Before discussing How to test for Endometriosis. let’s ask What is it first.
Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial glands and stroma outside of the uterus. Or where we found the endometrial tissue outside the uterus rather than inside.
What are the symptoms ?
The symptoms of endometriosis are quite variable. They can range from severe pain to no signs at all. The most common symptoms are:
- Pain with periods.
- Pain outside of periods.
- Feeling pain with intercourse.
- Pain with bowel movements.
- Discomfort with urination.
We find it during an evaluation for other gynecologic problems or during an evaluation for infertility.
How to test for endometriosis?
It can have variable appearances inside the abdomen. So Surgery and Biopsy are the only way to diagnose it. We don’t take patient to the operating room just to make that diagnosis. But we firstly start with medical therapy.
An endometrial biopsy: is removing a sample of endometrial tissue for testing. It may be done to screen for cancer or precancerous cells or to investigate fertility problems. And it can be done in your doctor’s office in 10 to 15 minutes without the use of a sedative.
My fertility: Can be affected?
We don’t fully understand all the ways in which endometriosis may impact your ability to become pregnant. In some cases, there is scarring inside the abdomen. which probably impact the ability of an egg to make it from the ovary into the uterine cavity. We also think that endometrial implants, seems like it produce factors that can impact the ability of implantation.
The Treatment Options :
There are many treatment options which range from medical to surgical. Most of these options are hormonally based. A combination of birth control pills or progesterone. And also, medicines that can put you into a temporary menopausal state are additional options that we can use. Within the surgical treatment options, it depends on the stage of the disease, and also someone’s symptoms and childbearing wishes.
What is the difference between minimally invasive surgery and open surgery?
Both of them are different routes of achieving the same outcome for the treatment. We notice that minimally invasive surgery has improved outcomes for patients in terms of :
- Decreased pain.
- Faster return to daily living.
- Reduction of blood loss.
- Decrease adhesion formation, and other benefits as well.
Conclusion as advice for women who suspect that they may have endometriosis:
The first step would be going to her primary gynecologist to discuss her symptoms. Additional testing, ultrasound, an exam would be done. The first line of treatment is just medical therapy with something like birth control pills. If pain or symptoms persist, at that point, it should consult someone who specializes in the treatment of endometriosis.