Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis is associated with a variety of symptoms, but there is no consistent pattern and not all women are symptomatic. The two most common symptoms are pelvic pain and infertility. Over time, depending on where the endometrial tissue has implanted, other symptoms may appear.

Pelvic Pain

The most common symptom of endometriosis is chronic pelvic pain that generally occurs just before and during menstruation and then decreases after menstruation. About 25 to 67 percent of women with endometriosis suffer painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). About 25 percent experience painful intercourse (dyspareunia). Pelvic examinations can also be painful.

Infertility

Infertility is common in women who have endometriosis. In fact, infertility is the most common symptom that prompts a visit to the doctor's office for diagnosis.

Other Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis that develops in other parts of the pelvic region may result in bowel-related or urinary tract symptoms (e.g., painful or difficult bowel movements, bloody urine). If the lungs are involved, endometriosis may cause pleuritic pain (the pleura is the thin layer of tissue that coats and protects the lungs) or hemoptysis. If endometrial cells implant in the brain, the patient may experience seizures.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Oct 2000

Last Modified: 14 Sep 2015