How can I recognize the signs of endometriosis?
Real Mom Problem
“I was wondering if anyone knows anything about endometriosis. I've been having some problems for awhile now and someone mentioned that it sounds like symptoms of endometriosis. I'm really starting to get worried.”
- 1. Common symptoms of endometriosis include pain during periods, sex, and bowel movements, as well as difficulty conceiving
- 2. Symptoms vary greatly from woman to woman. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you might have endometriosis
- 3. Laparoscopic surgery can be used to both diagnose and treat endometriosis
Real Mom Solutions
Think you might have endometriosis? The ladies below have been through it and describe their symptoms--and how they got help.
If you think you have endometriosis, the only true way to diagnose it is through laparoscopy. Some symptoms of endometriosis include: pain when going to the bathroom, irregular bleeding, pain during sex, and what feels like burning in your pelvis, ovaries, and uterus. If you feel you have endometriosis and can do the laparoscopy, I would suggest it as soon as possible. The sooner you nip it in the bud, the better your chances at conception.
Irregular periods, passing large clots, chronic diarrhea, three miscarriages, one extremely high risk pregnancy, fatigue, pain in uterine area all the time (seems worse when not menstruating), bad bloating of the belly, cramps, GI upset, migraines, irritability, mood swings, extreme pain in my lower back, ovarian cysts, overgrowth of uterine lining. Most of my pain now brings me to tears.
I have severe endometriosis and had my first laparoscopy six months ago. I have pain during sex, very painful periods--so bad that I am on my knees in tears. I have severe pain when my food moves through my intestines. I can feel exactly where it is in my stomach. It's sort of like irritable bowel. I get reoccurring cysts every month and sometimes it's hard to pee - feels like you have to push really hard, like something is in the way. Talk to your doctor about getting laparoscopic surgery. Also ask for an ultrasound to see if you have a chocolate cyst (an endometrioma). That's how they found out that I more than likely had endometriosis because that is a sign of it.
Some women have severe symptoms, some have mild symptoms, others may not even realize they have it. I always had pretty irregular cycles (anywhere from 28 days to 35 days). I had severely painful periods for years. I occasionally experience pain during sex, get random pelvic floor pains (like being stabbed). It has also caused me to develop an occasional cyst on an ovary. It can cause chronic fatigue. A doctor may decide based on your history that you have endometriosis (how I was diagnosed) but it can't be found for certain unless you have laparoscopic surgery. Definitely talk to your OBGYN and see what he/she says. It could be that you just have a hormonal imbalance.
I started having pain in my lower left side in my third trimester with my son--figured it was just him. Then after he was born it continued. Had my first laparoscopy and the doctor said he saw nothing unusual. The pain was getting worse so I went for a second opinion. He did a second laparoscopy, and found a small amount of endometriosis by my left ovary. He removed it and I've never felt better. They go through your belly button for the procedure and when you wake up it's done. I'm trying for baby number two right now so the doctor put me on metformin just in case I have a little more trouble conceiving since having the endometriosis. I'd get an MRI to start with and then go from there.
Signs and symptoms of endometriosis can be different from person to person. I was diagnosed with endometriosis after having laparoscopic surgery. The doctor said he found severe endometriosis while doing the surgery and couldn't believe that I wasn't in severe pain all the time. But everyone is wired differently and has different levels of pain.
Endometriosis also brings upon all kinds of mood swings and makes it SOOO hard to get pregnant.
If your period is dark brown or black in color with lots of clots, that is another symptom. Endometriosis usually causes blood stagnation thus the dark color - old blood.
I have stage 4 endometriosis. I have low progesterone and low estrogen which seems to go along with my endometriosis. When my estrogen gets really low at certain times in my cycle, I get migraine-like headaches that over-the-counter pain meds don't touch.