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Common symptoms

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Endometriosis may cause pelvic pain or infertility although many women with endometriosis have neither problem. Having more endometriosis doesn’t indicate that you will have more pain, as women with only a minimal amount can have more pain than women with severe disease, and some women with severe disease amazingly have no pain.


Pelvic pain in endometriosis is mostly associated with periods and occurs on a cyclical basis. However other significant symptoms may be:


  • Pain felt deep inside the vagina during or after sexual intercourse

  • Pain felt during opening your bowels and passing a motion

  • Pain felt on passing urine

  • Chronic pain felt at any time of the cycle


All of these tend to be worse during periods. Although it is normal to have some discomfort during menses, it is not normal to have pain to the extent that it is not relieved by simple pain-killers and or forces you to take time off work or miss social events. These may suggests that you may have endometriosis and seeking medical assessment is worthwhile.

In rarer cases, you may have bleeding from the back passage or bleeding when you pass urine only during periods, suggesting that endometriosis may be affecting the full thickness of the rectum or bladder.


Cyclical pain during your periods in an old operation scar (eg: caesarean section scar) may suggest that there is endometriosis in it.


Coughing up blood or having chest pain, shoulder pain or shortness of breath during your periods may be suggestive of endometriosis affecting the diaphragm or lungs.

Endometriosis may affect the deeper nerves in the pelvis where nerves enter the pelvic from the sacrum.  For example, symptoms of sciatica (tingling pain down the back of the leg on one side), and referred joint pain may be suggestive of sciatic nerve endometriosis. It can also affect the pudendal nerve that supplies the bladder, rectum and sexual organs causing a multitude of different symptoms that may not be easily attributable to endometriosis by a general gynaecologist or even a recognised endometriosis centre. These symptoms may require specialist assessment. 

Rarer forms of Endometriosis

Is Endometriosis linked with fertility problems?

When we look at women who are struggling to conceive, we find that a greater number of them have endometriosis than we would expect to find in the general population (30% of endometriosis sufferers) showing a link somehow between endometriosis and infertility, but this is poorly understood.

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