Pop Quiz: Do You Know the Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis?

Pain and discomfort during menstruation are common symptoms women experience, but severe pain and other symptoms during your period may be a sign of endometriosis. This condition may be dismissed as severe symptoms during menstruation, so it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of endometriosis so you can see your doctor and treatment can be started as soon as possible. Take our quiz on endometriosis and see if it’s time to talk with your doctor.


1.) True or false? Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus, called endometrium, grows outside your uterus.


2.) What percentage of American women between the ages of 25 and 40 are believed to be affected by endometriosis?

  1. 2 to 10 percent
  2. 5 to 15 percent
  3. 10 to 20 percent
  4. None of the above


3.) Which of the following are symptoms of endometriosis? 

    1. Painful periods (dysmenorrhea); pelvic pain, cramping, lower back pain, and abdominal pain before and during your menstrual period 
    2. Excessive bleeding during or between periods
    3. Pain during intercourse, bowel movements, or urination, and symptoms like fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea during periods
    4. Infertility
    5. All of the above

4.) True or false? The severity of your pain may not be a reliable indicator of the extent of your condition concerning endometriosis. You could have mild endometriosis with severe pain, or you could have advanced endometriosis with little or no pain.

5.) Which of the following factors place you at greater risk of developing endometriosis?

  1. Never giving birth
  2. Starting your period at an early age and/or going through menopause at an older age
  3. Short menstrual cycles, such as less than 27 days, and/or heavy menstrual periods that last longer than seven days
  4. Having higher levels of estrogen in your body or a greater lifetime exposure to estrogen produced by your body
  5. Having a low body mass index
  6. Having one or more relatives, such as a mother, aunt, or sister, with endometriosis
  7. All of the above


6.) True or false? One of the main complications of endometriosis is infertility. Around one-third to one-half of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant.


7.) While the exact causes of endometriosis are unknown, which of the following are theories as to the cause of the condition?

  1. “Reverse menstruation,” where during menstruation, some of the tissue backs up through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen where it attaches and grows
  2. Endometrial tissue travels and implants via blood or lymphatic channels
  3.  Cells in any location may transform into endometrial cells
  4. All of the above


8.) True or false? For most women with endometriosis, the infertility caused by the condition can be corrected.


9.) What tests and procedures are commonly used to diagnose endometriosis?

  1. Evaluating a patient’s medical history and completing a physical examination, including a pelvic exam
  2. Completing a laparoscopy, a minor surgical procedure in which a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera at the end, is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision
  3. Completing biopsies of suspicious tissue
  4. Using ultrasound, CT scans, and/or an MRI scan
  5. All of the above


10.) Treatment for endometriosis can include which of the following?

  1. “Watchful waiting” to observe the course of the disease
  2. Pain medication, such as over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other OTC analgesics
  3. Hormone therapy
  4. Laparotomy, surgery to remove as much of the displaced endometrium as possible without damaging healthy tissue; or a hysterectomy
  5. All of the above


compiled by ERIKA ALDRICH / Resources: Information provided by The Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine.


  1. True
  2. A. 2 to 10 percent
  3. E. All of the Above
  4. True
  5. G. All of the Above
  6. True
  7. D. All of the Above
  8. True
  9. All of the Above
  10. All of the Above

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