What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Most people with endometriosis experience pain in the pelvic area. Pain is often felt at specific times in the menstrual cycle and after sex. If left untreated, endometriosis can cause pain at other times of the month too.
Endometriosis most often affects the pelvis, but it can be found in other parts of the body. This means that the symptoms of endometriosis can also vary a great deal from one person to another.
Some common symptoms of endometriosis are
- pain in the lower belly or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during a period
- period pain that stops someone doing their normal activities
- pain during or after sex
- pain when peeing or pooing during a period
- feeling sick, having constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in pee during a period
- aching legs
- difficulty getting pregnant (infertility)
- feeling tired (fatigue)
- feeling weak and/or fainting
It’s worth noting that as well as the more common symptoms, there are many other symptoms that are much less common. For example shoulder or chest pain is considered a less common symptom and generally affects people who have endometriosis on their diaphragm or lungs.
Heavy bleeding isn’t necessarily a sign of endometriosis, but it can be a symptom of another condition called adenomyosis which is often seen alongside endometriosis. It’s a very similar disease but instead of the spots or lesions being outside the uterus, as is the case with endometriosis, they are found in its muscular walls, making the uterus larger and more ‘bulky’. The increase in size means that there is more womb-lining to be shed during a period, making bleeding heavier.
While mental health problems are not symptoms of the disease endometriosis, people living with painful conditions often report feeling depressed and anxious.