Endometriosis happens when tissue that behaves like your womb lining grows in other parts of your body. It can affect
different parts of your body, resulting in different kinds of symptoms. One of the areas that can be affected is your
The symptoms of endometriosis on the bowel are very similar to those of digestive conditions such as irritable bowel
syndrome. You might experience discomfort when you pass stools, notice blood in your poo, or have back ache, intestinal
cramps, diarrhoea or constipation. However, if you keep track of your symptoms you may notice that they tend to appear
around the time of your period. This is a sign that your symptoms are caused by endometriosis rather than IBS. You may
also experience symptoms such as pelvic pain and discomfort during sex, which are characteristic of endometriosis and
not linked to IBS.
Diagnosing and Treating Bowel Endometriosis
If you have symptoms that could be caused by endometriosis on the bowel, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound, CT or
MRI scan, or an investigation such as a laparoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to locate the abnormal tissue. The results of these investigations can help your doctor to understand the extent and severity of your endometriosis, which will help determine the best course of treatment for you. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, you may be able to control your symptoms using painkillers and hormonal treatments. However, many women find that surgery is a more effective option for bowel endometriosis. It may be possible to shave away the growths or to remove the affected part of your bowel. However, it is important to discuss the surgical options carefully with your doctor as there can be serious risks and side effects, particularly if you need to have a section of the bowel removed.