Endometriosis Symptom: Endo-Belly or Bloated Belly

Although endo-belly is not a textbook symptom of endometriosis, it is a term often used to describe a severely distended abdomen in individuals with the condition.

The abdomen can become enlarged for hours due to the bloating, and this can be very distressing, especially when it becomes so severe that others mistake it for a pregnancy belly.

While many women experience some bloating during and around their periods, it becomes a much bigger issue for those with endometriosis. Bloating occurs more frequently and tends to last longer, though the exact reason for this is not definitively understood.

Bloating is caused by the presence of air in the abdomen, specifically in the intestines, which can make the belly appear larger. This can lead to discomfort and prompts some women to wear looser clothes. However, it’s important to note that the belly does not become permanently thicker.

Endo-belly can manifest during menstruation after consuming certain foods, during times of stress, or seemingly without a specific trigger.

It is characterized by an increase in abdominal girth, often accompanied by feelings of bloating and fullness, without necessarily involving the passing of gas.

The exact causes of endo-belly remain unexplained, and this symptom does not directly indicate intestinal involvement. It is essential to consider other potential causes, such as food intolerances, which should be investigated and clarified. Essentially, the endo-belly refers to a form of bloating.

Managing endo-belly involves paying attention to your diet and stress levels to identify potential triggers.
Exercise, ranging from walking to yoga to more active sports, can alleviate bloating for some individuals. Others may find relief through relaxation techniques like abdominal breathing or over-the-counter medications. It’s important to find individualized solutions that work best for each person.

If you experience endo-belly or other concerning symptoms, it is crucial to address them with your healthcare provider to rule out other possible causes and ensure proper management.

Women with endometriosis also have a higher risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome, so it might be a good idea to have it checked out if you experience gastrointestinal issues.

To learn more about endo-belly or better understand other symptoms of endometriosis, you can download the Endo-App and access the expertise of our specialists.


Endo Belly: What It Is, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment [Internet]. Healthline. 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 26]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/endo-belly
Schomacker ML, Hansen KE, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Forman A. Is endometriosis associated with irritable bowel syndrome? A cross-sectional study. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2018 Dec;231:65–9.
Luscombe GM, Markham R, Judio M, Grigoriu A, Fraser IS. Abdominal bloating: an under-recognized endometriosis symptom. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2009 Dec;31(12):1159–71.

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Dr. med. Nadine Rohloff