Symptoms of endometriosis
The following are the most common symptoms for endometriosis:
Pain, especially excessive menstrual cramps which may be felt in the abdomen or lower back
Pain during intercourse
Abnormal or heavy menstrual flow
Painful urination during menstrual periods
Painful bowel movements during menstrual periods
Other gastrointestinal problems (i.e., diarrhea, constipation, and/or nausea)
It is important to note that the amount of pain a woman experiences is not necessarily related to the severity of the disease - some women with severe endometriosis may experience no pain, while others with a milder form of the disease may have severe pain or other symptoms.
Endometriosis and infertility
Endometriosis can contribute to female infertility. In mild to moderate cases, the infertility may be just temporary. In these cases, surgery to remove adhesions, cysts, and scar tissue can restore fertility. In other cases (a very small percentage), women may remain infertile. Physicians and researchers continue to investigate how endometriosis affects fertility.
Risk factors for developing endometriosis
- Women who have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) with the disease
- Women who are giving birth for the first time after age 30
- Caucasian women
- Women with an abnormally tight cervix, a condition called endocervical sterosis.