Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Are you concerned that you or a woman you care about has endometriosis? Here are some of the most common symptoms:

– heavy periods lasting 7-10 days
– bleeding or spotting outside of period
– painful periods
– unexplained pain in pelvic area
– sharp, shooting pain
– deep pain
– pain with intercourse (dyspareunia)
– pain or pressure with urination
– pain or pressure with bowel movements
– back pain
– inability to conceive

Below are the Center for Endometriosis Care‘s list of symptoms: 

* Crippling period pain in menstruating females

* Abdominopelvic pain at any time, often intractable

* Bowel or urinary disorders/pain/dysfunction

* Painful intercourse/penetration/sexual activity

* Infertility/pregnancy loss/possible link to preterm births

* Immune-related and other comorbid disorders

* Allergies, migraines or fatigue that may tend to worsen around menses

* Coughing up blood in cases of pleural/thoracic endometriosis

* Leg and lower back pain, particularly in cases of sciatic endometriosis

* The disease may also resemble some symptoms of, and has been linked to, adenomyosis

* Data also links chronic fatigue with menstrual abnormalities, endometriosis, pelvic pain, hysterectomy, and early/surgical menopause

* Comorbid pain syndromes, mood conditions and asthma are also common in individuals with endometriosis

Not all persons with endometriosis will have all symptoms, and no two cases are identical.

Other factors:
– early age of first menstruation
– family history of endometriosis

Diagnosis

Diagnosing endometriosis can be difficult because most of the time, it does not show up on any kind of diagnostic imaging, such as ultrasound, CT scan, x-ray or MRI. That is because the endometrial tissue is tissue that is normally found in a woman’s body, it just happens to be in places where it’s not supposed to be. The only definitive way to diagnose endometriosis is by laparoscopic surgery. In cases where an endometrioma cyst is present, this may been visible via ultrasound, although several types of cysts are similar in appearance.

Although many of the above symptoms may be common to other conditions such as interstitial cystitis, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and adenomyosis if you are experiencing a few or many of these symptoms, your doctor should immediately be considering endometriosis as a possible cause.

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