Endometriosis & The Bowel

Diagram of human bowels

As you may know, Endometriosis is not limited to just your reproductive bits & pieces.  It can implant, grow, and fester in many places; the bowel included.  But what does that mean? How do you know if it’s on your bowel?  Today’s blog will go into that…Read on, dear Reader…read on.  Word of warning : I will be using words like fart and poop! Why dance around the subject with flowery words when I feel like I’m a giggly 12-year-old girl?

It is estimated that between 5-15% (and some even doctors guess it’s actually between 3-34%) of women with Endometriosis suffer from Endo on their bowels.  Bowel Endometriosis may affect the colon, the rectum, the large intestine, the small intestine, the colon, or the sigmoid colon.  The implants may be physically located on the bowels, or even just located adjacent to them in areas like the Pouch of Douglas, uterosacral ligaments, or rectovaginal septum. The close proximity of the inflamed and irritated lesions may be enough to induce bowel Endometriosis symptoms.  And these symptoms may also be caused by adhesions pulling or twisting the bowels.

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Silent Endometriosis

Woman holding her index finger to her lips to shhh someone

There are many usual signs and symptoms of Endometriosis.  If you suffer from this disease, you know them all too well. One of our readers, Tanya, let us know that she suffers from “Silent Endometriosis.”  What’s that?  She has an official Endometriosis diagnosis, but only some of the symptoms associated with Endometriosis.  Some people with Silent Endo don’t have any Endo symptoms (this is known as asymptomatic Endometriosis). Does that make her any less of an Endo sufferer? No, not at all.  She suffers from the same invasive disease as the rest of us.  Just in a different way.

A whole slew of questions were raised, which we’ll look into:

  1. Why do some people present with classic symptoms like crippling pain and some don’t?
  2. And, given that silent endometriosis exists, this makes me wonder if the overall incidents of endometriosis is higher than is usually quoted. How many have this disease and have no idea?
  3. Since the symptoms don’t present as normal in silent endometriosis, what are some of the other signs that people possibly facing this condition can look out for?
  4. Why do some patients who are riddled with endometriosis have no pain, and others with very little endometriosis have excruciating pain?
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