Endometriosis: Diagnosis and Treatment


Endometriosis is a common condition that affects about one in 10 women according to Endometriosis Australia. It is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the endometrium is found in abnormal sites around the body which can cause pelvic pain and infertility.

Vega asensio, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


To diagnose endometriosis, most patients will need to undergo laparoscopy and have a biopsy (some tissue sample) taken. The laparoscopy is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthetics where a thin telescope is placed into the umbilicus (belly button). The procedure allows the doctor to see inside the abdomen and assess the pelvis and abdomen. Some tissue that is thought to contain endometriosis is removed and sent to a pathologist for review.

In some cases, the diagnosis can be suggested without having a laparoscopy if the doctor can feel tissues in your pelvis, and can see an endometriosis cyst affecting your ovary or other pelvic organs.

Most women with the condition visit a GP over ten times before being referred to a specialists care for diagnosis. This can translate to about 8 years to receive a proper diagnosis because symptoms resemble those of other conditions they seek to rule out first. When physicians use metaphors to describe the pain, it can improve the diagnosis of seriously ill patients.


There are three kinds of treatments for endometriosis:

  1. Medical treatments (medications)
  2. Surgical treatments (involving an operation)
  3. 3. Allied treatments (physiotherapy, psychology, alternate medicine, etc)

You should discuss the differences in the treatments with your doctor before starting a treatment. There are advantages and disadvantages to all the types of treatments and you may need to have several treatments of different types before finding the right combination for you.


Article: Endometriosis: understanding how sufferers describe pain could lead to faster diagnosis
Website: The Conversation

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