Learning Lesser-known or Uncommon Symptoms of Endometriosis

You’ve been suffering. You’ve seen doctor after doctor — just to try and figure out what’s happening with your body. 

But no one seems to understand how to help you. 

Could your headaches, chronic fatigue, painful sex, or nerve pain be related? 

It can take years for some women to be properly diagnosed with endo due to the many uncommon symptoms of endometriosis. 

But I get it. I see you, and you’re not alone. 

I’ve created this article just for you. It’s filled with both the common and uncommon symptoms of endometriosis. Learn how endo can cause each of these symptoms, so you can be better prepared to talk to your healthcare provider. 

endometriosis uncommon symptoms

Table of Contents

What Are Common Symptoms of Endometriosis?

Pelvic pain and infertility are the most common signs of endometriosis. 

Other common symptoms include:

  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods 
  • Heavy or irregular periods 
  • Pain during or after sex

While these are common symptoms, not all women with endo experience these symptoms. Some women experience no symptoms at all, and others may have less common symptoms. 

I experienced many of these symptoms myself while suffering from stage IV severe endometriosis. I understand what you’re going through and my experience inspired me to create Chiavaye. I wanted to develop a product for vaginal health that could help any woman. 

uncommon symptoms of endometriosis

13 Rare or Uncommon Symptoms of Endometriosis

#1: Bladder Changes 

If you have endometriosis, you could be suffering from bladder trouble. The bladder is the most commonly affected site in urinary tract endometriosis.

Endometriosis cells normally form in the womb but can form outside the bladder or burrow within the bladder walls. 

Endo can cause bladder changes at any time, but during menstruation, endometrial cells are most inflamed and can cause painful bladder issues. 

Pain When Urinating 

Painful urination is usually linked with a bladder infection, but it can also be an uncommon symptom of endometriosis. 

If endo has made it to your bladder, the cells lead to blood becoming trapped — causing your urination pain as they become inflamed. 

Urgency to Urinate

If endometrial tissue is active around or in the bladder, it can also create an overactive bladder.

You may have feelings of urgency along with pain. 

#2: Gastrointestinal Problems

Endometriosis can cause bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and vomiting in some women — putting gastrointestinal problems at number two of uncommon symptoms of endometriosis. For these women, GI symptoms are often their first symptoms. 

Endometrial tissue within the gastrointestinal tract can cause inflammation. But you can have GI symptoms without endometriosis actually infiltrating into the bowel, as your endometriosis lesion may be nearby to your bowel without actually being on it.

Painful Bowel Movements

You may be dealing with endometriosis if you’re experiencing: 

  • Painful bowel movements 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation  
  • Chronic bloating; or 
  • Sensitivity to certain food items 

Abnormal, painful bowel movements are often misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, when treated for IBS, the problem rarely resolves on its own. 

Acid Reflux 

Gastroesophageal reflux disease and endometriosis can be mistaken for one another due to a common symptom — acid reflux. 

Symptoms for either disease can include: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Heartburn  
  • Painful indigestion; and 
  • Food regurgitation

With endometriosis as the cause, these symptoms often become more serious just before your menstrual cycle begins.


“Endo belly” is the awful bloating that can affect some women with endometriosis. Since endometriosis can cause inflammation in the GI tract, persistent bloating (along with nausea and flatulence) can occur. 

Bloating caused by endometriosis can also be misdiagnosed as IBS. But while both are often worse after eating — bloating from endo is also often worse during menstruation. 

uncommon endometriosis symptoms

#3: Bleeding Between Periods

Bleeding issues may be due to endometriosis if:

  • You are bleeding between your periods
  • You have heavy flow in general; or
  • Your menstrual bleeding lasts more than seven days 

Pay close attention to these symptoms. Women with PCOS or women approaching menopause may also experience abnormal bleeding. If you are experiencing any abnormal bleeding, especially bleeding that soaks through pads — seek help from your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

#4: Back Pain

If your back pain is consistently worse during your period, it can be a sign of endometriosis. Back pain caused by endo will be felt deep within your body. It may radiate down to one or both legsoften causing a misdiagnosis of sciatica. 

Endometriosis growing in the pelvis can attach itself to many nerves in that area. Back pain can be caused from inflammation or from the position of the uterus in the pelvis. 

#5: Migraine

Among women living with endometriosis, as many as 43 percent also have a migraine diagnosis. Migraine and endometriosis are both chronic pain conditions commonly exacerbated by the menstrual cycle — and they can be closely connected. The exact link between endometriosis and migraines is not fully known. 

