Endometriosis occurs when menstrual tissue is pushed back into the abdomen and begins to grow. When uterus tissue grows outside the uterus, pain ensues. The signs of endometriosis can range from being nonexistent to excruciating, and according to the Mayo Clinic, endometriosis normally gets worse over time. As the condition progresses so do the symptoms and signs. As endometriosis takes over the body, the reproductive and overall health of the woman gradually declines.
One of the most common signs of endometriosis is extreme pain during menstruation. Period pain will often begin several days before menstruation occurs and continue even after the menstruation has subsided. Unfortunately, severe period pain is often discounted by doctors as being normal, and the endometriosis can go undetected. Many symptoms that are actually endometriosis can be confused as completely normal.
According to the National Institute of Health, women with endometriosis often suffer from chronic fatigue. Endometriosis and fatigue often go hand in hand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that chronic fatigue brings about a prolonged tiredness, and fatigue that isn’t solved by rest or sleep. The condition is further exacerbated by any mental or physical activity. A woman who is consistently tired and has painful periods should consider being tested for endometriosis.
Infertility is one of the most devastating symptoms of endometriosis. Up to one half of women with endometriosis find conception difficult. Some women with endometriosis do conceive, although in these cases the endometriosis is normally mild to moderate. Women with endometriosis are advised not to postpone potential pregnancy because pregnancy can become impossible if the endometriosis becomes worse.
Pain During Sex
According to the Endometriosis Association, pain during intercourse is another symptom of endometriosis. This pain can be contingent on the depth of penetration. Some women will experience vaginal bleeding after intercourse as well.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for endometriosis. Women who are diagnosed have multiple treatment options including hormonal contraceptives, pain medications and conservative surgery to remove the growths. There are times when a complete hysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and uterus) may be used as a treatment option for severe endometriosis; however, this option should always be a last resort.