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6 Common Signs of Endometriosis

6 Common Signs of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is one of the most common gynecologic conditions. It affects more than 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years, and it happens when the tissue inside your uterus (called the endometrium) starts growing elsewhere in your pelvic area.

Endometriosis patches often grow on other reproductive organs. For some women, that means symptoms like severe menstrual periods, chronic pain, and even infertility. But other women may have endometriosis without any symptoms at all.

Since the signs of endometriosis vary, it’s not always easy to recognize the condition for what it is. Symptoms may be overlooked, and many women don’t get the care they need.

The good news is that endometriosis is easily diagnosed with a pelvic exam, and treatment can make a difference in your health. Katie Ostrom, MD, and our team in Homer, Alaska, specialize in endometriosis care.

Here are some of the most common endometriosis symptoms.

1. Heavy periods

When it comes to menstruation, what’s normal for one woman may not be normal for another. Your menstrual cycle is unique, and it’s not uncommon for your periods to change from one month to the next.

However, some menstrual symptoms are never normal, including heavy menstrual bleeding. Bleeding is considered abnormally heavy if it:

Heavy periods are a common problem, and regularly experiencing these symptoms could indicate endometriosis.

2. Severe menstrual cramps

More than 80% of women get cramps during their menstrual cycles. But for some, symptoms are severe — and severe menstrual cramps could indicate endometriosis.

Signs that your cramps are unusually severe include:

Along with these symptoms, cramps that start a week before your period and continue after it starts could be a sign of endometriosis.

3. Bleeding between periods

Endometriosis can cause bleeding or “spotting” between your periods. Bleeding may be light and sporadic, or it may be heavy enough that it mimics a menstrual period. For some women, endometriosis makes their periods irregular.

4. Chronic pelvic pain

Heavy, painful periods are a common sign of endometriosis. Unfortunately, that pain doesn’t always end when your period stops. Endometriosis causes inflammation throughout your pelvic area, and it can cause ongoing pelvic pain, such as:

These symptoms can strike at any time of the month if you have endometriosis.

5. Gastrointestinal discomfort

Endometriosis can interfere with your digestive system along with your reproductive organs, because digestive organs are also located in your pelvic area. Depending on the location of endometriosis patches, you may experience bloating, constipation, or diarrhea over the course of your menstrual cycle.

6. Infertility

Endometriosis is a leading cause of infertility, and up to 50% of women dealing with infertility are diagnosed with endometriosis. 

Infertility caused by endometriosis can develop even if you don’t have any other symptoms. Endometriosis patches can develop on reproductive organs, like your ovaries and fallopian tubes, and interfere with the fertilization process.

Do these symptoms sound familiar to you? It could be endometriosis, and you shouldn’t wait to get the care you need. Dr. Ostrom and our team offer personalized endometriosis care and treatment options to improve your health.

Call our office at 907-435-0555 to get started or request an appointment online now.

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