What are the signs of endometriosis?

Some women with endometriosis may have no significant symptoms. Common symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • painful periods
  • pelvic pain
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • difficulty in becoming pregnant
  • pain with bowel movements
  • pain passing urine

It is worth noting that endometriosis is not an infection, not contagious and not cancer. It is in fact the second most common gynaecological condition. It is estimated that two million women in the UK have endometriosis.

Endometriosis and fertility

Some women with endometriosis may become pregnant without any difficulty, however there is an association between endometriosis and infertility. In advanced forms of endometriosis where there is significant scarring and anatomical distortion in the pelvis release and transport of egg from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes may be compromised. Similarly sperm and embryo transport in the fallopian tubes may also be affected in these situations. Altogether, these factors may reduce fertility.

In early forms of endometriosis the association between endometriosis and infertility is more controversial. Nevertheless, this form of endometriosis is more common in women with fertility difficulties. There is also some evidence that surgical elimination of early endometriosis increases fertility rates, suggesting that even early forms of endometriosis may reduce fertility.

Normal pelvis Severe pelvic endometriosis