Endometriosis can be a painful and potentially dangerous problem for women. Pelvic pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. The pain usually starts before a period and then continues until the bleeding has stopped.
Women may also have the following symptoms:
- Painful periods
- Pain in the lower abdomen before and after menstruation
- Cramps 1 or 2 weeks around menstruation
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods
- Pain with intercourse
- Discomfort with bowel movements
- Lower back pain that may occur anytime during the menstrual cycle
- Pain with urination
For women with endometriosis, the uterine lining tissue of the uterus grows outside of the uterus for reasons that are unknown. The mis-placed tissue, which is outside of the uterus, responds to the hormones produced by the ovaries by thickening and bleeding with every menstrual cycle.
This tissue which is outside of the uterus is unable to bleed through the cervix and into the vagina and out of the body. This endometrial flow or blood flow is then trapped in the tissues and may cause inflammation and pain to whatever tissue it is growing on. Adhesions or scar tissue may form and cause organs to connect together. This also causes pain. Endometriosis can even cause the fallopian tubes to close, which is a dangerous problem because it can lead to infertility.