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Endometriosis - Symptoms

Some women with endometriosis don't have symptoms. Other women have symptoms that range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain, which can be:
    • Pelvic pain.
    • Severe menstrual cramps.
    • Low backache 1 or 2 days before the start of the menstrual period (or earlier).
    • Pain during sexual intercourse.
    • Rectal pain.
    • Pain during bowel movements.
  • Infertility may be the only sign that you have endometriosis. Between 20% and 40% of women who are infertile have endometriosis.1
  • Abnormal bleeding. This can include:
    • Blood in the urine or stool.
    • Some vaginal bleeding before the start of the menstrual period.
    • Vaginal bleeding after sex.

Symptoms are often most severe just before and during your menstrual period. They get better as your period is ending. Some women, especially teens, have pain all the time.

Recommended Related to Endometriosis

Understanding Endometriosis -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor will ask you questions and do a pelvic exam. But your doctor won't know for sure that it's endometriosis until a surgeon can examine your body internally.  The most common procedure to diagnose endometriosis is called laparoscopy. During this surgery a thin, lighted tube is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision.  Women are usually unconscious when it's done. Many doctors remove a small piece of tissue and test it to confirm the diagnosis of endometriosis.

Read the Understanding Endometriosis -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

Several other conditions can cause symptoms that are similar to endometriosis. These conditions include painful periods, adenomyosis, and uterine fibroids.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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