Symptoms: Pain & Infertility
Although it is not in the uterus, displaced uterine tissue continues to act as if it were in the uterus, and subsequently responds to reproductive hormones by bleeding during the menstrual cycle. That's generally when women experience the pain and other symptoms. The most prevalent symptom is pain during menstruation, but here, too, the degree of pain does not reflect the severity of the disease. The pain may be felt as menstrual cramps, back pain or pain at the specific location of the endometrial lesions, as they're sometimes called. There may be pain during intercourse or while moving the bowels.
The symptoms vary with the location of the endometrial tissue. Some women have no symptoms, even with an advanced case of the disease. A woman who has endometriosis may feel no pain or severe pain. The severity of the pain is not necessarily related to the severity of the disease. Symptoms may start sometime after puberty and often worsen as the years go by. After menopause, endometriosis usually disappears.
Aside from pain, the other principal symptom of endometriosis is infertility. In fact, endometriosis is one of the leading causes of infertility, affecting 25 to 50 percent of all women who suffer from this condition. Other symptoms may include spotting before the normal period, blood in the urine or stool, bloating or swelling of the abdomen and diarrhea. Less common symptoms include nausea, dizziness and headaches during menstruation, premenstrual spotting, pain during urination and mid-cycle bleeding.