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Endometriosis Health Center

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Endometriosis - Exams and Tests

To see whether your symptoms are caused by endometriosis, your doctor first will:

  • Talk to you about your family and medical history, symptoms, and menstrual periods.
  • Do a pelvic exam. This often includes checking both the vagina and rectum.

If your exam, symptoms, and risk factors strongly suggest that you have endometriosis, your doctor may suggest that you first try a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and/or hormone therapy before you have other tests. If treatment improves your symptoms after a few months, the diagnosis of endometriosis is more certain.

Recommended Related to Endometriosis

Endometriosis and Fallopian Tube Problems

Endometriosis is a common and painful disease that affects about 5.5 million women in North America and is one of the top three causes of infertility in women. During a normal menstrual cycle, the lining of your uterus -- called the endometrium -- begins to thicken in preparation for becoming pregnant. If you don't become pregnant that month, your body sheds the endometrium during menstruation and the process starts over. In endometriosis, for reasons that doctors don't entirely understand,...

Read the Endometriosis and Fallopian Tube Problems article > >


Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat endometriosis. If your doctor recommends a laparoscopy, it will be used to look for and possibly remove implants and scar tissue. But laparoscopy is not always needed. It is usually done when infertility requires rapid treatment and probable surgery or when treatment has not relieved pain or infertility.

Tests for ovarian cysts or other problems

If your doctor feels an abnormal mass during the pelvic exam, you may have a cyst on the ovary (ovarian endometrioma) or another problem. You may need a transvaginal ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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