Currently surgery is the only way to confirm the diagnosis of endometriosis.
If you have symptoms of endometriosis, talk with your doctor. The doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and do or prescribe one or more of the following to find out if you have endometriosis:
- Pelvic exam. During a pelvic exam, your doctor may feel for large cysts or scars behind your uterus. Smaller areas of endometriosis are harder to feel.
- Imaging test. Your doctor may do a pelvic ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts from endometriosis. The doctor or technician may insert a wand-shaped scanner into your vagina or move a scanner across your abdomen. Both kinds of ultrasound tests use sound waves to make pictures of your reproductive organs.
- Medicine. Your doctor may prescribe one of the below medications to treat painful periods and endometriosis-related pain. Medications act by decreasing menstrual flow or completely suppressing periods and inhibiting the growth of the endometrial implants:
- Hormonal birth control - taken continuously, enable you to skip periods
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and antagonists - generally used for 6-12 months put you into temporary menopause
- Aromatase inhibitors (letrazole) - inhibits estrogen synthesis
- Danazol - reduces estrogen production
- In general, these medicines work only as long as you take them. Once you stop taking them, your pain may come back.
- Laparoscopy (“keyhole surgery). Laparoscopy is a surgical method used to access the interior of the body through small incisions.. Surgery is the only way to be sure you have endometriosis. Doctors diagnose endometriosis by taking small samples of tissue and studying it under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.