Search Here

Could Your Pain Be Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a medical disorder of the endometrial tissue that lines the inside of the uterus.

Who could be affected by Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that primarily affects individuals assigned female at birth. While endometriosis can affect anyone with a uterus, they are most commonly found in women of reproductive age. It is possible, although rare, for transgender men who have not undergone hysterectomy to develop endometriosis if they have a uterus.

Higher risk for endometriosis is associated with:

  • earlier onset of menstruation
  • shorter menstrual cycle (less than the typical 28-day cycle)
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • obstruction of menstrual flow
  • taller height
  • higher alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • a blood relative with endometriosis (this increases your risk sevenfold)
  • late menopause

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a medical condition where the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. This tissue can implant and grow on organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic lining, as well as in other areas of the body. Endometriosis can cause a range of symptoms, including pelvic pain, painful periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, pain during intercourse and infertility.

The displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it would within the uterus, thickening and breaking down during each menstrual cycle. However, because it is located outside the uterus, the blood and tissue shed during menstruation have no way to exit the body, leading to inflammation, scarring, and pain.

Endometriosis can be diagnosed through a combination of medical history evaluation, pelvic examinations, imaging tests (such as ultrasound or MRI), and sometimes laparoscopic surgery for visual confirmation and tissue biopsy. Treatment options for endometriosis depend on the severity of symptoms and may include pain medication, hormonal therapies (such as birth control pills or GnRH agonists), and in more severe cases, surgical intervention to remove the endometrial growths.

When could Endometriosis conditions affect you?

Endometriosis can affect individuals during their reproductive years, typically starting in their late teens or early twenties. It is most commonly diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 25 and 40, although it can occur at any age after puberty. However, endometriosis can persist beyond the reproductive years as well.

Where could Endometriosis Affect You Physically And Mentally?

Physically, endometriosis involves the growth of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus, which can lead to various symptoms and affect different areas of the body.

Pelvic pain:

Endometriosis commonly causes chronic pelvic pain that may be constant or cyclical, worsening during menstruation. The pain can extend to the lower back and may be accompanied by cramping or stabbing sensations.

Painful periods:

Dysmenorrhea, or severe menstrual pain, is a hallmark symptom of endometriosis. Menstrual cramps may be significantly more intense and debilitating than typical period pain.

Painful intercourse:

Deep pelvic pain during or after sexual intercourse, known as dyspareunia, can be a symptom of endometriosis.

Gastrointestinal symptoms:

Endometriosis lesions can affect the gastrointestinal tract, leading to symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, or pain during bowel movements.

Mentally, the physical symptoms of endometriosis can also have psychological and emotional effects on individuals.

Emotional distress:

Living with chronic pain and the challenges of managing endometriosis can lead to emotional distress, including feelings of frustration, anxiety, or depression.

Impact on daily activities:

Severe pain and fatigue associated with endometriosis can limit one’s ability to engage in regular daily activities, work, or social interactions, potentially causing feelings of frustration and isolation.

Impact on fertility and family planning:

Endometriosis can be associated with infertility or difficulties in conceiving, which can cause significant emotional stress for individuals or couples desiring to have children.

But some people with endometriosis have no symptoms.

Why does it matter to deal with this condition?

Alleviating pain and symptoms:

Endometriosis can cause severe pelvic pain, painful periods, and pain during intercourse. By addressing and managing endometriosis, individuals can find relief from these debilitating symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

Preserving fertility and family planning:

Endometriosis can be associated with infertility or difficulties in conceiving. By seeking appropriate treatment and support, individuals can explore fertility options, receive guidance on family planning, and potentially improve their chances of conceiving if desired.

Preventing disease progression and complications:

Without proper management, endometriosis can progress and lead to further complications. These may include the formation of scar tissue, ovarian cysts (endometriomas), adhesions that bind organs together, and potential damage to reproductive organs. Early intervention and treatment can help prevent or minimise these complications.

Improving mental well-being:

Living with chronic pain, infertility concerns, and the challenges of managing endometriosis can significantly impact an individual’s mental health. By addressing endometriosis, individuals can seek appropriate support, counselling, and resources to manage the emotional and psychological aspects of the condition.

