Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (endometrium) is found in other parts of the body. It can appear in many different places, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel.
- Period pain that it isn’t relieved with painkillers
- Heavy periods – for example, you may need to use lots of tampons or pads (or use them together), or the blood might soak through your clothes
- Pelvic pain – this may just occur around the time of your period or you may have it all the time
- Pain during and after sex
- Pain or discomfort when going to the toilet
- Bleeding from your bottom or blood in your poo
- Feeling tired all the time
Cysts can also be a very common side effect of Endometriosis, but they are difficult to identify without medical diagnosis, such as an ultrasound. A cyst can grow inside the ovary but mimic the symptoms of Endometriosis in general e.g. painful periods, pain during sex or bloating.
If you are worried that you have Endometriosis or a cyst, we would always advise seeking medical advice. Cysts can cause pain and inflammation around the reproductive organs which in turn can produce pain and menstrual cramps throughout the monthly cycle, but occasionally they can grow in size, creating further problems including infertility as they stop our eggs from releasing.
Around menstruation time certainly we would always advise an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen but with prolonged bleeding, bloating or menstrual type pain at other times of the month it is always best to get checked out by a health professional.
There is no need to be embarrassed, chances are you will know someone who has the condition already, as 1 in 10 women in the UK are affected and 10% worldwide.