Firstly, if you have many of the symptoms in the above list, I suggest you make an appointment with a Dr who specialises in endometriosis. It’s important that you see a doctor who is familiar with endometriosis and all of the presenting symptoms. In Israel today, there are several centers that specialise in endometriosis. You should contact your local Health Fund and ask for a referral.
An early diagnosis is in your favour! In addition, finding a conventional doctor and holistic support may result in better management of your symptoms.
How will a doctor determine if I have endometriosis?
Your doctor will listen to your symptoms, perform an internal ultrasound (the probe is inserted into your body via your vagina similar to ultrasounds in early pregnancy) and palpate your abdomen. Not all endometriosis lesions can be felt externally or seen on ultrasound.
The only real way to determine if you have endometriosis is via a surgery called laparoscopy. During the procedure the surgeon makes several small incisions in your abdomen and inserts a tiny probe with a camera and light which enables the surgeon to see what is going on inside your abdomen on a screen connected to the probe. If they find tissue that appears to be endometriosis, they will take a small sample to test it.
Many women decide they don’t want to undergo a laparoscopy and will commence treatment based on their doctor’s diagnosis without a laparoscopy.
Why does it take so long to be correctly diagnosed with endometriosis?
Some of the symptoms associated with endometriosis are also present in other conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts. In addition, because many women with endometriosis have digestive upsets like diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or nausea and are incorrectly diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes bouts of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal cramping.
Does the level of pain I’m in indicate the severity of the endometriosis?
There doesn’t seem to be a connection between how much pain you experience and the extent of your endometriosis. Some women experience extreme pain with mild endometriosis and other women have the opposite experience.