Endometriosis Exams

Written by Amy Hall
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The diagnosis of endometriosis usually comes after some testing is performed to determine if there is scar tissue, growths, and adhesions present. A woman may experience all or none of the symptoms associated with endometriosis, or she may have secondary symptoms going on from internal damage to the kidneys, bladder, colon, or intestines. One problem doctors have is that certain endometriosis symptoms mirror other problems. For instance, a woman who complains of burning during urination may be given a culture and antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. However, if endometriosis is the culprit, the culture will come back negative and the symptoms won't clear up with the antibiotics.

Another example would be a woman who tells her doctor that she experiences bouts of constipation and diarrhea, or that she has painful bowel movements. Her doctor might assume that she has irritable bowel syndrome or even a spastic colon, especially if other endometriosis signs are not present, such as cramping and heavy bleeding. Prolonging an accurate diagnosis only allows the endometriosis to continue to do damage internally, sometimes resulting in infertility.

If you have a family history of endometriosis and you have begun to notice signs that something is amiss, it is wise to get to your doctor's office immediately. Try to write down as much as you can about the way you have been feeling, when symptoms became noticeable, when symptoms are at their worst, and so on. This will give your doctor a clearer picture when he or she examines you and it will provide the basis for further testing.

Endometriosis Testing

Typically, your doctor will want to do a pelvic exam to determine if he or she can feel any cysts or growths that may be a sign of endometriosis. An ultrasound may also be done to get a clearer vision of your internal organs and any lesions that may have formed. Finally, if scar tissue is detected, a laproscopy procedure will allow the doctor to go in with a camera and see exactly where the scar tissue and adhesions are, and perhaps take a biopsy or two in the process. Surgery may be recommended to remove scar tissue and adhesions for pain management.

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