What are the signs and symptoms of endometriosis?
- Painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea or “killer cramps”)
- Heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Pain with intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Abdomen pain and bowel dysfunction that includes painful bowel movements, diarrhea, bloating, gassiness, cramps or constipation
- Bladder dysfunction, such as painful urination
- Weakness, numbness or pain in nerves (neuropathy)
- Chronic Fatigue
- Personality changes (depression, stress, apathy)
The intensity of the pain can vary from month to month. Some women experience progressive worsening of symptoms, while others can have the resolution of pain without treatment. Many women often ask, what causes endometriosis? Sadly, there is no known answer to this. There are theories as to the cause, but no definite answer.
When I am on my menstrual cycle, I experience the majority of the signs and symptoms listed above. The cramping that I experience is far more than just killer cramps. I can’t function, I can barely sit or even walk when I have severe cramps. The only thing that I can do is ball up on the couch or the bed with a heating pad. It doesn’t take the pain away, but it does help me to relax a little bit. I also experience heavy bleeding. I have to keep a change of clothes and panties in my car because I never know when I may end up bleeding through my clothes, which happens a lot.
I can’t tell anyone what to do when they experience these things. What I can do is tell them what works best for me and hope that it works for them. That way we may be able to find a way to function with the pain as best as we can.