Endometriosis - Symptoms 

Symptoms of endometriosis 

Symptoms of endometriosis can vary significantly from person to person. Some women have no symptoms at all.

The most common symptoms include:

  • painful periods or heavy periods
  • pain in the lower abdomen (tummy), pelvis or lower back
  • pain during and after sex
  • bleeding between periods
  • difficulty getting pregnant

The experience of pain varies between women. Most women with endometriosis get pain in the area between their hips and the tops of their legs. Some women have this all the time, while others only have pain during their periods, when they have sex or when they go to the toilet.

Other symptoms may include:

  • long-term exhaustion and tiredness
  • discomfort when urinating or passing stools
  • bleeding from your back passage (rectum) or blood in your stools
  • coughing blood (in rare cases where the endometriosis tissue is in the lung)

How severe the symptoms are depends largely on where in your body the endometriosis is, rather than the amount of endometriosis you have. A small amount of tissue can be as painful as, or more painful than, a large amount.

You should see your GP if you have symptoms of endometriosis so they can try to identify a cause and refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Page last reviewed: 07/11/2013

Next review due: 07/11/2015

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The 7 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Racheeroo39 said on 12 February 2014

Hi I have suffered with heavy painful periods since I started when I was 10. My GP has always prescribed me mefanemic and transanemic acid to control them. in 2010 I had a merina coil fitted, although my periods stopped I had constant cramps through out the month and so after 12 months had it removed. My GP really struggled to take it out as it felt as though it had got stuck. Since this I started with excruciating lower back pain period seemed worse than ever and my pelvic floor muscles seemed to weaken, I also by 2012 started to get very constipated, bloated and feeling of being full very quickly whilst eating. after another trip to my GP I was referred to a gynaecologist and after having an uss and internal one they said I had a polyp in my uterus. in April 2013 I had a hysteroscopy and they also advised me to have another coil fitted, after my op I was told that I had 4 polyps removed. The merina affected my mood and I had constant thrush and cramps. I did not suffer with any constipation whilst the merina was in place but in October 13 I had it removed. Since then I have been very constipated and bloated, my periods are still heavy and still last a long time, I am awaiting a date for a hysterectomy and have an apt planned with a colorectal specialist on march 10th. I have looked at the possibility of whether I may have endo as my aunty had it or whether it could be adenomyosis as I have had two c sections and tubal litigation in 2002 and 2003. Has anybody else had problems like this it really gets me down and is imposing on my life.

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Loulou1003 said on 12 October 2013

Jessdavies210 my mum has endometriosis and I'm having a laperoscopy in a week to see if I have it. When I saw my surgeon he said as my mum has it it's more likely I have it as it can run in the family. As your sister has the condition it is more likely you could have it so would be worth a visit to the GP. It can take a long time to be diagnosed so the sooner you see them if say the better.

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Jessdavies210 said on 06 October 2013

Hi I think I have this I have been having very heavy periods a lot, I actually am always sick every time I come on as I'm in a lot of pain. I also for the past 6-12 months have been bleeding a lot I between my periods. My older sister had endometriosis and experienced the same as me when younger I just want to know could there be a chance this is what could be wrong with me.

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emogirl89 said on 21 April 2013

I'm wondering if I may have this. I've had five pregnancies four of which resulted in miscarriage and one where my daughter was prem. I've had severe period pain for 11 years since they started at 12. My doctor gave me the pill for a couple of years and that eased them but as my dvt risk increased I was put on mefenamic acid which worked for a while but isn't entirely effective. No one has suggested endometriosis to me but it would explain why my period pain is actually worse than what my contractions were. Any advice?

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Brucibabes said on 11 April 2013

Hi BeckiiW1993,

Yes it is poosible you have endometriosis, and I hope by now you have been sorted. If not go and insist on being investigated for it. My wife's endo didn't show up with scans, it wasn't untill she had a laporoscopy that they found it.

I hope this helps.

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lyndsayf31 said on 24 October 2012

Hi has anyone been using decapeptyl 11.25 for endo?,If so when uz came off the injections how long was it it till ur menstrul cycle returned? thanks

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BeckiiW1993 said on 05 September 2012

well im wondering if i have got this now cuz for months i have had pain in my hips gone to the doctors but nothing really been done and now when i wipe myself i have blood but there isnt any on my pants, and i have pain during sex too. also i have been tested for all STI's as ive had sex without protection for a year and unfortunately i havent fell pregnant within the year of unprotected sex and i do have pain in my back, hips and pelvic area. so have i got this and how soon should i be seeking medical treatment.

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Where does it occur?

Areas of the body that can be affected by endometriosis include:

  • the ovaries and fallopian tubes
  • the outside of the womb
  • the area between the rectum (back passage) and womb
  • the thin layer of tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen (peritoneum)
  • the bowel or bladder
  • the vagina
  • the rectum
  • the muscle layer of the wall of the womb
  • scars from previous operations
  • in rare cases, the skin, eyes, spine, lungs or brain