A doctor will examine you and may do a minor surgical procedure called laparoscopy to see if you have endometriosis. Endometriosis treatment can include medicine or surgery.
How can I find out if I have endometriosis?
Talk to your doctor or nurse if you think you might have endometriosis. They’ll ask you about your symptoms and do a pelvic exam to check for cysts or scars. They may also do an imaging test like an ultrasound or MRI.
The only way to know for sure if you have endometriosis is with a minor surgical procedure called a laparoscopy: A doctor will make a small cut in your belly and insert a thin tube with a tiny light called a laparoscope to look for the tissue growing outside the uterus. They might also do a biopsy, to take a small sample of tissue to test.
Is there treatment for endometriosis?
Endometriosis can’t be cured, but it can be treated with medicine or surgery. If your symptoms aren’t too bad, pain relievers may be enough to help. If you don’t want to get pregnant right now, your doctor or nurse can prescribe hormonal birth control (like the pill or a hormonal IUD) to cut down on pain and bleeding. There are other medications you can take for endometriosis if you’re trying to get pregnant.
Surgery for endometriosis may be an option for you if your symptoms are really bad or if you want to get pregnant but haven’t been able to. A surgeon will remove the growths that are outside of your uterus, cutting down on pain and making it easier for you to get pregnant. But often the growths come back after surgery, so you may need to take medication, too. As a last resort, some people have a hysterectomy — removing the uterus and sometimes the ovaries, though it’s impossible to become pregnant after that.
Where should I go if I think I might have endometriosis?
Make an appointment with your doctor or nurse, or visit a Planned Parenthood health center near you if you have symptoms of endometriosis.