One of the biggest problems regarding Endometriosis is that the signs of this disease in the early stages, appear to be the ?normal? bodily changes that take place with the menstrual cycle. It is only as time goes by that a woman begins to suspect that what is happening, and the symptoms she feels, are not normal. The pain of her menstrual cycle gradually and steadily becomes worse and worse as the months go by. This is only the beginning of what will become a gradual decline in a woman?s general health, as well as the health of her reproductive system.
Having said that, there are odd instances where some women do actually have Endometriosis, but they are nearly free of any symptoms. These women will only be diagnosed by default, for example when they have surgery for other issues, and only then is Endometriosis found. That is what makes this disease so enigmatic.
Endometriosis does not follow any distinct pattern, which is why it is difficult for the medical profession to know that a woman has the disease. Some of the symptoms will mimic those of other health problems, including:
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
irritable bowel syndrome
The most common symptoms of Endometriosis are:
Pain before and during periods
Pain with intercourse
General, chronic pelvic pain throughout the month
Low back pain
Heavy and/or irregular periods
Painful bowel movements, especially during menstruation
Painful urination during menstruation
Diarrhoea or constipation
Other symptoms which are common with Endometriosis include:
Low grade fevers
Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
Susceptibility to infections, allergies
In the later stages of Endometriosis, adhesions usually develop in the pelvic cavity, which are caused by untreated cysts, which can ?glue? pelvic organs together. These adhesions will seriously interfere with normal functions of organs in the pelvis, causing bowel obstructions, digestive problems, infertility, urinary problems, agonizing pains when the adhesions are pulled, mobility problems.
As Endometriosis develops a woman?s immune system becomes more and more impaired and this leads to further health problems. Due to increased research, as well as surveys of Endometriosis patients, it is now becoming clear that women with the disease are susceptible to other serious health problems including:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (100 times more common in women with endometriosis)
ME Hypothyroidism - under-active Thyroid gland (7 times more common in women with endometriosis)
Some of these findings are from data of the world?s largest research registry on Endometriosis, which includes figures for the women with the disease, as well as members of her family. These figures are not conclusive and do not give the whole picture to include geography, economics etc. They do show that women with Endometriosis are slightly more susceptible to these other diseases, but other members of their family seem to have a higher percentage of risk to develop these diseases. So we could be looking at environmental health issues here, rather than the results relating solely to Endometriosis.
It does seem clear that as women with Endometriosis are more receptive to other health problems, then their immune system is the key to their problems.
No two women will have the same symptoms for Endometriosis, and will not suffer the same knock-on health problems, but the most common symptom experienced among Endometriosis sufferers is acute pain.
In some instances the pain of Endometriosis can prohibit a woman to partake in every day activities as well as her ability to sustain a career.