Endometriosis of the colon, also referred to as intestinal endometriosis, occurs when endometrial implants attach themselves to the colon. An endometrial implant is endometrial tissue that grows outside of the uterus. These implants can adhere themselves to any of the pelvic organs or to the colon. Approximately 12 percent of women with endometriosis also have endometriosis of the colon. Knowing the symptoms of this condition is essential because it may be confused with rectal or colon cancer.
Endometriosis can affect the colon, also referred to as the bowel, so patients can experience bowel symptoms. According to the Center for Endometriosis Care, approximately 35 percent of patients experience constipation, 25 percent experience painful bowel movements and cramping and 35 percent of patients experience diarrhea. These are the most common symptoms.
The Center for Endometriosis Care states that patients with colon endometriosis may experience nausea and vomiting. They can also experience stomach pain, also referred to as abdominal pain. These symptoms vary greatly from mild to severe. All patients do not experience them.
Rectal symptoms can also occur. These can include rectal bleeding and rectal pain, according to the Center for Endometriosis Care. All patients with colon endometriosis do not experience these symptoms.