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Endometriosis: about suspected diagnosis ENDOMETRIOSIS: ABOUT SUSPECTED DIAGNOSIS
A suspected diagnosis is one that is based on the history of your symptoms and a physical examination only.
The symptoms of endometriosis vary widely and the results of a physical examination are not usually conclusive. Therefore, it is not possible to accurately diagnose endometriosis simply from symptoms and a physical examination. In fact, many studies have shown that there is an error rate of up to 50% when the diagnosis has been made on this basis. Even though symptoms may strongly suggest endometriosis, the diagnosis must always be regarded as uncertain until it has been confirmed by a laparoscopy.
Taking a history for endometriosis involves building up a detailed picture of the nature and history of symptoms.
The nature and variety of symptoms associated with endometriosis means that it is often difficult for a doctor, especially a general practitioner, to readily recognize your symptoms as being attributable to endometriosis. Nevertheless, in most cases the nature, timing and progression of your symptoms should eventually alert your general practitioner to the possibility of a diagnosis of endometriosis and therefore the need to refer you to a gynaecologist.
In general, the medical profession believes that the classical symptoms of endometriosis are progressively worsening period pain, pelvic pain, pain with intercourse and infertility. Therefore, many doctors tend to look for that pattern of symptoms when considering the possibility of endometriosis. Their suspicions will often be increased if the symptoms, particularly pain, are reported to be cyclical, especially if they are more severe around the time of your period.
In order to maximize the chances of being diagnosed it is important that a doctor be given as comprehensive a history as possible of all symptoms. The nature, onset, timing, severity and progression of each of the symptoms should be discussed, even if a particular symptom, such as pain with intercourse, is embarrassing to talk about.
Obviously, it should be easier to alert your doctor to the possibility of endometriosis if you have some or all of the typical symptoms. If you do not have typical symptoms, it is important that you make sure that you continue to report your symptoms to your doctor until she or he investigates them properly or refers you to another doctor for further investigation.
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