- What are the stages of endometriosis?
- What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
- What are the risk factors and complications of endometriosis?
- How is endometriosis diagnosed?
- How is endometriosis treated?
- How to cope with endometriosis and the outlook of the condition
- FAQ about endometriosis
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
In order for endometriosis to be accurately diagnosed, your doctor will ask you a series of questions in order for him or her to get an understanding of the level of pain experienced, where it occurs and your symptoms.
The tests that are conducted to check for any physical signs of endometriosis may include:
- Pelvic examination – During this exam, the doctor will manually feel, known as palpating, areas in your pelvic region for any abnormalities, these include scars found behind the uterus or any cysts that are found on the reproductive organs. It is not always possible for your doctor to feel the smaller regions of endometriosis, unless a cyst has resulted from them.
- Ultrasound – This is a test that utilises high-frequency sound waves that will produce images that give the doctor a look at your internal organs. Your doctor may make use of an abdominal ultrasound or a transvaginal ultrasound. The images are captured using a device known as a transducer. An abdominal ultrasound will press the transducer against the abdomen and when a transvaginal ultrasound is done, the transducer will be inserted into the vagina. The results of an ultrasound cannot give your doctor a definite diagnosis, but cysts associated with endometriosis, known as endometriomas can be identified.
- Laparoscopy – For the diagnosis of endometriosis to be certain, you will have a laparoscopy. This is done by a surgeon or qualified gynaecologist while you are under general anaesthesia. The surgeon will make a small incision around the area of your navel and will insert an instrument known as a laparoscope. This is a viewing instrument that will allow the surgeon to find any endometrial tissue located outside of your uterus. Samples of the tissue may also be taken, this is known as a biopsy. A laparoscopy can give your doctor information regarding the extent, location, as well as the size of any endometrial implants which will help in finding the right form of treatment.