Obstetrics & Gynecology in Augusta, GA
uncommon symptoms of endometriosis

When It’s Not Just Cramps: Uncommon Symptoms of Endometriosis

Picture this: a woman, doubled over in pain, not from the usual monthly cramps, but from something more insidious-endometriosis.

Beyond the standard symptoms lies a maze of lesser-known indicators, each a clue to this complex condition’s hidden depths. But how can you tell if your symptoms are endometriosis, or something else?

We’re here to help. Let’s go through the top uncommon symptoms of endometriosis.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Endometriosis can cause bowel movement changes like diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both issues. These symptoms may not be directly linked to menstrual cycles but can occur throughout the month.

Pain during bowel movements, particularly around menstruation, can be a sign of endometriosis affecting the rectum or nearby pelvic structures.

Endometriosis affecting the rectum or sigmoid colon can lead to a sensation of incomplete bowel emptying or difficulty passing stools.

Your gynecologist can help determine if your digestive issues could be caused by endometriosis.

Chronic Fatigue

Endometriosis involves abnormal growth of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus. These growths can produce hormones that disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance, leading to fatigue.

It’s associated with chronic inflammation in the pelvic region. Systemic inflammation can contribute to feelings of tiredness and lethargy.

Painful periods and discomfort from endometrial implants can disrupt your normal sleep patterns. That leads to poor sleep quality and increased fatigue during the day.

Chronic inflammation and changes in eating habits due to endometriosis symptoms can lead to nutritional deficiencies, further exacerbating fatigue.

Leg Pain

Endometrial growths can irritate or compress nearby nerves, including those that extend into the legs. This can lead to radiating pain from the pelvis down into one or both legs.

The sciatic nerve, which goes from the lower part of your back through your hips and down each leg, can be affected by endometrial implants near its pathway. This can cause sciatica-like symptoms. That includes sharp or shooting pain, tingling, or numbness in the legs.

Endometriosis-related pelvic pain can lead to changes in posture, gait, and muscle tension in the pelvic and lower back region. This altered biomechanics can contribute to leg pain and discomfort.

In rare cases, severe endometriosis can lead to complications such as deep infiltrating endometriosis, where endometrial tissue grows deeply into surrounding organs and tissues. That could impact nerves that extend into the legs.


Endometriosis can cause adhesion formation or scar tissue in the pelvic cavity. These adhesions can distort the anatomy of the reproductive organs. That can make it super hard for sperm to reach your egg or for the fertilized egg to implant in the uterus.

Growths can obstruct or partially block the fallopian tubes. This blockage can prevent the egg from traveling down the fallopian tube and meeting with sperm, leading to infertility.

Endometriosis can alter immune system function in the pelvic area. That could affect fertility by impacting embryo implantation or causing immune-mediated damage to reproductive tissues.

If you’re suffering from infertility, an endometriosis specialist might be able to help you out.

Urinary Problems

Some individuals with endometriosis may experience an increased urge to urinate frequently, even when bladder volume is low. This can occur due to endometrial implants affecting nearby pelvic nerves. Or it can happen because of inflammation in the bladder.

Severe endometriosis affecting pelvic nerves or causing structural changes may lead to difficulty fully emptying the bladder. That could cause residual urine and potential urinary retention issues.

There is an overlap between endometriosis and interstitial cystitis. IC is a chronic health condition that tends to cause bladder pain and constant and urgent urination. Endometriosis can contribute to IC symptoms or be misdiagnosed as IC.

Headaches and Migraines

Endometriosis involves abnormal growth of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus. These growths can produce hormones that fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. They can trigger headaches or migraines in susceptible individuals.

Endometriosis can disrupt the endocrine system, which plays a role in regulating hormones. This disruption can affect neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the brain, potentially leading to headaches or migraines.

Chronic pain from endometriosis can sensitize the nervous system. That can make people more prone to experiencing headaches or migraines.

Mental and Emotional Health Issues

Living with chronic pain, uncertainty about your symptoms, and the impact on your everyday life can lead to heightened anxiety levels. Individuals with endometriosis may experience generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, or specific phobias related to medical procedures or pain.

Endometriosis-related symptoms can impact body image perception. These symptoms include bloating, weight fluctuations, and surgical scars. That could contribute to body dissatisfaction or eating disorders.

Some individuals with endometriosis may experience cognitive difficulties such as brain fog, memory problems, or difficulty concentrating. These issues can affect daily functioning and quality of life.

Painful intercourse, mood fluctuations, and stress related to endometriosis can strain intimate relationships and lead to communication challenges or sexual dysfunction.

Managing symptoms, medical appointments, and endometriosis treatments may impact work productivity or academic performance. That can lead to stress and anxiety related to career or educational goals.

Endometriosis vs PCOS

It can be difficult to figure out the differences between endometriosis vs PCOS through symptoms alone.

PCOS, unlike endometriosis, often presents with hirsutism, which when lots of hair grows in areas where you wouldn’t typically grow excess hair, such as parts of your face, chest, and back. This occurs due to higher levels of androgens in the body.

While irregular periods are common in both conditions, PCOS typically presents with a specific pattern of irregular or absent periods due to hormonal imbalances and disrupted ovulation.

PCOS is often associated with insulin resistance. That can lead to symptoms like weight gain, difficulty losing weight, and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

PCOS-related hormonal imbalances can lead to acne, particularly along the jawline and chin. This acne may be more severe and resistant to typical treatments.

Watch Out for These Uncommon Symptoms of Endometriosis

Now that you’re aware of these uncommon symptoms of endometriosis, you’ll be able to catch it quicker if you have an issue.

Are you looking for a new doctor? Women’s Health of Augusta has been providing comprehensive medical care with state of the art technology for over 40 years.

Contact us today.