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8 Symptoms of Endometriosis

The Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates that about 6.5 million women in the United States have endometriosis. Yet many have no idea they have it until they try to become pregnant and discover it’s one of the leading causes of female infertility. Why is that? Ask Dr. Smith.

Dr. Deborah Smith is an award-winning, board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist and Fertility Specialist who leads our team of fertility experts at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center. With offices in Parker, Colorado, and Rapid City, South Dakota, Dr. Smith and the rest of our team are well-known for their warm and compassionate approach to helping people struggling with infertility. And their success rate is high enough to make them one of the top fertility centers in the nation.

Here’s what Dr. Smith has to say about endometriosis, how it can affect fertility, and the symptoms it causes.

Understanding endometriosis and female infertility

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to what normally lines the inside of your uterus also grows outside the uterus. This misplaced endometrial tissue often grows on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic lining (peritoneum) but can sometimes spread beyond the pelvic organs.

The tissue associated with endometriosis may act the same way as the uterine lining by thickening and then breaking down and bleeding during your menstrual cycle. Because of its location and its inability to leave the body like normal menstrual flow, this cyclic swelling and bleeding can cause significant pain, which is one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis.

The endometrial-like tissue can also block fallopian tubes, lead to ovarian cysts, and otherwise interfere with your ability to conceive or sustain a healthy pregnancy.

Symptoms of endometriosis can vary greatly. Depending on its location in the pelvis, even a mild case can cause significant pain, while severe endometriosis may go undiagnosed for years. Still, there are warning signs associated with endometriosis.

Eight common symptoms of endometriosis

1. Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful periods. While most women experience cramping during their menstrual bleed, dysmenorrhea causes significant pelvic pain and cramping that begins before your period and often lasts for several days after you’ve stopped bleeding.

2. Pain during bowel movements and/or urination

When you have endometriosis, you may experience pain with bowel movements or urination that’s often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or a urinary bladder issue.

3. Lower back pain

Lower back pain linked to endometriosis can occur at any time but may become more intense just before, during, and right after your period.

4. Pain during and after sexual intercourse

Many women report painful sex, which is often related to the location of the abnormal tissue growths associated with endometriosis.

5. Heavy periods

Endometriosis often causes excessive bleeding during your menstrual period.

6. Bleeding between periods

Many women with endometriosis have bleeding between periods that may include light spotting to what seems like a normal period.

7. Abdominal symptoms

Endometriosis, depending on the location of the abnormal tissue, can cause diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and nausea. These symptoms are often mistaken for digestive issues but typically worsen significantly during menstruation.

8. Infertility

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 30-50% of women with endometriosis struggle with infertility issues. At Rocky Mountain Fertility, we use state-of-the-art technology to accurately diagnose this frustrating condition and offer many successful treatments that can help you overcome the challenges of infertility due to endometriosis.

If you’re struggling with fertility issues, schedule a visit with us at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center today. We’re here to help you achieve your dream of becoming a parent, and our success rate is hard to beat!

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