Belly Button Bleeding

A Rare Case of Umbilical Endometriosis?

If your belly button is bleeding and you are trying to figure out why, perhaps my story will help you.

I’ve been having major stomach issues for the past couple of years. I had my gallbladder removed, thinking that would solve the issue. Sadly, I was wrong.  I’ve been back and forth on many diagnosis. Sometimes, though, all you need is a new symptom in order to complete your diagnosis.

About 6 months ago, I noticed a little bit of blood in my belly button. It didn’t last long, it wasn’t a lot, and I didn’t think much of it. Maybe I scratched myself.

It kept coming back, though, and my belly button bleeding was getting worse. I went to a gynecologist who had never heard of it.  She checked me out, I as fine.

Once, when it was bleeding, I went to urgent care.  They took a sample and recommended antibiotics. It didn’t help. They ordered an ultra sound for me the next day that didn’t find anything.

Doctors were baffled. Then I notified that my belly button bleeding coincided with my period. Hmmm. Time to turn to Google.

(Please note, I’m not a doctor. I’m a Googler.  If you think you have these symptoms, please visit your doctor!)

Umbilical Endometriosis

Endometriosis was one of the first diagnosis I received. Endometriosis is when the lining in the uterus that sheds monthly with a woman’s period grows outside of the uterus instead of inside. This can result in scar tissue in the pelvic region. One in ten women have endometriosis, and it doesn’t mean they necessarily have chronic pain or not.

Now, belly button bleeding is not normal. There have been a few case studies of this phenomena, which they call umbilical endometriosis, however I could only find complex medical files about it.

Luckily a grew up with a family of nurses, so I can transcribe. Endometriosis can reach the bowls and cause similar symptoms to IBS. My recent gallbladder surgery was laparoscopic, so the bleeding belly button could be from endometriosis growing on the scar tissue left over.

Symptoms of Bowl Endometriosis

Bowl endometriosis symptoms are very general and can be a number of other things, which is why it is so hard and rare to diagnose. Here are some symptoms that may (or may not) occur

  • Painful bowel movements
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea that can alternate
  • Intestinal cramping
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal pain and/or bleeding

As you can see, these are very similar to other symptoms such as IBS or Crohn’s disease. When you have a belly button that bleeds with your period, you can probably bet that you have endometriosis of the bowl 🙂

Diagnosis of Bowl Endometriosis

It is hard to diagnosis endometriosis in general. Usually it doesn’t show up on CT scans, MRIs or ultrasounds.  With umbilical endometriosis (when you have a bleeding belly button), you know because you bleed monthly with your period.

You can’t be 100% sure you have bowl endometriosis unless you have laparoscopic surgery.  While the surgery is not invasive, it is still surgery. While the surgeon is in there verifying that you have endometriosis, they will also remove the endometriosis.

Surgery for Bowl Endometriosis

Surgery is quiet common for people who have pain due to their endometriosis. Usually one would go to a surgical gynecologist.  Bowl endometriosis is more complex, and while surgeons are always eager to experiment and try a new surgery, you wan to find  someone who actually has seen bowl endometriosis before.
Bowl endometriosis is a newer term, and many gynecologist and general surgeons have not had experience with it. I saw a few specialists before finding one that could do a bowl endometriosis surgery.
One surgical gynecologist said she wasn’t familiar with endometriosis on the bowl and would have to bring in a general surgeon.  The general surgeon wasn’t familiar with it either and warned that I could wake up without a belly button. Not worth it!
I went to in order to find a endometriosis specialist in my area.  It took awhile to find someone that was in network with my insurance.  There are a lot out-of-network doctors eager to work with patients. Out-of-network does mean there are more costs.
If you have time, it is worth finding a surgeon who has seen endometriosis of the bowl and is in-network with your insurance.  If you can’t, sometimes you can get a special case exception if you can’t find a specialist in-network, getting your insurance to cover out-of-network doctors.

Natural Remedies

Exercise and diet always helps improves most any ailment, including endometriosis.  Traditional Chinese medicine has also been found to help women with endometriosis.

Both of these are worth investigating more when it comes to healing the body of bowl endometriosis.


I mainly write this article just in case anybody else has a belly button bleeding and isn’t sure why.  Perhaps you can find out if it is in sync with your menstrual cycle and if it is bowl endometriosis.

2 thoughts on “Belly Button Bleeding”

  1. Woooooow, thanks for this post!! I have thought I had IBS for years. I am looking at potentially removing my gallbladder. Since last year I have started bleeding from my belly button and last night I suddenly realised it always coincides with my periods. So excited to discover this post!!! Could you say anything more about treatment experience??

    • Congratulations! At least now you know what it is. So endometriosis is a disease they know very little about, unfortunately, and everybody’s path is different. I had surgery, got off my psychiatric pain medication, and it came back 11 months later. Surgery and hormones aren’t helping (and I’ve been eating like crap). I’m trying psychiatric pain meds again and changing my diet back to plants. Luckily I’m in a good place and am able to work from home and make money, plus I have good health care. But it hasn’t gone away yet and I’m not sure it will. It has changed my lifestyle, and I don’t suffer from it anymore, which is important. Best of luck Sarah! If you are on Facebook I can recommend some great groups for women with endometriosis.


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