What are the most common endometriosis symptoms?

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Remember the three P's:

  1. Painful periods: doctors call this dysmenorrhea (DIS-men-uh-REE-uh)
  2. Pelvic pain in between periods: doctors call this non-menstrual pelvic pain
  3. Pain with sex: doctors call this dyspareunia (DIS-puh-ROO-nee-uh)
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Women with endometriosis can experience a variety of symptoms, where some can experience none at all. Symptoms can vary, but may reflect the area where endometriosis is located. Some other possible endometriosis symptoms include:

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Symptoms of endometriosis include: painful bowel movements, painful urination, bleeding or spotting between periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, bloating, fatigue, feeling sick or faint, or vomiting during your period, pain in the lower back, abodmen, or groin, difficulty participating in day-to-day activities because of excessive pain, exhaustion, or weakness
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Painful urination
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling sick or faint, or vomiting during your period
  • Pain in the lower back, abdomen, or groin
  • Difficulty participating in day-to-day activities because of excessive pain, exhaustion, or weakness
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Take the endometriosis symptoms quiz to find out if you may be experiencing symptoms associated with endometriosis

Endometriosis Symptom Quiz

Take the short quiz below if you have a family history of endometriosis or to find out if you have symptoms that may be associated with endometriosis. This quiz is not meant to diagnose women with endometriosis. Talk to your doctor about your results.

1. Do you often experience pelvic or lower back pain before or during your period? Only answer “Yes” if this pain limits your day-to-day activities or requires medication.

2. Do you often experience pelvic or lower back pain in between your periods? Only answer “Yes” if this pain limits your day-to-day activities or requires medication.

3. Do you often experience pain with sex?

4. Do you sometimes avoid sex to avoid pain?

5. Do you often have painful bowel movements before or during your period?

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Endometriosis Symptom Quiz Results

If you answered “Yes” to 1 or more of these questions, you could have endometriosis. Even if you answered “No” to all these questions, it is still important to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about all your symptoms and your medical concerns.

Many women find discussing their symptoms difficult, but it’s important to speak up—it may lead to a better discussion with your gynecologist. Need a little help with the conversation? Learn how to SpeakENDO to your gynecologist with this interactive resource: How to prepare for your appointment




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Bring your results to your next doctor appointment to help talk about your symptoms. These aren't the only symptoms associated with endometriosis. To learn more about symptoms, click here. This can help your gynecologist identify whether or not you have endometriosis.


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Many women find discussing their symptoms difficult, but it’s important to speak up—it may lead to a better discussion with your gynecologist. Need a little help with the conversation? Learn how to SpeakENDO to your gynecologist with this interactive resource.

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Click to watch &#34;So many symptoms. Are they related&#34; video

So many symptoms. Are they related?

Have you talked to your doctor about whether your pain is normal or not? Watch the video to see what diagnosed women say about having lived with a level of pain that didn’t seem right, and how they came to realize they needed help.

View transcript
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There can be overlapping symptoms or associated conditions with endometriosis

Talk to your gynecologist about all of your symptoms. He or she will decide if it’s necessary to test for endometriosis. Some of these conditions include:

Uterine fibroids (UF):

  • Uterine fibroids (UF) are generally noncancerous growths located in the uterus. Uterine fibroids can vary in size and number
  • Many symptoms of UF are similar to symptoms of endometriosis, such as heavy bleeding or painful periods, and pain with sex
  • Some women who have endometriosis can also have UF. In one study, 86% of women were diagnosed with both UF and endometriosis.* If you know you have UF, you may also have endometriosis

*Based on a retrospective study in a tertiary university medical center of 131 patients with diagnosed uterine fibroids between September 2002 and January 2006.

Painful bladder syndrome (Interstitial cystitis):

  • Painful bladder syndrome is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder. It is a disorder that can get worse if left untreated.
  • The symptoms of painful bladder syndrome include:
    • An extreme need to urinate and urinating more often
    • Pelvic pain
    • Pain with sex without presence of infection
  • Painful bladder syndrome is a condition that can cause symptoms similar to endometriosis

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID):

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs in the pelvic area. PID is a condition that can cause chronic pelvic pain and other symptoms, similar to endometriosis.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the large intestine. Some symptoms of IBS can be similar to endometriosis.

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Patients who have trouble getting pregnant (infertility) may also have endometriosis

Trouble getting pregnant (infertility)

  • Women who have trouble getting pregnant may also have endometriosis. In fact, studies suggested that about 25% to 50% of infertile women also have endometriosis
  • There are theories as to why women who experience infertility may also have endometriosis, but nothing has been proven for sure. It’s possible that the reasons could vary from one woman to the next