Depending on where a woman’s endometriosis spreads, the condition could resemble other conditions. For example, if it spreads to the bowels, the condition may produce cause painful bowel movements or symptoms resembling gastrointestinal problems, including irritable bowel syndrome. Endometriosis on the ovaries may seem akin to ovarian cysts.
Recently, researchers have found data indicated other related conditions to endometriosis. For instance, a recent long-term study found that women with endometriosis may be 50 to 80 percent more likely develop inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, than women without endometriosis. Symptoms of both conditions include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain or cramps, blood passing through the rectum, fever and weight loss. While these researchers have found an association between those conditions, they have not demonstrated a cause-and-effect relationship (i.e., it’s not known whether endometriosis causes inflammatory bowel disease or vice versa, or whether something else causes both).
Other relatively new research has found that women with endometriosis have a significantly higher chance of developing certain types of ovarian cancer than women without, though this risk is still relatively small. A study from 2004 also showed that women with endometriosis were perhaps more likely than women without to have migraines, though the relationship between these two conditions is not fully understood.