Discover All Endometriosis Symptoms

If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, then you may be aware that the disease occurs in four stages, and that not all endometriosis symptoms are present at each stage.

You probably also know that endometriosis can be difficult to treat at higher stages of the disease, where symptoms can cause infertility and perhaps a greater chance of reproductive cancers in the future. In order to understand the four stages of endometriosis, you need to understand how endometriosis occurs.

The menstrual blood released from a woman’s body every month is actually made up of muscle tissue and comes from the inner lining of the uterus. This inner lining, called the endometrium, thickens at the same time every month and is designed to be the future placenta, the halfway house of nutrients from mother to child. In some rare cases, the menstrual blood is not expelled from the body as it should be. Rather, it finds its way out of the uterus and into nearby bones, tissues and organ systems.

Once the pockets of endometrial tissue leave the uterus but not the body, then problems can occur for some women. Usually the immune system will deal with this rogue tissues however in some women the pockets of endometrial lining can adhere to certain bones and tissues, then shed and bleed each month in line with the menstrual cycle causing endometriosis.

This makes a woman suffering from endometriosis feel ‘heavy’ in her pelvic area. At its most extreme, endometriosis can result in progressive, severe pain that reach all the way into the lower back. The pockets of endometrial lining can also deposit themselves onto the surfaces of nearby organs, or migrate to areas such as the intestines or lungs, inhibiting organ function.

Women suffering from endometriosis will experience painful, irregular and often heavy periods. They may also bleed, or spot, in between menstrual periods. Women suffering from endometriosis can also experience pain during sexual intercourse and may find bowel movements painful. They can also experience frequent nausea and occassional vomiting. At its worst, endometriosis can lead to endometrial tissue blocking the fallopian tubes, causing infertility. Women with endometriosis are also more likely to have reproductive cancers in the future, especially ovarian cancer.

To diagnose endometriosis, doctors will conduct a pelvic exam, and will look for tenderness in the pelvic areas and organs, thickening or increase in mass of these same organs, or nodules that may be growing on the surface of the ovaries and uterus.

These signs, however, are also common to other cancers and reproductive disorders, so doctors supplement their diagnoses with comprehensive blood tests, x-rays, and even diagnostic surgery. Once endometrial deposits are found in the body, they are measured, and their color is determined. When these characteristics are taken into consideration, a doctor can then assign points to a patient and diagnose the woman as suffering from a specific stage of the disease.

In Stage 1, or minimal endometriosis, women will have a score of about 5 points, where there are only isolated incidents of the endometrial lining growing outside the uterus.

In Stage 2, or mild endometriosis, women will score as much as 15 points, and will have small endometrial implants outside the uterus, along with some areas of adhesions or scar tissue.

In Stage 3, or moderate endometriosis, women will score as high as 40 points, and will have implants that are deep, as well as several areas where adhesions and scar tissue are prominent.

Finally, Stage 4, or severe endometriosis occurs when women score over 40 points during diagnosis, will often be infertile, and will have many implants and large adhesions of endometrial lining in their bodies.

Not all endometriosis symptoms appear during the first few stages, so be sure to have an annual check up with your obstetrician or gynecologist. When the diagnosis is made, do as much research as you can, and ask your doctor as many questions as possible. The sooner you know what’s happening inside you — the sooner you can go about making it better!

Don’t forget if you haven’t already done so, you can sign up for the free endometriosis newsletter that uncovers effective ways to help women combat endometriosis symptoms. You’ll also find more about effects of all endometriosis symptoms and the treatments available.

12 Responses

  1. Melissa Lapradd
    November 11th, 2008 | 8:35 pm

    Yes actually I was wandering if you can tell me if endometriosis can keep you from losing weight? I know that I stay swollen around my lower stomach. I know in the past year and half I have been having pain in my right lower pelvic region. I was suppose to have surgery back in April 2008 but when they did my blood work it showed I had low platelets. So they sent me to a hemotologist and it turned out that I have ITP. Lately though the pain is getting worse.IT is more like a pressure on my ovaries. Sometimes I have sharp pain shooting from there. Well I did not mean to tell you this but I have been trying to lose weight and I was wondering if it can keep you from losing weight. Thanks alot. melissa

  2. amanda bolling
    November 13th, 2008 | 7:19 pm

    This is my first visit to this site. I am going in for some testing to see if I possibly have endometriosis. I had no idea what it was and this site has explained everything. I am now going into this having useful information to ease my fears.

  3. ROSA PARRISH
    March 20th, 2009 | 6:15 pm

    I HAD SURGERY TO REMOVE MY ENDOMETRIOSIS IT WAS THE SIZE OF A PEACH.A FEW MONTHS LATER I HAVE IT AGAIN.IT IS BIGGER,I TAKE BIRTHCONTROL AND 800MG OF PERSCRIPTION MOTRIN FOR THE PAIN. THE BIRTH CONTROL MADE ME GAIN WIEGHT.I SWELL UP LIKE I AM PREGNANT WHEN I START MY MONTHLY. I HURT ALL THE TIME.IT HAS PUT A STRAIN ON OUR MARRIAGE. AND BY THE WAY, OUR BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MS,WILL NOT PAY FOR A ILLNESS THAT HAS RETURNED. THE FIRST SURGERY IS NOT PAID FOR.

