Diagnosing Endometriosis

Saschan Fearon  |  23rd Feb 2019

So you suspect you have endo but first you need a diagnosis.


If a doctor suspects endometriosis, the first step will be to perform a pelvic exam to try to feel if implants are present.Very often there is no strong evidence of endometriosis from a physical exam. The only way to make a definitive diagnosis is through minor surgery called a laparoscopy. A laparoscope, a slender scope with a light on the end, is inserted into the woman’s abdomen through a small incision near her belly button. This allows the doctor to examine the internal organs for endometriotic growths. Often, a sample of tissue is taken for later examination in the laboratory.Endometriosis is sometimes discovered when a woman has abdominal surgery for another reason such as tubal ligation or hysterectomy.

Various imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography scan (CT scan), or magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) can offer additional information but aren’t useful in making the initial diagnosis. A blood test may also be ordered because women with endometriosis have higher levels of the blood protein CA125. Testing for this substance before and after treatment can predict a recurrence of the disease, but the test is not reliable as a diagnostic tool.