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What Is Endometriosis?
Definition of Endometriosis
Endometriosis Causes
Endometriosis Symptoms
Signs of Endometriosis
Endometriosis Treatment
Endometriosis Pain Management
Laparoscopy for Endometriosis
Endometriosis and Pregnancy
Endometriosis Diet
Endometriosis and Infertility
Endometriosis Pelvic Exam
Ovarian Endometriosis
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Living with Endometriosis
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Vaginal Endometriosis
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Lupron Depo Treatment
Endometriosis Bladder
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Endo Colon and Bowel
Painful Periods
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Endometriosis Symptoms - What Are They?

One of the confusing aspects of endometriosis is the fact that the patient often does not experience any endometriosis symptoms and may be completely unaware that she has the condition. Frequently, the first indication a woman has, regarding endometriosis, is a difficulty falling pregnant. In fact, endometriosis is a common cause of infertility in women. Often, the disease is discovered during a routine examination for another condition altogether.

Those women who do experience symptoms of endometriosis may report painful and irregular menstruation, painful sexual intercourse or other pain in the pelvic region that is not related to either of these two things. Many women ignore these symptoms when they first appear, thinking that it is a normal occurrence. It is only when the symptoms start to impact their quality of life that they may seek medical help.

These symptoms may be mild or severe, or anywhere in between, however, the degree of discomfort is not necessarily related to the extent to which the endometrial tissue has spread. Like so many medical conditions, endometriosis differs between individual patients.

Dysmenorrhea or painful periods is one of the more common endometrial symptoms. The pain may be present before bleeding starts and is usually felt 5 or 6 days before the heaviest blood flow is experienced. The pain usually lasts between 2 and 3 days; it can be mild to severe and may be felt in the lower abdomen, lower back, rear pelvic or vaginal area. It differs greatly from woman to woman, but most report the pain to be strong and cramping in the mid abdominal region.

Dysareunia or painful sexual intercourse is another frequently-experienced symptom of endometriosis. When the penis is in the vagina, it can press against any endometrial tissue that may be present, causing pain or discomfort. Some women find this condition difficult to deal with and so reduce their sexual activity. For other women, sexual intercourse is too difficult to even consider.

Pelvic pain that is unrelated to sexual intercourse or menstruation is sometimes felt in women with endometriosis. It was originally thought that this pain was the result of the bleeding of endometrial tissue located outside the uterus. The current school of thought is that, while this may be the case for some patients, there are other reasons for this type of pain. Research now shows that endometrial pain is caused by the inflammation around the endometrial tissue and not the bleeding of it. The inflammation is thought to be caused by hormones like the prostaglandins that the endometrial tissue releases.

Other symptoms that may be experienced with endometriosis are caused by the organs the endometrial tissue is attached to. When the intestines, bowel or bladder are involved, the patient may experience pain when urinating or having a bowel movement, rectal bleeding when menstruating, vomiting or nausea before menstruation and swelling at the belly button.

Endometriosis symptoms can be similar to other medical conditions including an infection within the pelvic area, ovarian cyst, period pain caused by some other condition and IUD (Intrauterine Device) complications. It is therefore important to consult your health care professional if you experience any abdominal or pelvic symptoms, so that the actual cause can be determined.

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