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Three Signs you Might Have Endometriosis

By Dr. Kate Dudek

Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissue that normally forms the lining of the womb grows elsewhere in the body. Prevalence is hard to estimate, particularly as up to 25% of women with endometriosis are asymptomatic; however, it is thought that up to 10% of women will be affected by endometriosis at some point in their lifetime.

Symptoms of endometriosis are variable between patients and diagnosis is challenging; the only universally recognised approach is to undergo laparoscopic surgery.
However, there are three signs (the 3 Ps) that might indicate a possible endometriosis diagnosis and if you are experiencing any of the three, it is worth seeking further medical advice:
1) Painful periods (dysmenorrhoea)
2) Pelvic pain between periods
3) Pain during sex (dyspareunia).

Between 60 and 80% of women with endometriosis experience dysmenorrhoea, 40-50% report chronic pelvic pain and 40-50% have dyspareunia. Thus, pain is certainly a well-recognised symptom of the condition. However, with such a clinically diverse presentation, it is worth remembering that pain is not the only symptom of endometriosis.

Furthermore, these three symptoms cannot be solely attributed to endometriosis. There are a number of physiological conditions that can cause symptoms such as these, so a thorough medical consultation is recommended.  


  • Bulletti, C, et al. “Endometriosis and Infertility.” Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, vol. 27, no. 8, 25 June 2010, pp. 441–447., doi: 10.1007/s10815-010-9436-1.
  • “What Are the Most Common Endometriosis Symptoms?”, Abbvie,



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