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Endometriosis UK
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Shoulder pain can it be linked to endometriosis?

Hi Everyone, I'm new to this & got a question if anyone could help me 😊

I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 18 by having a laparoscopy they removed endometriosis from both my ovaries. I have recently had a laparoscopy in December last year (age 21) as I was having similar symptoms as I had previous but it turned out I had a cyst on my ovary but I haven't had any abdominal pains since, thankfully!

But I recently noticed every time I have had my period I am getting extreme pain in my right shoulder when exhaling out. At first I thought it was due to an injury but it has occurred for the last 3 months. Does anyone else have this? Do you think it could be linked to endometriosis?

Thank you for your time 😊


5 Replies

Right shoulder pain is a symptom of endo on the diaphragm. It is rare and would usually be present in association with more severe pelvic endo.

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Thank you!


Yes, agree with Lindle. I have this at ovulation and around my period every month - horrendously sharp pain in my right shoulder blade and it sometimes goes straight through to my chest area too, hurts to take deep breaths in and out. I had it horrendously this month over 3-4 days before ovulation, could barely move in so much pain...one day after ovulation, pain completely vanished. I believe about 90% of diaphragm endo occurs on the right hand side, hence the right shoulder pain being associated with it. I'm asking my surgeon about it when I see him next month. I had very severe pelvic endometriosis inc bowel/uterosacral ligament/ureters/ovaries/uterus all implicated and I do believe endo on the diaphragm can be associated with more sever pelvic endo. x

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Thank you! I have it on the worst day of my cycle but it last until my cycle finishes. I think I'm going to go back to my gp. I think it's rather odd as I had an op in December but there was no endometriosis found but now I've had this for 3 months running I'm uncertain if it has started again! Oh wow I couldn't imagine the pain you were in, take care x


The phrenic nerves run on the diaphragm and continue a course up through the chest, shoulder and neck. Endo on the diaphragm irritates the nerve and pain is referred to the shoulder, the same as the gas does after a lap. A thorough lap should include a search of the diaphragm but few gynaecologists do it even in presence of severe pelvic disease. An added complication is that when in the supine position it is only possible to access the front due to the presence of the liver. A thorough search should be done with the table tilted and the patient turned so the liver falls away. Endo will most usually be located at the back where the liver joins the diaphragm.

The ESHRE guideline details lap procedure at 1.3.1.


This is useful too:



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