Long-term health implications:

Endometriosis has been associated with an increased risk of certain health conditions, such as certain types of ovarian cancer. By managing endometriosis, individuals can potentially reduce the long-term health risks associated with the condition.

If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms related to endometriosis, such as pelvic pain, painful periods, or difficulty conceiving, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and guide you through appropriate treatment options based on your specific circumstances. Early detection and management can help in alleviating symptoms and minimising the impact of endometriosis on your daily life.


If you don’t have symptoms, your first diagnosis may occur when your doctor is treating you for another problem.

If you have symptoms, such as pelvic pain, your doctor will take your medical history and ask you about your symptoms:

  • When did they start?
  • How long do they last?
  • How do you rate your pain?

The doctor will examine you physically and likely order imaging tests.

To rule out other possible causes of pelvic pain, your doctor may order a urine test, pregnancy test, smear/pap test or vaginal swabs.

Your doctor will take your medical history. They’ll also ask about others in your family who may have had endometriosis.

Your doctor will examine your pelvic area to feel for cysts or other abnormalities. They’ll likely order imaging tests, including a sonogram and possibly an MRI.

The sonogram may be done with a wand type of scanner across your abdomen or inserted into your vagina.

Your doctor may also use laparoscopic surgery to look for endometrial-like tissue outside of the uterus. If a diagnosis isn’t clear, a tissue sample can be taken during surgery to confirm the diagnosis or to be examined under the microscope.

Research is ongoing into noninvasive ways to diagnose endometriosis using blood tests. But so far, no accurate biomarker (indicator that you have the condition) has been found.


Treatment ranges from minimal (over-the-counter medications) to more invasive (hysterectomy).

Treatment options in between these extremes vary. This is because of the differences in where the misplaced endometrial-like tissue is located.

Discuss your treatment options with your doctor. Some of the questions to consider are:

  • Do you want to have children?
  • Is your pain intermittent, just around your periods?
  • Does chronic pain prevent you from carrying out your daily activities?
  • Are you near menopause, when adenomyosis related symptoms may go away?

For mild symptoms, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may help. For more severe symptoms, there are other options.

Anti-inflammatory drugs may be combined with hormonal treatments. Hormone supplements may help:

  • regulate your periods
  • reduce endometrial-like tissue growth
  • relieve pain

These can be prescribed in a staged fashion, starting with a low dose of oral contraceptives and seeing how you respond.

The first line of treatment is usually low-dose combined oral contraceptive pills.

A second-tier of treatment includes progestins, androgens and GnRH. These have been shown to reduce endometriosis pain. The progestins may be taken orally, injected or as an intrauterine device.

The hormonal contraceptive treatments may stop your periods and relieve symptoms as long as you’re taking them. When you stop taking them, your periods will return.

If you want to get pregnant, there’s evidence that taking and then stopping hormonal treatments may improve chances of fertility with in vitro fertilisation.

Conservative surgery can remove endometriosis laparoscopically while keeping your uterus intact. This may relieve symptoms, but the endometriosis can return.

Laparoscopy can also be used with heat, current, or laser treatments to remove the endometriosis.

Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and possible removal of your ovaries is considered a last resort.

Endometriosis U.K. Help. NHS Information

Bloody Marvellous Limited goes to great lengths to ensure that, to the best of its knowledge, the information provided on this website and its social media channels is correct at the time of publication and/or subsequent modification. This information is solely for general purposes. It has been prepared in order to provide information, education and related products/services offered by Bloody Marvellous and Associated Organisations.

Menstrual Cramps As Bad As A Heart Attack?

Who could suffer from Dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea can affect women and girls who experience menstruation. It is estimated that up to 90% of menstruating women experience some degree of dysmenorrhea at some point in their lives. The condition often starts during adolescence, shortly after a girl begins menstruating, and can continue into adulthood. It is important to note that while dysmenorrhea is more common in women, transgender men and non-binary individuals assigned female at birth who still experience menstruation can also be affected by dysmenorrhea.

