An ultrasound does not offer enough information to diagnose endometriosis. However, it can assist your doctor in determining what is causing your symptoms. Ultrasounds generate images of the interior of your body by using sound waves. An ultrasound is performed by pressing a transducer (a wand-like tool) on your belly to observe your organs. A transvaginal ultrasound may also be achieved by putting a transducer into your vagina. The resultant photos may aid your Womens Healthcare Physicians specialists to identify endometriomas, often known as “chocolate cysts.” These are endometriosis-related cysts. Additionally, identifying these can assist your doctor in determining which further tests to employ to help determine what’s causing your symptoms.
Other diagnostic procedures for endometriosis
Endometriosis is not usually detected via ultrasound. However, when they do, it is generally in conjunction with other procedures and testing.
- Pelvic examination: During a pelvic exam, your doctor will palpate regions of your pelvis to look for irregularities like cysts on your reproductive organs or scarring behind your uterus. Small patches of endometriosis are often difficult to detect unless a cyst has formed.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI scans are another imaging method that can aid in diagnosing endometriosis. A magnetic field and radio waves are used in this diagnostic procedure to create comprehensive pictures of your organs and other tissues within your body. This can help determine whether endometrial-like tissue is developing outside your uterus. Also, MRIs are not typically included in a doctor’s standard diagnostic toolkit, particularly in the early phases of diagnosis.
- Ultrasound: This test generates pictures of the interior of your body using high-frequency sound waves. A transducer is either pushed against your abdomen or put into your vagina to acquire the pictures (transvaginal ultrasound). Both kinds of ultrasonography may be used to gain the greatest image of the reproductive organs. A typical ultrasound imaging exam will not tell your clinician whether you have endometriosis, but it will detect cysts linked with the disease.
- Laparoscopy: Endometriosis can only be diagnosed by laparoscopy. It’s a simple surgical procedure that lets your doctor look into your belly and take tissue samples. These samples can be examined to confirm a diagnosis of endometriosis. Before a surgeon makes a tiny cut near your belly button, you’ll be given general anesthesia. Then, a laparoscope will be put through the incision. A laparoscope is a small device with a camera attached to the end. Your surgeon will next use the camera to search for evidence of endometrial-like tissue outside your uterus. They may also collect a tiny tissue sample for further examination. Other tiny incisions may be made nearby to allow for additional surgical tools throughout the process.
Endometriosis develops when tissue resembling the uterine lining grows in other body regions. It most frequently manifests in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other sites around the uterus. Endometriosis can lead to serious menstrual cramps, lower back, and pelvic pain, and discomfort during intercourse. Endometriosis has no cure; however, therapies are available to alleviate symptoms and reduce tissue development.
For others, the route to an endometriosis diagnosis can be long and difficult. Keep a careful journal of your signs to show your physician if you suspect you have endometriosis. Call Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples or book your appointment online to learn more about endometriosis.