Endometriosis is more than enough to cope with on its own, but it’s a trend-setter, and once it sets up shop, it can be a good idea to keep an eye out for the other health problems that can come with it. Common culprits include infertility and anemia, but there are more unexpected conditions that can show up as well.
Endometriosis can cause anemia for the simple reason that endometriosis can cause increased bleeding. Endometriosis patients who develop anemia may feel dizzy or weak, and may be prescribed dietary supplements, like an iron supplement, or even a blood transfusion, in serious cases.
Preliminary studies suggest that women with endometriosis are more likely to have asthma, allergies, and inflammatory autoimmune disorders. These may not be caused by endometriosis, since these women were also more likely to have family histories of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune problems, which may mean that women who are predisposed to one may be more predisposed to the other.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
Women who have been diagnosed with endometriosis are significantly more likely to also have chronic fatigue syndrome (a strong feeling of fatigue that lasts for at least 6 months without letting up) and more than twice as likely as other women to experience fibromyalgia (a persistent pain in muscles, tendons, and ligaments).
Ovarian and breast cancer
Endometriosis patients are thought to be at a higher risk of both breast and ovarian cancers, but an evaluation of all studies done on them shows that the increase in risk is low, and research on the correlation is inconsistent. Endometriosis patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer tend to be diagnosed younger and in earlier stages than average diagnoses for ovarian cancer, leading to lower-grade lesions and better survival rates.
Endometrial and cervical cancer
Endometrial cancer shows up in less than 1% of endometriosis patients, and is thought, after further review, not to be correlated with endometriosis. Cervical cancer, on the other hand, is thought to actually be less likely to develop in endometriosis patients than in women without it.
“Endometriosis.” Office on Women’s Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, December 5 2015. Web.
N Sinaii, et al. “High rates of autoimmune and endocrine disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and atopic diseases among women with endometriosis: a survey analysis.” Hum Reprod. 17(10):2715-24. Web. October 2002.
Ahmad Sayasneh, Dimitris Tsovis, and Robin Crawford. “Endometriosis and Ovarian Cancer: A Systematic Review.” ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2011: 140310. Web. July 15 2011.
Peter Svenssen Munksgaard, Jan Blaakaer, “The association between endometriosis and gynecological cancers and breast cancer: A review of epidemiological data.”Gynecological Oncology. Volume 123, Issue 1, Pages 157–163. Web. October 2011.
“Endometriosis.” Illinois Department of Public Health. Illinois Department of Public Health. Web.
I. Matalliotakis, et al. “High rate of allergies among women with endometriosis.” J Obstet Gynaecol. 32(3):291-3. Web. April 2012.
Rachel Cohen. “Are Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis Related?” Southwest Spine and Pain Center. Southwest Spine and Pain Center, October 21 2015. Web.
- “Women with Endometriosis Have Higher Rates of Some Diseases.” National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, September 26 2002. Web.