What is Dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea is a medical term that refers to painful menstrual cramps that occur just before or during menstruation. The condition is more common in younger women and often improves with age or after childbirth.

John Guillebaud, professor of reproductive health at University College London, says patients have told him the cramping pain is “almost as bad as having a heart attack.”

While the exact cause of dysmenorrhea is not always known, it can be associated with certain factors, such as:

  1. Primary Dysmenorrhea: This is the most common type of dysmenorrhea and typically occurs in the absence of any underlying pelvic disorder. It usually begins within a few years of starting menstruation. Primary dysmenorrhea is thought to result from the release of certain hormones called prostaglandins, which cause the uterine muscles to contract and can lead to pain and cramping. The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person.
  2. Secondary Dysmenorrhea: This type of dysmenorrhea is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), adenomyosis, or ovarian cysts. It can occur at any age, even after many years of pain-free menstruation. The pain associated with secondary dysmenorrhea may be more severe and persistent compared to primary dysmenorrhea.

The common symptoms of dysmenorrhea include:

  1. Menstrual pain or cramps in the lower abdomen or back.
  2. Intense, throbbing pain that may radiate to the thighs.
  3. Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  4. Headaches or dizziness.
  5. Fatigue or weakness.
  6. A feeling of pressure or heaviness in the abdomen.

When Is It Likely To Affect You?

Dysmenorrhea, or painful menstrual cramps, typically occurs just before or during menstruation. The timing of dysmenorrhea can vary from person to person, but it commonly starts a day or two before the onset of menstruation and may continue for a few days into the menstrual period.

In the case of primary dysmenorrhea, which is not caused by an underlying medical condition, the pain often begins shortly after the menstruating bleed starts, typically during her teenage years. It can persist into adulthood but may improve with age or after childbirth.

Secondary dysmenorrhea, which is caused by an underlying medical condition, can occur at any age, even if a person has previously experienced pain-free menstruation. The timing and duration of pain in secondary dysmenorrhea may be influenced by the underlying condition responsible for the symptoms.

It’s important to note that the severity and duration of dysmenorrhea can vary among individuals. Some may experience mild discomfort, while others may have more severe pain that significantly impacts their daily lives.

Where could it affect you physically & mentally?

Dysmenorrhea can have both physical and psychological effects on individuals who experience it. Here are some ways dysmenorrhea can affect both aspects:

Physical Effects:

Menstrual Pain:

Dysmenorrhea is characterized by painful menstrual cramps in the lower abdomen, which can range from mild to severe. The pain may be throbbing, cramping, or sharp and can last for hours or even days. It can interfere with daily activities and disrupt sleep.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms:

Some individuals with dysmenorrhea may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. These symptoms may be caused by the release of prostaglandins, which can affect the digestive system.

Fatigue and Weakness:

The pain and discomfort associated with dysmenorrhea can lead to fatigue and feelings of weakness. This can impact a person’s energy levels and ability to engage in daily tasks.


Some individuals may experience headaches or migraines as a result of dysmenorrhea. These headaches may be related to hormonal changes and the release of prostaglandins.

Psychological Effects:

Anxiety and Stress:

Dealing with chronic pain and discomfort can lead to increased anxiety and stress levels. The anticipation of monthly pain and its impact on daily life can contribute to feelings of worry and distress.

Mood Changes:

Dysmenorrhea can be accompanied by mood swings, irritability, or emotional sensitivity. Hormonal fluctuations and the physical discomfort can contribute to these mood changes.


In some cases, dysmenorrhea can contribute to or worsen symptoms of depression. The chronic pain and disruption to daily life can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and decreased enjoyment in activities.

Impact on Daily Functioning:

Severe dysmenorrhea can limit a person’s ability to participate in social, academic, or work-related activities. This can lead to frustration, isolation, and a sense of reduced quality of life.

It is important to seek medical advice if dysmenorrhea significantly impacts your physical or mental well-being. A healthcare professional can provide appropriate diagnosis and management options to help alleviate symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

Why does it matter to deal with it?

