Endometriosis symptoms: Signs to spot when you go to the toilet – ‘seek medical advice’

Endometriosis: Dr Larisa Corda discusses symptoms on This Morning

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Symptoms can vary in intensity in those with endometriosis, and the amount of endometriosis does not always correspond to the amount of pain and discomfort experienced, according to Endometriosis UK charity. The NHS says you should see a GP if you have symptoms of endometriosis, especially if they’re having a big impact on your life. The cause of endometriosis is not known, but the condition tends to run in families.

Endometriosis UK says one classic symptom is painful bowel movements.

Bowel and bladder symptoms that have been reported include bleeding from the bowel, and symptoms of irritable bowel such as diarrhoea, constipation, and bloating. Pain when passing urine and pain before or after passing urine, are also possible signs.

Other possible symptoms of endometriosis may include: excessive menstrual cramps, abnormal or heavy menstrual flow and pain during intercourse.

The charity says: “It is important to seek medical advice to clarify the cause of any symptoms. If symptoms change after diagnosis it is important to discuss these changes with your doctor. It is easy to relate all problems to endometriosis, but it may not always be the reason.”

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Endometriosis is usually characterised by period pain in the days before a period.

“The periods become typically painful, often meaning days off school, college or work. If period pain is preventing you from carrying out your normal activities, please seek medical advice,” says the charity.

Endometriosis can affect all women and girls and those assigned female at birth of a childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity.

It’s likely the condition is caused by a combination of different factors.

The NHS says: “It can be difficult to diagnose endometriosis because the symptoms can vary considerably, and many other conditions can cause similar symptoms.”

Therefore, it may help to write down your symptoms before seeing a doctor.

Recent research shows that there is now an average of 7.5 years between women first seeing a doctor about their symptoms and receiving a firm diagnosis, according to Endometriosis UK.

There are a number of possible complications from the condition. One of the main ones is difficulty getting pregnant or not being able to get pregnant at all.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, endometriosis can be found in 24 to 50 percent of women who experience infertility.

How endometriosis affects fertility is not clearly understood. It is thought that scar tissue from endometriosis can impair the release of the egg from the ovary and subsequent pickup by the fallopian tube, according to The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The NHS suggests that surgery to remove endometriosis tissue can help improve your chances of getting pregnant, “although there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get pregnant after treatment”.

Women may also have endometriosis without symptoms, so it is difficult to know how common the disease is in the population.

Bupa Healthcare site says: “Don’t be embarrassed to tell them about the problems you’re having – including pain during sex, or seeing blood when going to the toilet. It’s important that they know about these.”

Your GP may refer you to a gynaecologist, or another specialist.

The only way doctors can be sure is to check with a procedure called a laparoscopy.

A gynaecologist will look inside your abdomen using a laparoscope.

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