Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the lining of a uterus grows outside the uterus. While the debilitating condition affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age globally, the exact cause of endometriosis is not certain.

Common symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Pelvic or back pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Pain during or after sex
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination
  • Occasional heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods.
  • Infertility
  • Other symptoms may include fatigue, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

You may be at risk to get the condition if you:

  • are of reproductive age
  • started your period at an early age
  • have heavy menstrual periods that last longer than seven days
  • have short menstrual cycles
  • get your period more often than usual
  • have not given birth
  • have a family history of the condition

Why is it difficult to diagnose?

Unfortunately, endometriosis is difficult to diagnose as it is sometimes mistaken for other conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ovarian cysts or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Furthermore, many women believe the symptoms related to menstruation are normal, so they do not seek treatment.

When to seek help

Severe endometriosis pain can affect your quality of life, including mental health. If you have signs that may indicate endometriosis, you need to see a doctor.

Although there is currently no cure, treatment options are available, including medication, surgery, or lifestyle changes. An early diagnosis can help you understand your condition and manage your symptoms better.

Sources:

Healthline

Medical News Today

Web MD

Mayo Clinic