Getting medical help for dysmenorrhea is important for several reasons:

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: A healthcare professional can help determine the cause of your dysmenorrhea. While primary dysmenorrhea is common and typically not a sign of an underlying medical condition, there are instances where secondary dysmenorrhea may be present. Identifying the underlying cause is crucial for appropriate treatment and management.
  2. Rule Out Underlying Conditions: Secondary dysmenorrhea can be caused by conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), adenomyosis, or ovarian cysts. These conditions may require specific medical interventions or treatments. By seeking medical help, you can rule out or diagnose any underlying conditions that may be contributing to your dysmenorrhea.
  3. Pain Management: Medical professionals can provide guidance on managing and alleviating the pain associated with dysmenorrhea. They can recommend over-the-counter pain medications, prescribe stronger pain relievers if necessary, or suggest other pain management techniques.
  4. Lifestyle Recommendations: Healthcare providers can offer advice on lifestyle modifications that may help reduce the severity of dysmenorrhea symptoms. This can include dietary changes, exercise, relaxation techniques, heat therapy, or alternative therapies.
  5. Hormonal Options: For some individuals, hormonal interventions such as hormonal birth control pills, patches, or intrauterine devices (IUDs) may help regulate menstruation and alleviate pain associated with dysmenorrhea.
  6. Fertility Concerns: If you are experiencing difficulties conceiving or have concerns about fertility, medical evaluation and management of dysmenorrhea can help identify any underlying reproductive issues that may be affecting your fertility.
  7. Emotional Support: Dealing with chronic pain or a disruptive menstrual cycle can take a toll on your emotional well-being. Seeking medical help can provide you with emotional support and resources to cope with the physical and psychological effects of dysmenorrhea.

Marvellous Tip: Do not let your healthcare professional only prescribe Hormonal Options without getting checked for Underlying Conditions, it could save Fertility issues later.

It is important to remember that dysmenorrhea is a common condition, but if your pain is severe, significantly interferes with your daily activities, or worsens over time, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. They can assess your individual situation, provide appropriate treatment options, and help improve your overall quality of life.

Ways To Relieve Dysmenorrhea

There are several pain relief methods that can be helpful in managing dysmenorrhea. Here are some common approaches:

  1. Over-the-counter pain medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, are often recommended for relieving menstrual pain. These medications help reduce inflammation and alleviate cramping. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage and guidelines provided by the package or your healthcare professional.
  2. Heat therapy: Applying heat to the lower abdomen can help relax the muscles and relieve pain. You can use a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or take a warm bath or shower. Heat therapy is generally safe and can provide soothing relief.
  3. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): TENS involves applying mild electrical pulses to specific areas of the body using electrode patches. It can help alleviate pain by blocking pain signals and promoting the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals.
  4. Exercise and physical activity: Engaging in light exercise, such as walking or gentle stretching, can help improve blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and alleviate menstrual pain. Regular physical activity throughout the menstrual cycle may also help prevent the severity of dysmenorrhea.
  5. Relaxation techniques: Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or guided imagery, can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, which may help manage menstrual pain.
  6. Dietary modifications: Making dietary changes can potentially alleviate dysmenorrhea symptoms for some individuals. This may include reducing the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and foods high in salt, as they can contribute to water retention and worsen bloating and discomfort.
  7. Herbal remedies: Some herbal remedies, such as ginger, cinnamon, or chamomile tea, may provide relief from menstrual pain. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using herbal remedies to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you.
  8. Prescription medications: In cases of severe dysmenorrhea or when over-the-counter options are not sufficient, your healthcare professional may prescribe stronger pain medications or hormonal treatments, such as birth control pills or hormonal patches, to help manage the pain and regulate your menstrual cycle.

It’s important to remember that the effectiveness of pain relief methods can vary from person to person. It may be helpful to try different approaches or a combination of methods to find what works best for you.

Bloody Marvellous Limited goes to great lengths to ensure that, to the best of its knowledge, the information provided on this website and its social media channels is correct at the time of publication and/or subsequent modification. This information is solely for general educational purposes. It has been prepared in order to provide information, education and related products/services offered by Bloody Marvellous and Associated Organisations.