Diagnosis of Endometriosis

Laboratory and imaging tests (ultrasound and x-rays) are not as helpful as the history and physical examination in diagnosing endometriosis. Indeed, in our own experience, the high suspicion and persistence in seeking the diagnosis of the patient are the two most important factors in leading to the majority of the diagnoses of endometriosis. Visualization of endometriosis on the lower genital tract (vagina and cervix) and tender nodules palpable above the vagina during routine pelvic examination is considered by many physicians to be diagnostic of endometriosis. However, laparoscopy (laparo = abdomen, scopy = inspection, thus, laparoscopy = inspection of abdominal cavity) to directly inspect the abdominal and pelvic cavity is the only definitive diagnosis of endometriosis.