If you have endometriosis, you have most likely heard the term "endo belly". And if you haven't like I once did, then you're about to feel way more relateable and maybe a *teeny tiny* amount of happiness because someone GETS you. Now, unfortunately, this article isn't really for girls who are familiar with endo belly (meaning that all I can do is relate instead of help), but feel free to scroll through, read about the horror we all deal with, and compare my endo belly to yours.
This article for those girls who are constantly Googling "distended stomach", "why does my stomach get so big and hard randomly?", and "why do I randomly get bloated and look like I'm pregnant?" Because just maybe you'll come across this article, learn more about Endometriosis, and rush to the GYNO/OBGYN in hopes of answers, and get diagnosed with something that has been bothering you for multiple years. I mean, I wish that's how it was for me.
Anyways, are you wondering if you have endo belly? Let's go over how it feels and looks like so you can try to see if this fits your symptoms. Then I'll also include some symptoms of Endometriosis which you may be able to relate to as well and you can make the decision if you'd like to talk to your doctor about it.
1. Hard as a Rock
Usually, when endo belly decides to flare up and ruin your day, you'll notice that not only your stomach gets huge but if you press on it, it will be very hard. Usually bloating causes your stomach to get distended but it's still tender and squishy. But from my experience and many others, I've come to learn that it's a common symptom that you're endo belly is hard like a rock, which just makes it more uncomfortable. Plus, this round and hard-like appearance usually make us look pregnant which I think I can say is a look that none of us are going for.
2. Sometimes Accompanied by Gas
There have been so many times that I've been told that my endo belly is some "trapped gas" that just needs to get out. Well first of all, if that was the case I would have some MAJOR gas issues since it's literally triggered by anything and everything. And again, if that was true, there would be relief if I do pass gas, right? But no there isn't. Usually, with endo belly, you may have gas and be passing it as well, but it still doesn't help your stomach get less bloated or take all your pain away. Again, it just makes it MORE uncomfortable.
3. Incredible Pelvic Pain
Okay so now we have a rock-hard bloated stomach, some gas, we might as well let's throw in some pelvic pain. At least for me, when I get endo belly, my pelvic pain is at its absolute worse. It hurts to touch my pelvis, it hurts to breathe, it hurts to move, it hurts to sit, it is fucking awful. This is the "I need prescription pain meds ASAP!" or "Should I go to the ER?" kind of pain. I've probably been to the ER 20 times for this pain alone. Everyone's pain is different, but endo belly usually comes with some sort of pain.
With Endo Belly
Without Endo Belly (Within 24 hours)
4. Worsens From Tight Pants
So many girls with Endometriosis talk about how we can't wear jeans or any uncomfortable pants. And most of the time, this is true. And that's because they are so much more likely to cause a flare-up with endo belly. In my case, I can't even wear leggings because the band is too tight and I almost always get endo belly from them. This sucks because these "comfy alternative" to jeans is nowhere near comfy to me. But if you notice that most of the time you're in jeans or in some tight skirt (or tight anything for that matter) when your stomach starts to puff up, that's another sign that you have been called upon by The Endo Belly.
6. It Usually Is Gone Within 24 Hours
As terrible and cruel as endo belly is, most cases get better within 24 hours. Sometimes it might go on for 48, but if you're lucky you may go to sleep with your Santa Claus belly and wake up to your normal stomach.
Now if you feel that that most of those symptoms related to your bloated stomach, it sounds very similar to endo-belly. Take a look at other symptoms of Endometriosis below and see if they match. If they do, I strongly suggest taking a trip to your lady doctor and talk about Endometriosis and the chances of you having it. I really pray that you don't have Endo but if you're a girl who does, I want that girl to be diagnosed much faster than the rest of us have had to wait.
Common Endometriosis Symptoms
Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into a menstrual period. You may also have lower back and abdominal pain.
Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
Pain with bowel movements or urination. You're most likely to experience these symptoms during a menstrual period.
Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods (intermenstrual bleeding).
Infertility. Sometimes, endometriosis is first diagnosed in those seeking treatment for infertility.
Other signs and symptoms. You may experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.
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