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Symptoms of endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue, like the lining of the womb, starts to grow in other places. For example, the ovaries, the lining of your tummy and fallopian tubes.

Endometriosis can affect women of any age although it is less likely in women after menopause.

It’s a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life. But there are treatments that can help.

The symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are badly affected, while others might not have any noticeable symptoms.

The main symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
  • period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
  • pain during or after sex
  • pain when peeing or pooing during your period
  • feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in your pee during your period
  • difficulty getting pregnant

You may also have heavy periods. You might use lots of pads or tampons, or you may bleed through your clothes.

For some women, endometriosis can have a big impact on their life. It may lead to feelings of depression.

Treatments for endometriosis

There’s currently no cure for endometriosis. But there are treatments that can help ease the symptoms and reduce the progression of the disease.

Treatments include:

  • painkillers – such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
  • hormone medicines and contraceptives
  • surgery to cut away or laser (vaporise) patches of endometriosis tissue
  • an operation to remove part or all the organs affected by endometriosis

Your GP will discuss the options with you.

Complications of endometriosis

One of the main complications of endometriosis is difficulty getting pregnant. You may not be able to get pregnant at all (infertility).

Surgery to remove endometriosis tissue can help improve your chances of getting pregnant. But there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get pregnant after treatment.

Surgery for endometriosis may cause further problems. For example infections, bleeding or damage to affected organs.

If surgery is recommended, talk to your surgeon about the possible risks.


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