However, theories of the migraine/endo connection include: 

  • Hormonal imbalance caused by endometriosis (or that causes endo) that also causes migraines
  • Chronic pain from endo causes the brain to become more attentive to pain, making the headaches more severe for people with endo pain
  • Migraine pain may make endometriosis pain more severe
  • Inflammation caused by endometriosis may cause the migraines
  • A genetic source

#6: Unknown Nerve Pain

Endometriosis tissue can grow on or near nerve pathways. 

Because of this, you can feel pain in unusual areas, such as your:

  • Groin
  • Legs; or
  • Lower back

This unknown pain is often misdiagnosed as sciatica or another nerve-related issue.

#7: Painful Sex

Endometriosis can negatively impact your sex life. 

If you have endo, you may experience: 

  • Sharp pain during penetration
  • Aching or burning while having sex; or
  • Throbbing pain after sex

Having pain and discomfort during sex is not normal and shouldn’t be overlooked. There may be another reason for the pain, but it could also be a sign of endometriosis. 

Chiavaye can help make sex more enjoyable. It’s a natural, non-toxic lube that can enhance intimacy by diminishing vaginal dryness, irritation, discomfort, and chafing. 

uncommon symptoms of endometriosis

#8: Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue (an extreme feeling of exhaustion) can make it impossible for you to function normally. When fatigue is caused by endometriosis, it goes far beyond just needing to catch up on sleep. 

Endo sufferers lack energy — daily. This is most often due to hormonal imbalances and ongoing inflammation in the body. One study found that out of 560 women with endometriosis, over 50% of them struggled with fatigue.

While chronic fatigue might be one of the more uncommon symptoms of endometriosis due to misunderstanding and misdiagnosis, it is not one to be ignored. Along with pain, chronic fatigue can be one of the most debilitating symptoms of endometriosis.

#9: Debilitating Ovulation Pain 

Having mild discomfort during ovulation is usually normal. However, if the pain is severe and disrupts your everyday activities, it can be an uncommon sign of endometriosis.

For women who experience this symptom, the pain from a fixed ovary attempting to release its egg is constant, unrelenting, and can last 12-48 hours.

In a normal pelvis, ovaries are mobile and free. But in the pelvis of a woman with severe endometriosis, the ovaries can be fixed to the: 

  • Pelvic wall
  • Ureter 
  • Vessels derived from the internal iliac artery; or
  • Major pelvic nerves (obturator; presacral nerves) 

During ovulation, the ovaries expand and put pressure on adjacent sensory nerves in the pelvis — resulting in pain.

#10: Pelvic Pain While Exercising 

For most women with endometriosis, regular exercise can help relieve symptoms. But for some, physical exercise can result in a sharp or stabbing pain in the abdomen and stomach. 

If you feel intense sensations of pulling and tearing — it could be due to disrupted adhesions. 

#11: Acne

Some women with endometriosis may find their skin is more susceptible to hormonal acne breakoutseven if they are in their 20s to 40s. Estrogen dominance can be to blame for this annoyance. 

Acne as an endo symptom can be difficult to treat with over-the-counter face washes and creams. However, hormone balancing and addressing gut health can help with breakouts.

#12: Depression 

With any long-term medical condition, there is a risk of depression. Endometriosis is no different. 

Many women experience:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Prolonged, painful symptoms; and
  • Lack of treatment options

Often, women with endometriosis feel like they have little support from doctors or family. It’s no wonder why some women may deal with depression as a result of having endometriosis. 

#13: Difficulty Breathing and Chest Pain

Uncommon symptoms of endometriosis can include shortness of breath and pain in your chest. 

This can be caused by thoracic endometriosis — a rare condition that happens when endometriosis patches grow on or around the lungs. This can cause breathing issues, chest pain, coughing, and in rare cases, a collapsed lung. 

How To Test for Endometriosis 

If you have any of these symptoms or if believe you may have endometriosis, there are four tests you may want to talk to your doctor about:

1. A pelvic exam
  • They will look for signs of scar tissue or cysts.
    2. Ultrasound
    • They will use high-frequency sound waves to check the reproductive organs. A transducer or an ultrasound scanning wand may also be used inside the vagina or on the belly.
    3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • This test is used as an alternative to X-rays. With the help of a large magnet, a computer, and radio waves, they will check for endometriosis signs.
    4. Laparoscopy.
    • Some patients may require a diagnostic laparoscopy. During this procedure, the doctor will make a tiny incision near the belly button and use a laparoscope to look for endometriosis signs.

    uncommon symptoms of endometriosis

    Chiavaye Can Help Make Uncommon Endometriosis Symptoms More Manageable

    I created Chiavaye for you! If you have a vagina, Chiavaye is your go-to natural product! 

    This personal moisturizer and lube can be used for irritation or dryness, after surgery, during a tough menstrual cycle, or during sex — just to name a few.

    So no matter what symptoms of endo you’re experiencing, do your vagina a favor and click below to order. 

    uncommon symptoms of endometriosis
    The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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