We know that Endometriosis is literally a pain for the millions of women who experience it, but did you know that it could also affect your fertility? What’s most surprising is that often times the symptoms of Endometriosis can be misdiagnosed as a different condition and the disease itself can go undiagnosed. The fertility specialists at SIRM St. Louis share the details about Endometriosis and what you need to know if you think you may be suffering from more than just period pain.

What is Endo?  

Endometriosis is a (sadly often) painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. This endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs, but this is in rare cases.

What are the signs?

Seriously Painful Periods: Most women have come to except a certain level of discomfort during their periods such as mild cramping and bloating. But, if you experience significant pain during your monthly period or if your menstrual pain affects your daily routine then you could be experiencing Endometriosis pain.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort: The characteristics of irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating, painful bowel movements and irregularity are shared symptoms of Endometriosis. Women may experience markedly worse symptoms during their periods.

Increased bleeding: Increased bleeding during your period including blood clots and extreme pain is a shared symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease, which is caused by an untreated STD.  Women with endometriosis may experience these same symptoms caused by endometrial growths reacting to hormones your ovaries produce during menses.

Increased Urination: Endometrial tissue outside of the uterus could put pressure on the bladder or urinary tract, increasing the sensation of needing to urinate. Urinary tract infections also increase the sensation of needing to urinate.

Infertility: Even if you have relatively little scar tissue in your fallopian tubes, endometrial tissue can still decrease the ability for the sperm and egg to meet for conception.

The good news?

Sufferers don’t have to experience infertility. There are options to help assist you in starting or growing your family!  If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned, we encourage you to contact the Reproductive Endocrinologists at SIRM St. Louis to be tested for Endometriosis and to discuss your options for becoming pregnant.