Endometriosis is a condition where the cells of the uterine lining (the endometrium) grow elsewhere in the body. This abnormal growth can cause pain, because these cells shed and bleed just like your uterine lining does during your period.
How do you know if you have endometriosis? The only true way to make a diagnosis is to cut into the body and examine the cells. However, there are many symptoms that can clue your doctor in:
- Pelvic pain is the #1 symptom. This pain can be mild, or it can be so severe that you can barely walk.
- Painful urination and bowel movements. This occurs when the cells grow in the bladder and rectum, causing pressure.
- Heavy blood clots during your period.
- Decreased immunity and greater susceptibility to colds, flu, etc.
- Lower back pain.
I was diagnosed in my early 20's and underwent 2 surgeries. I went from being barely able to walk to living a relatively normal, and pain-free life. Don't avoid this issue. See your doctor for help!