In addition to physical examinations, doctors have a variety of tests at their disposal to render a diagnosis of endometriosis. Imaging tests rely on the use of complicated machines that can actually create visual representations of what is going on inside the human body. In addition to letting doctors know what is going on, imaging tests can also pinpoint cysts and other abnormalities that may exist in the uterus. There are two commonly used imaging tests: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and ultrasound.
When you get an MRI you are usually placed inside a machine, although newer technologies for a less claustrophobic experience are becoming more common. An MRI renders a three-dimensional image of a designated area of the human body. Using magnetic fields an MRI can provide a doctor with a superbly detailed image.
Ultrasound is another form of imaging used to diagnose endometriosis. This imaging technique has been used most often to observe the unborn fetus in the womb. However, there are other uses for ultrasound. Using soundwaves, this imaging device can also provide doctors with a clear picture of what is going on.
Biochemical markers are another excellent method that doctors and medical professionals can use to find out if endometriosis is present. Through research, it has been discovered that there are certain chemicals in the blood of women that have developed endometriosis that are not found in the same concentration in women without the condition. Researchers have developed tests that look for a specific antigen and a specific protein, which can often lead the way to a successful diagnosis. This is the least costly test other than a physical examination, and takes the least amount of time – all it requires is a small sample of blood to analyze.
Laparoscopy is another way to diagnose if a woman has developed endometriosis. This test is conducted by creating a small incision into the pelvic region. A tiny camera is then fed into the hole and doctors can watch the findings on a computer monitor. On the tip of the camera there is an equally tiny apparatus for collecting tissue. A tissue sample can be obtained in this way and analyzed to see if endometriosis has developed.
The only way to find out which test may be appropriate for you is to consult your doctor. These tests are highly effective in helping doctors to determine whether endometriosis is the correct diagnosis or whether there is another cause for the symptoms. Before undergoing any of these tests it is a good idea that you familiarize yourself with each one of them. It is important to understand what you are getting into before you undergo any medical procedure.