Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body. One study indicates that people with endometriosis may be more likely to have fibromyalgia than those without. Symptoms of chronic pain from both conditions can also overlap.

A 2019 study found that rates of fibromyalgia were 6% higher in women with endometriosis.

This article explores the links between fibromyalgia and endometriosis. It also examines the causes, common symptoms, support groups, and available treatment options.

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Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can cause pain and tenderness throughout the body. It can also cause a heightened sensitivity to pain, trouble sleeping, and fatigue. Researchers do not yet fully understand what causes it.

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the tissue lining inside the uterus grows outside this cavity. It can affect other organs and tissue such as the ovaries, bowel, bladder, and other pelvic organs. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including chronic pain.

The Office on Women’s Health (OASH) notes that endometriosis shares common symptoms and associations with other medical conditions, including fibromyalgia.

For example, people with endometriosis may experience severe pelvic pain. Severe pain in the pelvic floor region can also be a significant sign of fibromyalgia.

According to a 2019 study, the prevalence of fibromyalgia was 6% higher in those with endometriosis. The authors also associated both endometriosis and fibromyalgia with a high burden of anxiety and depression.

Research from 2021 also indicates that people with endometriosis may experience overlapping chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia. According to the authors, this may be due to the altered processing of pain stimuli in the central nervous system.

Another 2021 study found that women with endometriosis experienced different types of pain, from mild to severe, in different parts and organs of the body. This may cause symptoms similar to fibromyalgia.

Some fibromyalgia symptoms are similar to endometriosis, but the conditions differ.

The below table looks at the symptoms and risk factors of both conditions and the possible links between them.

Condition What is it? Symptoms Risk factors Links
Fibromyalgiainvolves chronic pain throughout the body
widespread pain
• general stiffness
• fatigue
• anxiety
• depression
• sleep problems
• headache
• digestive problems
• numbness in the hands and feet
• painful menstrual periods
having rheumatic disorders affecting the joints, muscles, and bones
having a family member with fibromyalgia
• being female
• may cause similar symptoms to endometriosis
• causes chronic pain
Endometriosiswhere tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus • fever
• constipation
• diarrhea
• pain when urinating and defecating
• painful menstrual cramps
• back pain
• pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
• pain during and after sex
• difficulty getting pregnant
having high levels of estrogen
• having a family member with endometriosis
• previously having surgery in the abdomen
• people with endometriosis may have higher rates of fibromyalgia
• may cause similar symptoms to fibromyalgia
• causes chronic pain

Both fibromyalgia and endometriosis share some similarities. If a person has both conditions, it can make differentiating between them more difficult.


Both conditions can cause chronic pain, sometimes in the same areas. For example, both endometriosis and fibromyalgia may cause severe pelvic pain.

Other symptoms these conditions have in common include:

Menstrual cycle flares

Hormones can influence both fibromyalgia and endometriosis.

According to OASH, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can cause fibromyalgia flares. This means symptoms may worsen around the menstrual cycle, and a person may experience painful menstrual cramps.

Similarly, endometriosis symptoms tend to worsen during the menstrual cycle. A person with this condition may also experience painful menstrual cramps, and their digestive symptoms may worsen during periods.

Despite their similarities, fibromyalgia and endometriosis are separate conditions with different symptoms and causes.


Some symptoms of fibromyalgia that endometriosis does not directly cause include:

Additionally, there are some endometriosis symptoms that fibromyalgia does not directly cause. They include irregular menstrual periods and infertility.

A 2021 study that assessed the effects of endometriosis on the quality of life found that it affected everyday life. In the research, women with endometriosis reported:

  • low social interactions and participation
  • anxiety
  • depressed mood

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults with fibromyalgia are three times more likely to have depression than those without the condition. They also have a low quality of life that affects their physical health.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists notes that endometriosis occurs in about 1 in 10 women of reproductive age.

Medical professionals diagnose fibromyalgia and endometriosis differently.

Fibromyalgia diagnosis

There are no diagnostic tests specifically for fibromyalgia. However, the doctor may recommend scans and blood tests to rule out any underlying health condition.

The American College of Rheumatology established guidelines for diagnosing fibromyalgia:

  • pain and symptoms over the past week, in addition to fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive problems
  • symptoms lasting 3 months
  • no other health condition

Endometriosis diagnosis

It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose endometriosis because symptoms can resemble those of other health conditions.

Some diagnostic tests for endometriosis include:

  • a pelvic exam
  • a biopsy
  • imaging tests, such as CT scans and MRI
  • a laparoscopy

Below, we explore the treatments for endometriosis and fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia treatment

The doctor will recommend a combination of therapies to treat fibromyalgia. These may include:

There is no cure for endometriosis. However, a doctor will evaluate the severity of a person’s symptoms and determine the best treatment.

Treatment aims to improve symptoms and relieve pain. A doctor may recommend the following.


The doctor will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as a first-line treatment. They may also prescribe stronger pain relief medication if NSAIDs are ineffective.

Hormonal treatment

Doctors may recommend hormonal treatments to reduce circulating estrogen levels. This can be in the form of birth control pills or other forms of hormonal contraception.

The doctor may also recommend gonadotropin-releasing hormone for up to 6 months at a time to help relieve endometriosis-related symptoms.


A doctor will recommend surgery to remove endometrial lesions and scar tissues if other treatments are ineffective.

The following are charities and support hubs for people with these conditions.

Organizations that can support those with endometriosis include:

Organizations that can help with fibromyalgia support include:

Although there is no cure for either fibromyalgia or endometriosis, a person can manage the conditions with medical therapy and lifestyle modifications.

Endometriosis symptoms tend to decrease significantly or even resolve in menopause, but some people may still experience symptoms even afterward.

However, some treatment options, such as hormonal therapy, can decrease a person’s symptoms and provide a more positive outlook. Someone may also find their quality of life improves with psychological and behavioral therapy.

Fibromyalgia is a lifelong condition, but a combination of exercise, physical therapies, psychological therapy, and medications can improve a person’s quality of life.

If a person has symptoms of either fibromyalgia or endometriosis, they can contact a doctor.

A doctor can evaluate a person’s symptoms and medical history and may diagnose them with one or both conditions.

Additionally, they can check for other possible causes of the symptoms.

This section looks at some frequently asked questions about fibromyalgia and endometriosis.

What diseases link to endometriosis?

According to OASH, someone with endometriosis may be at high risk of the following conditions, such as:

Can fibromyalgia affect the uterus?

A 2015 study evaluated the effect of fibromyalgia on female infertility. The authors found that the condition can induce painful repetitive muscular contractions that weaken the uterine muscle and cause spontaneous abortion.

Is endometriosis related to autoimmune diseases?

Endometriosis is not an autoimmune disease, but evidence suggests a link between it and some conditions.

Although fibromyalgia and endometriosis share common symptoms and may occur together, they are two distinctly different conditions. A person with endometriosis may be at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.

There is no way to prevent these two conditions, but people can take steps to manage them. They can also help manage personal risk factors by following the recommended treatment plans and lifestyle modifications.

If people have symptoms of fibromyalgia or endometriosis, they need to contact a gynecologist immediately.