Most woman experience different symptoms. You could experience a single symptom or multiple symptoms if you have endometriosis. In some cases there were even no symptoms of endometriosis. The key is to not see every single thing as a possible symptom for some disease or another but to get confirmation from a qualified doctor.
The key symptom of endometriosis is pain. The pain level you are experiencing is not an indication of how severe the disease in your case is, but rather an indication of the location of the endometrial tissue. About three out of four woman with endomtriosis experiance painful periods and/or pelvic pain. It is also reported that woman will say that the pain increased over time. Below is a list of the main symptoms related to endometriosis. If you suspect that you have endometriosis, make an appointment with your doctor immediately. The sooner you are diagnosed the sooner the treatment can begin.
- Pain immediately before and during a period
- Pain during or after sex
- Abdominal, back and/or pelvic pain
- Pain on going to the toilet, passing urine, opening bowels
- Ovulation pain, including pain in the thigh or leg (this can also happen normally in some women)
- Heavy bleeding, with or without clots
- Irregular bleeding, with or without a regular cycle
- Bleeding normal than longer
- Bleeding before a period is due
- Bladder and bowel problems
- Bleeding from the bladder or bowel
- Change in pattern of bowel habbit, such as constipation, diarrhoea
- The need to urinate more frequently or some other change from the normal habit
- Bloating: Increase abdominal bloating, with or without pain at the time of the period
- Tiredness: Tiredness or lack of energy, especially around the time of the period
- Mood changes: Anxiety and depression due to ongoing pain
- Reduced quality of life: Taking days off work, study or school because of an inability to function normally
- Vagina: Pelvic floor muscle spasm or tightening occurring because of fear of pain previously experienced with intercourse of tampon use
- Infertility: Almost a third of woman discover they have endometriosis when they are unable to fall pregnant. Endometriosis makes it especially difficult for woman over the age of 25 years to get pregnant. In moderate to severe cases, the scarring caused by the endometrial cells may interfere with the release of an egg (ovulation), due to damage or blockage. The damage can also prevent the journey of an egg along the Fallopian tube and/or the sperm from reaching the egg, causing problems with fertility. Many women with mild to moderate endometriosis can still conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. Doctors sometimes advise women with endometriosis not to delay having children because the condition may worsen with time.
Sometimes endometriosis are commonly confused with the below diseases that can also cause pelvic pain and a lot of woman are miss diagnosed initially:
- pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes bouts of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal cramping. IBS can accompany endometriosis, which can complicate the diagnosis.
Endometriosis usually develops several years after the onset of menstruation (menarche). Signs and symptoms of endometriosis end temporarily with pregnancy and end permanently with menopause, unless you’re taking estrogen. It is thought to appear to go away during pregnancy because pregnancy hormones cause the endometriosis to reduce. After the baby is born the effects of endometriosis are unclear. Complications of endometriosis during pregnancy are rare.
Ovarian cancer does occur at higher than expected rates in women with endometriosis. But the overall lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is low to begin with. Some studies suggest that endometriosis increases that risk, but it’s still relatively low. Although rare, another type of cancer — endometriosis-associated adenocarcinoma — can develop later in life in women who have had endometriosis.
Get help when period pain is stopping normal daily activities. For example:
- missing work, school or recreational activities
- when medicines used for period pain don’t help reduce the pain
- when you need to stay in bed due to pain
- when symptoms are getting worse
- when you feel upset by your symptoms
- when your ability to cope mentally decreases
From what I understand, you are never cured of endometriosis but you can manage it. It will get worse over time if untreated and could affect your quality of life. Once again, not all woman experience the same and it is not as severe or aggressive for all woman. A good doctor with knowledge of treatment methods can not be replaced.