Complications


Depending on the location of your endometrial tissue, endometriosis can also affect other organs such as your ovaries, bladder and bowel. Often women have questions about the effect of endometriosis on other health matters like menopause. If you are concerned about the complications that may arise from endometriosis, knowing where to go for help is important.

common sites of endometriosis

Can endometriosis affect the bowel?

Endometriosis may spread to the outside/inside of the bowel causing pain and bleeding when you have sex or open your bowels.

Can endometriosis lead to cancer?

Very rarely, cancer has been diagnosed in endometriosis tissue; it mostly occurs in the ovary and a small number of other organs.

Long-term health issues

A recent study suggested that women who suffer from endometriosis have a higher long-term risk of heart disease. This may be due to hysterectomy and removal of the ovary for chronic pain and endometriosis recurrence. It is important to have regular health checks with your GP.

What happens at menopause if you have endometriosis?

Menopause is the same as for women who do not have endometriosis. However, the menopause experience is individual and ranges from no symptoms to severe symptoms.

If you had a surgical menopause – your ovaries have been removed with or without your uterus – then menopause symptoms will be experienced unless you start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) soon after the surgery.

Usually, endometriosis does go away after menopause. However, it may come back when you are on HRT, but this is rare. Even more rarely, it can return spontaneously.

What to do if you are concerned

If you are worried about any aspect of endometriosis or are worried that endometriosis may affect a part of your body or your future health, talk to your doctor.  

References

  1. Mu F, Rich-Edwards J et al. Endometriosis and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease. Circ Cardiovascular Qual Outcome. 2016; 9(3):257-64

Last updated 01 March 2017 — Last reviewed 07 October 2016

This web page is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your health practitioner. The information above is based on current medical knowledge, evidence and practice as at October 2016.

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