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7 endometriosis symptoms you should never ignore

As Kellie Renee put it in an Instagram caption, “This is what anxiety, body image mind f*cks, and hurting to breathe looks like.” Photo: courtesy Kellie Renee.

(Lisa Haney/ — Most women cope with heavy periods, killer menstrual cramps, and painful sex once in a while. But for up to 10% of women of childbearing age, these symptoms signal something more serious: endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue—the lining of the uterus—migrates outside the uterus and adheres to nearby body parts, such as the fallopian tubes, bladder, or bowels. Every month during the menstrual cycle, it becomes inflamed and swells. “Endometriosis is a war zone,” says Tamer Seckin, MD, founder and medical director of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) and author of The Doctor Will See You Now: Recognizing and Treating Endometriosis. “If it’s not treated, it’s a wound that never heals throughout the reproductive life of a woman.”

Problem is, doctors frequently mistake endometriosis for other conditions that can cause pelvic pain, such as irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic inflammatory disease, or even PMS. And although many women with endometriosis experience severe, debilitating symptoms, some have none at all. (…)

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