Endometriosis patient, treated by Dr. Duke
Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs.
With endometriosis, the endometrial-like tissue acts as endometrial tissue would — it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. But because this tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriosis may form. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — abnormal bands of fibrous tissue that can cause pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other. Learn more about Endometriosis
Ask your health care provider about your risk.
Northwest Women’s Care offers award-winning care, competitive pricing and patient testimonials about their personal experience with endometriosis. The Women’s Care team believes female health and wellbeing is a priority. Our experienced staff provides compassionate, individualized care for every patient. We are dedicated to all women in the region and fostering long and trusted partnerships with our patients. To learn more about how Northwest Women’s Care can serve you, call to request a consultation today.
Our specialists have seen patients from all over the world, are published authors, experts and key thought leaders in endometriosis. They are at the forefront of the latest research and approaches, in order to provide our patients with the very best care possible. Ask one of our specialists about your risk for endometriosis.
To diagnose endometriosis and other conditions that can cause pelvic pain, your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms, including the location of your pain and when it occurs. Tests to check for physical clues of endometriosis include:
During a pelvic exam, your doctor manually feels (palpates) areas in your pelvis for abnormalities, such as cysts on your reproductive organs or scars behind your uterus. Often it’s not possible to feel small areas of endometriosis unless they’ve caused a cyst to form.
This test uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. To capture the images, a device called a transducer is either pressed against your abdomen or inserted into your vagina (transvaginal ultrasound). Both types of ultrasound may be done to get the best view of the reproductive organs. A standard ultrasound imaging test won’t definitively tell your doctor whether you have endometriosis, but it can identify cysts associated with endometriosis (endometriosis).
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
An MRI is an exam that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within your body. For some, an MRI helps with surgical planning, giving your surgeon detailed information about the location and size of endometrial implants.
In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a surgeon for a procedure that allows the surgeon to view inside your abdomen (laparoscopy). While you’re under general anesthesia, your surgeon makes a tiny incision near your navel and inserts a slender viewing instrument (laparoscope), looking for signs of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. A laparoscopy can provide information about the location, extent and size of the endometrial implants. Your surgeon may take a tissue sample (biopsy) for further testing. Often, with proper surgical planning, your surgeon can fully treat endometriosis during the laparoscopy so that you need only one surgery.