Dealing with Leg Pain During Menstruation: Causes and Relief

There are various reasons why leg pain can occur. If you experience these symptoms in conjunction with your menstrual cycle, it could be a sign of endometriosis. It is crucial to seek a detailed explanation and evaluation.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a medical condition where tissue resembling the endometrium grows outside the uterus, resulting in cysts and inflammation known as endometriosis lesions [1]. These lesions can develop in various locations in the body, including the ovaries, peritoneum, intestines, and, in rare cases, even the lungs or brain [2]. Common symptoms include menstrual pain, cycle discomfort, back pain, and infertility [1].

Understanding Leg Pain and Its Link to Endometriosis

Endometriosis has earned its reputation as ‘a symptom shifter’ for a reason. While some individuals experience no symptoms, others grapple with intense menstrual pain. Some may report additional complaints, such as leg pain, in more atypical cases. Leg pain can arise when endometriosis affects critical pelvic nerves like the sciatic nerve or sacral roots [3].

Exploring Alternative Diagnoses for Unexplained Symptoms

When leg pain coincides with the menstrual period, it often suggests a connection to the female cycle. However, it is essential to consider that leg pain can also result from injuries or overuse, which may coincide with the period or intensify during certain cycle phases. Hormone levels, including progesterone, estrogen, and pain messengers like prostaglandins, fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. During the period, estrogen and progesterone levels are low, while prostaglandin production increases towards the end of the period [4]. These hormonal shifts may explain why leg pain becomes more noticeable during menstruation. Additionally, orthopedic factors related to nerves, muscles, and intervertebral discs must be considered. Nevertheless, persistent cycle-related pain episodes should prompt consideration of endometriosis as a potential diagnosis or cause.

For more information about the symptoms of endometriosis, you can explore the Endo-App to learn about the condition and available options.


  1. Dietrich, Klaus: Gynecology and Obstetrics (Springer Textbook) 2nd edition, Springer Verlag.
  2. What is endometriosis? – Endometriosis Association Germany e.V. (
  3. Prof. Dr. med. Marc Possover: Endometriosis of the sciatic nerve and sacral roots
  4. Ferries-Rowe E, Corey E, Archer JS. Primary dysmenorrhea: diagnosis and therapy. Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Nov;136(5):1047-1058. doi: 10.1097/AOG.00000000004096. PMID: 33030880.
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Dipl.-Ges.oec. Jennifer Ann Steinort