Symptoms and pain of endometriosis: what should you know?

Endometriosis is a disease characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue, the lining of the uterus, outside the uterus. It is a very common disease since 1 woman in 10 is affected. But then how do you know if you have this endometrial disorder? How is the pain of this gynecological condition characterized? Who to consult?

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

There are many symptoms ofendometriosis and several signs that can indicate endometrial disease.

Chronic pain

The most frequent and most evocative symptom of endometriosis is abdominal pain, more specifically chronic pain. Most of the time, the pain can take several forms:

  • Pain during menstruation
  • It is a pain, often chronic, in the small pelvis, at the back of the uterine cavity, in the tubes or in the abdomen
  • It is comparable to a burning sensation, like an electric shock
  • It can spread to the lower back and even to the legs
  • Pain can also occur outside of menstruation and during sexual intercourse: this is called dyspareunia.
  • Some patients may also experience pain duringovulation related to this endometrial tissue
  • It is possible to have pain during urination with burning sensations, sometimes mistaken for urinary infections, or during defecation.

Generally speaking, the endometrial tissue located in places more or less distant from the pelvic area will undergo hormonal fluctuations during the cycle, which will cause pain.

From nausea to fainting

In some women, the pain is so intense that it can cause discomfort. It can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms if the endometrial cells grow into the intestines. These gastrointestinal symptoms are sometimes caused by other health problems such as nausea and vomiting.

Urinary and digestive problems

Pain can also be related to intestinal transit. Indeed, if the problems are located in the intestine, the transit can be impacted and blocked. During menstruation, these tissues will become inflamed and cause an accelerated transit and therefore diarrhea. Then, it causes an alternation between constipation and diarrhea. These are very disabling symptoms on a daily basis.
Urinary problems can also be a sign ofendometriosis, with burning during urination, but also back pain. In fact, back pain can be a symptom that the adhesions are located in the kidneys. This can cause kidney pain, in extreme cases, reach the ureters and prevent urine from reaching the bladder. The urine remains in the kidney, which can affect its function, and in the worst cases lead to a total loss of kidney function. It is important to consult your doctor or gynecologist for a diagnosis or a more complete examination and to adapt treatments based on medication or consider surgery.

How does the pain of endometriosis affect daily life?

Endometriosis is extremely disabling for women in their daily lives. At work, the pain can be so severe that it is impossible for women to work normally and carry out the projects they want to do. Pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) can also impact the sex life, health at any age and libido of women who suffer from it. Beyond the pain of lesions and endometrial cells, it can sometimes lead toinfertility, which impacts pregnancy plans. In this case, it is important to contact your doctor or health professional for a diagnosis or fertility assessment and to consider taking treatment if necessary.

How do the symptoms of endometriosis evolve?

Is endometriosis a problem for life? Are there times when the signs of this endometrial condition subside?

During the menopause

Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop working and cause estrogen levels to drop. At this stage of life, the adhesions become inactive with time, but do not disappear. On the other hand, the symptoms will disappear as the menopause progresses. In the case of an artificial menopause, studies have shown a 90% disappearance of symptoms.

During pregnancy

As with the end of the menstrual period, pregnancy will put theendometriosis on hold. The endometrial tissue is influenced by estrogens, which are hormones secreted by the ovaries. During pregnancy, the secretion of these hormones is naturally stopped. Conversely, during pregnancy, the level of progesterone increases, which will stop the development of lesions. However, once the delivery has passed and the return of the childbirth, the symptoms can return.

The FAQ of symptoms and pain of endometriosis

What are the pains and symptoms of endometriosis?

Pain is one of the first signs that should raise an alarm when looking for endometriosis. But irregular and abundant periods, digestive and urinary problems, dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse) and infertility are also symptoms.

Where does the pain of endometriosis occur?

Most endometriosis pain is located in the pelvic area, in the pelvis behind the uterus. But if it is deeper and the adhesions settle on other organs such as the rectum, bladder, ovaries, etc., the pain may be located elsewhere. Thus, they can radiate from the back to the thighs. The symptoms of this gynecological disease can be located in several places, sometimes very far from the pelvic region.

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