Endometriosis is caused by cells that are similar to the uterus lining growing outside of the uterus. It is a chronic condition that affects 1 in 10 people with periods across the globe, and endometriosis can be life changing – from associated pain to diagnosis, to symptom relief.
If you have or think you might have endometriosis, you might be wondering can endometriosis affect your period? Here’s what an endometriosis period might look like:
Can endometriosis stop your period?
It is not a recognised symptom of endometriosis for your period to stop altogether, but a popular way of managing the condition is to be put on hormonal contraception like the pill. This helps to reduce pain caused by endometriosis. Contraception could also be used in a way that means you don’t have periods altogether.
Endometriosis and period flow
While having endometriosis doesn’t stop your period, it can cause irregular periods. Hormonal contraception can also help to regulate periods.
Endometriosis can also cause your body to have more uterine lining to shed, which can make your period heavier and last longer than is usual. This could also mean that your cycle is shorter than the average of 28 days, because your period may start earlier each month.
Bleeding or spotting when you’re not on your period, especially during ovulation, is common for people living with endometriosis too.
Endometriosis and period pain
Most people have some pain leading up to or during their periods. However, it’s likely that living with endometriosis will mean the levels of pain will last longer and be more extreme – even sporadically throughout your cycle. Endometriosis can also cause pain in areas like your lower back, hips and legs, especially during your period.
If you’ve not been diagnosed with endometriosis, but you’re thinking “is this endometriosis or period pain?” it might help to consider whether the pain feels debilitating, and whether it interferes with your daily activities. If this is the case, it’s best to book in an appointment with your GP.
Pain going to the toilet during your period
It is not abnormal for people with endometriosis to also experience pain when going to the toilet during their period – some may even experience blood in their pee. A period with endometriosis could also cause diarrhoea, constipation or nausea.
Having your period with endometriosis might also cause you to experience increased levels of menstrual fatigue, so make sure to rest up as much as possible, and don’t be too hard on yourself for needing extra rest during your period.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed or think you might be one of the one in ten of people who have it, here’s everything you need to know about endometriosis!