5 tests to detect endometriosis
In case of suspicion of endometriosis, the gynecologist may indicate the performance of some tests to evaluate the uterine cavity and the endometrium, such as transvaginal ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and measurement of the CA 125 marker in the blood, for example. However, in cases where the symptoms are very intense, the doctor may recommend carrying out tests to evaluate other parts of the body and thus verify the severity of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue, which is the tissue that lines the uterus internally, in places outside the uterus, such as the peritoneum, ovaries, bladder or intestines, for example. Usually, the gynecologist asks for these tests when the disease is suspected due to symptoms such as very intense and progressive menstrual cramps, pain during intimate contact or difficulty getting pregnant.
If you think you may have endometriosis, select your symptoms to find out what your chances are:
The tests that are usually ordered by the doctor to help in the diagnosis of endometriosis are:
1. Gynecological exam
The gynecological examination can be performed in the investigation and diagnosis of endometriosis, and the gynecologist should observe the vagina and uterus with the speculum. In addition, according to the characteristics observed, observation of the rectum can also be performed in order to look for cysts, which may be indicative of intestinal endometriosis.
2. Pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound
The ultrasound exam is one of the first exams performed in the investigation of endometriosis, and can be pelvic or performed transvaginally. To do this exam it is recommended to completely empty the bladder, because this way it is possible to better visualize the organs.
The ultrasound exam is also very useful in the diagnosis of ovarian endometriosis, in which endometrial tissue grows in the ovaries, but it can also identify endometriosis in the bladder, vagina and in the wall of the rectum.
3. CA 125 blood test
CA 125 is a marker that is present in the blood and its dosage is usually requested to assess a person’s risk of developing ovarian cancer or cyst and endometriosis, for example, since in these situations the levels of CA 125 in the blood are high. Thus, when the CA 125 result is greater than 35 IU/mL, it is important that the doctor request other tests to confirm the diagnosis. See what the CA 125 exam is and how to understand the result.
Magnetic resonance imaging is requested when there is a suspicion of ovarian masses that need to be better evaluated, in addition to being indicated with the aim of investigating deep endometriosis, which also affects the intestine. This examination can show widespread fibrosis and changes in the pelvis, subcutaneous tissue, abdominal wall, and even the surface of the diaphragm.
Videolaparoscopy is the best exam to identify endometriosis because it leaves no doubt about the disease, however it is not the first exam to be performed, since it is a more invasive exam, in addition to the fact that it is possible to conclude the diagnosis through performing other tests.
In addition to being indicated in the diagnosis of endometriosis, videolaparoscopy can also be requested to monitor the evolution of the disease and check if there is a response to treatment. Understand how laparoscopy is performed.
There are other complementary exams that can also be requested, such as uro resonance or rectal endoscopic ultrasound, for example, which help to better observe the places where the endometrial tissue is growing so that the best treatment can be started, which can be done. with the continuous pill for 6 months. During this period, the doctor may repeat the laparoscopy to assess the evolution of the disease.
In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove tissue that is growing outside the uterus, which can cause infertility if the pelvic organs are also removed. See how endometriosis surgery is performed.
Watch the video with Dr. Helizabet Ribeiro, a gynecologist specializing in endometriosis who clarifies all doubts about this disease:
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