What are the signs and symptoms of Endometriosis? For all women who menstruate, it is important to understand what this disease is and how to spot it. In this way, it can be diagnosed and treated before the damage becomes too extensive.

Every month, menstruating women develop a layer of endometrial cells inside their uterus. For women who develop this condition, the reasons aren’t entirely clear why these cells grow up and outside the uterus as well as inside.

When a woman has her period, these endometrial cells leave the body, but if they are not inside the uterus, they have no way to escape. These cells can grow on, into, and between the uterus, ovaries, bowels, and bladder. It is rare that the growths can spread even further, which is much more serious. The most common location of these growths is on the ovaries.

The problem with endometriosis is that many women don’t have any symptoms, or the symptoms remain so mild that their condition is not detected for many years. That’s why it’s important to have regular pelvic exams.

While pain and infertility are the easiest ways to realize you have endometriosis, your doctor may also be able to catch it during routine examinations.

The most common symptoms are:

*Painful menstrual cramps that worsen with time. While you may have cramps when you first start getting your period, they may worsen due to the growth that usually occurs with each cycle.

*Persistent pain in the back or lower abdomen.

*Pain during sexual intercourse, urination, or bowel movements. These symptoms are more likely during menstruation.

*Heavy periods, short menstrual cycle (less than 27 days), and spotting between cycles.

These signs should start before any other symptoms appear, and often occurs as soon as you start getting your period. Many women also started getting their period at an early age.

Infertility. Many women don’t discover they have this condition until they see a fertility specialist because they have been unsuccessful at conceiving.

Fatigue. This may be mild or more severe.

If you have some or all of these symptoms, it’s important for you to talk to a doctor right away. Due to the fact that symptoms come on slowly or are non-existent, it may take a while to recognize what’s wrong and may keep you from being treated.

Also, many of these symptoms are associated with other potentially serious problems. Your doctor can help you sort out your symptoms in order to receive appropriate treatment.

In order to better understand Endometriosis, here is an article explaining the "four stages" of this disease: Endometriosis Diagnosis