endometriosis occurs during periods since hormonal fluctuations provoke those lesions to bleed, it’s also not unusual for women with endometriosis to feel painful cramps even when they don’t have menstruation.
Pain During Sex
Pain during sex is a common symptom. According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Disorders, 85% of the women with endometriosis reported they had experienced pain during sex, compared with 59% of the women without endometriosis.
Radiating Lower Back And Leg Pain
In rare cases, endometriosis can affect the sciatic nerve(the largest spinal nerve in the body). This can result in tingling, pressure, and radiating pain in the lower back that moves down the leg. According to a study published in Gynecology and Minimally Invasive Surgery in cases where endometriosis affects the sciatic nerve, endometriosis cells are also very likely to be in other areas of the pelvis.