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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

Understanding Endometriosis -- Prevention

There is no way to prevent endometriosis. But there are several things that raise your risk of developing it: Having a close relative with endometriosis, especially a mother or a sister Having a short menstrual cycle -- less than 25 days Having menstrual flow lasting more than a week Having heavy flow Having medical condition that blocks or constricts your cervix or vagina Having a birth defect of the uterus, such as a double uterus or a double cervix

Read the Understanding Endometriosis -- Prevention 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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