More than 10% of women have endometriosis, making it one of the most common gynecological conditions among women during their reproductive years. Endometriosis develops when the tissue that naturally lines your uterus starts growing outside it.
Not every woman with endometriosis has noticeable symptoms. But for many, the condition causes chronic pelvic pain, severe period symptoms, and even infertility.
The symptoms of endometriosis vary widely — making the condition difficult to identify and diagnose. Unfortunately, many women with endometriosis don’t know what’s causing their symptoms or that the condition can be treated.
Daniel McDonald, MD, Marc Wilson, MD, and our team at OB/GYN Specialists can help. Here are the top 10 symptoms that could mean you’re suffering from endometriosis.
The most common endometriosis symptoms
Every woman’s body is unique. Endometriosis symptoms look different from woman to woman. Plus, the severity of your symptoms doesn’t always correlate with the severity of your endometriosis.
For example, you could have severe symptoms with mild endometriosis, or mild symptoms with more advanced endometriosis.
1. Heavy menstrual periods
Menorrhagia is the medical term for excessive bleeding during your menstrual period. While it’s normal for your period flow to change, bleeding that’s consistently very heavy could be a sign of endometriosis.
Our team can help you evaluate your usual period symptoms to determine if your flow is heavier than it should be.
2. Severe menstrual cramps
Most women get cramps before or during their menstrual periods. It’s normal for cramps to last for a few days, but certain symptoms could indicate an underlying condition like endometriosis.
Talk to our team if you have very painful cramps, your cramps last longer than a few days, or they don’t improve with over-the-counter pain medication.
3. Chronic pelvic pain
For many women with endometriosis, pelvic pain doesn’t end when their periods do. Chronic pelvic pain is a common symptom of endometriosis because the condition often causes abdominal inflammation.
You might notice lower abdominal pain or lower back pain that develops at any time of the month.
4. Pain with sexual intercourse
Pain during or after sex is another common symptom of endometriosis. Inflammation around your reproductive organs can make penetration uncomfortable. If you notice bleeding or spotting after sex, contact our team right away.
5. Pain when using the toilet
Endometriosis can also make using the toilet uncomfortable. The condition can cause pain with bowel movements or urination. If you experience these symptoms, they may worsen when you’re on your period.
6. Bleeding between periods
Endometriosis can cause irregular bleeding between periods. Light spotting is most common, but bleeding may be heavier. Some women with endometriosis find that it makes their periods irregular.
Endometriosis growth can develop on key reproductive organs, like your ovaries and fallopian tubes. The tissue may block these organs, making fertilization unlikely or impossible.
This symptom is so common that many women first learn they have endometriosis when they’re seeking treatment for infertility.
Fatigue is another common symptom of endometriosis. Fatigue is generally considered chronic tiredness, even when you’re getting enough sleep. If you have fatigue due to endometriosis, you might feel even more tired during your periods.
Severe endometriosis symptoms may cause nausea. If you suffer from heavy bleeding, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy at times during your periods. Severe menstrual cramps can get so intense that they also trigger feelings of nausea.
10. Gastrointestinal issues
Depending on the severity of your endometriosis, you might notice gastrointestinal symptoms too. Endometriosis can interfere with your body’s digestive process and cause bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. Symptoms might worsen during your menstrual periods.
No matter which symptoms you’re experiencing, endometriosis has the power to erode your quality of life. Find a diagnosis and get started on a treatment plan at OB/GYN Specialists. Dr. McDonald and Dr. Wilson offer a range of treatments, including hormonal medications or minimally invasive surgery.
Do the symptoms of endometriosis sound familiar to you? Don’t wait to schedule a gynecologist appointment. Call our Denton, Texas, office at 940-202-0566 or send us a message online now.