  4. angela
    March 28th, 2010 | 12:20 am

    Thank you very much for this website,it has really helped me understand a lot more what the stages are what i need to be looking out for & asking at my Dr.appointments.This can be a very painful thing to bare & i am glad to know there is a newsletter & treatment information available.

  5. September 18th, 2010 | 1:20 pm

    Thank you. A really informative site. I will link to it from my own blog.

  6. caroline
    February 7th, 2011 | 6:25 pm

    i have had endo for too long… nothing has worked whatever has help wont help well narcotics and even that has its down side.. constipation and nausea but helps the pain.. i am working out diet lots of water surgeries hormones ah i just dont know anymore. i have been diagnosed with ibs adenomyosis vulvodynia interstitial cystitis i dont feel any better always feel heavy always in pain.. no one that understand not even the specialist maybe they feel bad they cant help what escapes the grasp of their minds is they go home without the patient … but the patient even home cant escape the pain. i dont need pitty nor do i want to be that unrasonable patient but sympathy goes a long way try being understanding. dont cost anything and e1 will feel better inside if nothing else.

  7. Gretchen
    February 17th, 2011 | 11:32 pm

    Last year I found out I had a uterine fibroid. Before getting a fibroid embollization I had gone to see a holistic Dr too see if there was an all natural treatment. He told me he didn’t feel that my heavy menstral cycles were do to the fibroid, he said that I definitely had a problem with my uterus and I have had this problem for a long time. He also said he believed I would have to have laproscopic surgery. Although he couldn’t actually diagnose me because he is not an actual medical doctor. Since then it’s been a year after my embollization and my periods are still very bad, I have problems with frequent urination but ever feeling like I can empty my bladder, constitution, and I have had painful intercourse in the past, I never feel right in my pelvic region. I get frequent urinary tract infections and bacteria infections, my gynocologist treats me but never tries to find the underlying problem- he just say’s it’s normal. I always keep going back in my mind to the holistic Dr saying I would need a laproscopy, which leads me to believe I may have endometriosis. But every time I mention it to my gynocologist he blows me off and he also told me heavy periods are not associated with endometriosis. I am newly married and would like to start a family but I am afraid I might have this and don’t know what to do to get through to them. Do the symptoms sound like endometriosis?

  8. Yolanda Nabors
    August 16th, 2011 | 5:54 pm

    I was just told yesturday that I have endometiosis. I was wondering why after years of pain and different test, does it take so long to find that you do have endometriosis?

  9. Sammy Jo Reardon
    January 21st, 2012 | 6:47 am

    I was 15 when I first started having pain. At first it only happened every once in a while. I’d have a period and not be able to move. I’m now 20 and the pain has only gotten worse. I had to drop out of hair school since I was always in pain, nausous, or constipated. I’m buried in medical bills for endoscopies, colonoscopies, docter visits, ER trips, and multiple tests. Never in the four years that I’ve been going to the gyno has someone mentioned that I might have endometriosis. I don’t say that for pity. I came across this from another sight and want to say thanks. I feel like people think I’m exaggerating or faking, but I come to this sight and all my symptoms match, even the triggers like eating red meat or drinking alchohal. This should definately have more aweness.

  10. Angel
    March 14th, 2012 | 6:06 pm

    Well last night I was diagnosed with endo I don’t know how I will be abale to pay for this. I make 254.00 a week my husband makes about 300.000 a week we also have 3 kids and the bills are pileing up. I have no insurance to help pay for this. I’ve had 3n kids and this pain is unbarrable to have. I have no pain meds. can’t afford them,and I can’t affored to miss work any more. Do anybody know who will see me for free

  11. meagan cavanaugh
    April 5th, 2012 | 4:19 am

    I am 24 years old and was diagnosed with endometriosis a year and a half ago since then i have have 2 surgeries and going on my third. ive been threw numerous treatments and take a strong narcotic everyday to try to live the most normal life i can without cronic pain. I am a single mother of 4 year old twins and work full time. the one thing i am continuosly wondering is when should i give up and have a histerectamy having more kids is something that is still on my mind.

  12. Nicole
    June 9th, 2012 | 10:52 am

    I had a partial laprascopic hysterectomy less than a week ago after my cycle had gone haywire. At 37 I was done having children and had been on birth control, had IUDs, etc. I had been diagnosed with stage 1 endo in my 20s and had gone thru surgery and Lupron therapy. When my dr did my hysterectomy, he was surprised at the extent of my endo. They had to take one ovary because is was glued to my uterus. I don’t regret my decision for a moment. If you are having problems and your dr won’t listen, find one who will. We as women know our bodies and a good doctor will listen. Endometriosis can cause all kinds of problems and cannot be truly diagnosed without laprascopic surgery at minimum. At that point, treatment can be decided based on what is found. If you don’t have health insurance, contact your local health department. They may be able to provide information and resources to help.

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