For some women, the pain is excruciating. For others, it's long-lasting. Each woman is unique when it comes to their menstrual cycle symptoms but certain pains can signal something worse: endometriosis. "Endometriosis is a condition that some women experience and it is caused by the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue or the tissue that normally lines the uterus, growing outside of the uterine cavity, generally and most commonly in the lower pelvis, around the ovaries on the pelvic sidewalls," says Lee Memorial Health System gynecologist, Dr. Timothy Hughes.
Pain is one of the most common complains with endometriosis. Noticing when the pain surfaces is one of the first symptoms. "Endometriosis pain is typically a bit different in that the pain with endometriosis quite often will begin 2 to 3, sometimes 4 days prior to the onset of bleeding."
Another pain-related symptom: pain that occurs outside the menstrual cycle calendar. "Pain, painful intercourse or dyspareunia, is very common with endometriosis, again, because of the invasive nature of the lesions and the pain associated with that."
The third symptom: pain that develops in other areas of the body such as back pain, even painful bowel movements. That could signal that the disease has spread. "It can affect tissues around the bladder, rectum, and can even be found higher up in the abdomen in rare cases."
Severe chest pain has also been linked to endometriosis. If you are experiencing any kind of unusual pain, always seek medical attention.