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How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

endometriosisWomen who suffer from Endometriosis display a wide variety of symptoms. Some women have pain with intercourse or extremely painful periods, others have recurring constipation and diarrhea with menstruation, Some experience lower back pain that feels like sciatica and are sick to their stomachs, yet others feel okay and have normal periods but have been unable to get pregnant for many years. The wide variety of symptoms makes it challenging for inexperienced doctors to suggest Endometriosis right off the bat; and oftentimes ladies see many doctors before finally coming to Dr. Davis’ office.

Dr. Davis will first ask you questions about your symptoms. In most cases he will perform a vaginal ultrasound by inserting a probe into the vagina and taking photos of your pelvic organs while you watch on a monitor. Although the image will probably just look like a black and white mess to you, Dr. Davis is very skilled at identifying potential problems. The ultrasound can detect tumors, cysts, and is an effective tool to look for problems. Unfortunately, the ultrasound cannot detect endometrial implants because they are too small to be seen from this view.

Because endometrial implants are too small to be seen through ultrasound, Dr. Davis will need to perform laparoscopic surgery to confirm the diagnosis. During the surgery, Dr. Davis will check all the organs of your pelvic area (ovaries, fallopian tubes, colon, appendix, etc) with an incredibly powerful camera that displays the image onto a huge high-definition monitor in the operating room. Endometrial implants look like little red dots or bumps on a smooth background (you’ll get a copy of your photos to look at). If Endometriosis is found, it will be removed at that time.

Having an official diagnosis is important to many people, but some ladies are not immediately ready for surgery. Dr. Davis will talk to you about all your options; surgery will only be performed when you are ready.

Posted in Diseases and Conditions, Endometriosis

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