The path to diagnosis may not always be simple

But paying attention to your symptoms and speaking up about them can make it easier

Every woman has a different endometriosis diagnosis experience. You and your gynecologist may go through one or more of these steps:


  • Doctor’s appointment: Talk about all of your symptoms with your gynecologist. Remember to include the impact of your symptoms on day-to-day activities. If you're not sure how to start the conversation, begin by creating a guide that can help you explain your pain. If you're looking for a gynecologist, there are various places you can go to find the right one
  • Pelvic exam: After talking about your symptoms with your gynecologist, he or she could give you a pelvic exam to feel for any endometriosis lesions, such as cysts or scars
  • Ultrasound: Sometimes, ovarian cysts from endometriosis can be seen on an ultrasound—a type of imaging that uses sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body
  • Blood test: Your doctor may suggest a blood test to rule out other conditions
  • Treatment: By trying different treatment options, your doctor might be able to assess whether or not you have endometriosis
  • Laparoscopy (LAP-uh-RAH-skuh-pee): Your doctor may suggest a surgical procedure called a laparoscopy to actually look inside of your pelvis to see lesions. Surgery can help confirm the diagnosis of endometriosis. During the laparoscopy, your gynecologist may remove a small piece of tissue to study. This is called a biopsy

Click to watch the “Trust Your Gut. Find Your Voice.” video.

Trust your gut. Find your voice.

Watch the video and hear from women who at first questioned themselves and their pain, but were determined to receive an answer.

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Why can it take so long to be diagnosed with endometriosis?

Endometriosis can take a while to properly diagnose—averaging anywhere from up to 6 to 10 years, in fact. This happens for a few reasons, including:

  • Symptoms being dismissed as “just bad periods.” This is especially true of younger women
  • Some symptoms of endometriosis may be similar to symptoms of other diseases

About 1 out of 3 women consulted 3 to 4 physicians before receiving an endometriosis diagnosis
About 1 out of 3 women consulted 3 to 4 physicians before receiving an endometriosis diagnosis