Symptoms and pain of endometriosis: what do you need to know?

Endometriosis is a disease characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue, the uterine lining, outside the uterus. It's a very common disease, affecting 1 in 10 women. But how do you know if you have endometrial dysfunction? What are the symptoms of this gynaecological condition? Who should you consult?

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

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

Chronic pain

The most common symptom of endometriosis is abdominal pain, particularly chronic pain. Most of the time, pain can take several forms:

  • during menstruation
  • Pain, often chronic, in the pelvis, behind the uterine cavity, in the fallopian 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 the menstrual cycle and during intercourse: this is known as dyspareunia.
  • Some patients may also experienceovulation pain linked to endometrial tissue.
  • It can also hurt to urinate, with burning sensations sometimes mistaken for urinary tract infections, or during defecation.

Generally speaking, the endometrial tissue located in more or less distant parts of the pelvic area will undergo hormonal fluctuations during the cycle, causing pain.

From nausea to fainting

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

Urinary and digestive disorders

Pain can also be linked to intestinal transit. In fact, if problems are located in the intestine, transit can be impacted and blocked. During menstruation, these tissues become inflamed, leading to accelerated transit and diarrhea. The result is alternating constipation and diarrhea. These are very disabling symptoms in everyday life.
Urinary problems can also be a sign ofendometriosis, with burning during urination, as well as backache. Indeed, back pain can be a symptom that adhesions are located in the kidneys. This can lead to kidney damage, and in extreme cases, can reach the ureters and prevent urine from reaching the bladder. Urine remains accumulated in the kidney, which can affect its functioning, and in the worst cases lead to total loss of kidney function. It's important to consult your doctor or gynaecologist for a more complete diagnosis or examination, and to adapt treatment with 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 is sometimes so severe that it's impossible for women to work normally and carry out the projects they want to. Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) can also impact on the sex life, health and libido of women of all ages. In addition to the pain caused by endometrial lesions and cells, it can sometimes lead toinfertility, which impacts on pregnancy plans. In such cases, you should consult your doctor or healthcare professional for a diagnosis or fertility assessment, and consider taking treatment if necessary.

How do the symptoms of endometriosis evolve?

Is endometriosis a lifelong problem? Are there times when the signs of this endometrial disorder subside?

During the menopause

Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop working, causing estrogen levels to fall. At this stage of life, adhesions become inactive over time, but do not disappear. Symptoms, on the other hand, will disappear as menopause progresses. In the case of artificial menopause, studies have shown a 90% disappearance of symptoms.

During pregnancy

As with the end of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy putsendometriosis on hold. Endometrial tissue is influenced by estrogens, hormones secreted by the ovaries. During pregnancy, secretion of these hormones is naturally halted. Conversely, during pregnancy, progesterone levels increase, which halts the development of lesions. However, once childbirth and the return from childbirth have passed, the symptoms may return.

Endometriosis pain and symptoms FAQ

What are the symptoms and pain of endometriosis?

Pain is one of the first warning signs when looking for endometriosis. But irregular, heavy periods, digestive and urinary disorders, dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse) and infertility are also symptoms.

Where does endometriosis pain occur?

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