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Diagnosis of Endometriosis

Diagnosis of Endometriosis

At Fusion healthcare, we offer ultrasound scans with the aim of assessing and aiding the diagnosis of endometriosis. Endometriosis, a condition affecting millions of women worldwide, is often shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding. Despite its prevalence, there’s still a significant lack of awareness and understanding surrounding this chronic illness. But with advancements in medical technology, particularly ultrasound imaging, we’re gaining a clearer picture of endometriosis and its impact on women’s health. 

What is endometriosis? 

Understanding endometriosis is key to knowing what this condition entails. Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. This tissue can be found on organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the outer surface of the uterus, as well as in other areas within the pelvis and abdomen. As a result, this may result in a range of associated symptoms. 

Symptoms of endometriosis include: 

  • Pelvic pain 
  • Painful periods 
  • Infertility 
  • Gastrointestinal issues 
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse 

Diagnosing endometriosis can often be challenging for a number of reasons. The associated symptoms can often overlap with those of other conditions, this can lead to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.  

The gold standard for an endometriosis diagnosis is laparoscopic surgery, however this is an invasive procedure and not without risks. 

Ultrasound in detecting endometriosis 

Ultrasound is a safe and non-invasive imaging technique which utilises sound waves to create pictures of internal organs. Ultrasound has become has become increasingly important in the diagnosis of endometriosis. A combination of tests are often required for a definitive diagnosis of endometriosis and ultrasound can provide valuable insights that aid in the diagnosis process. Ultrasound is considered accurate in detecting moderate or severe pelvic endometriosis and is fundamental in assessing the reproductive organs and providing valuable information to your healthcare provider.  

Types of ultrasound scan 

Diagnostic Ultrasound scans are considered valuable in assessing the pelvis and reproductive organs. The lack of ionising radiation makes it favourable in assessing such sensitive organs.  

There are different ultrasound scans which, coupled together, provide comprehensive information on the health of the reproductive organ: 

  • Pelvic ultrasound: A pelvic ultrasound scan is done externally with the probe pressed over the abdomen. It is usually done first while the patient’s bladder is full to get the best look at the organs. Pelvic ultrasound is not considered to be as sensitive as Transvaginal ultrasound. 
  • Transvaginal ultrasound: Transvaginal ultrasounds are the most common scan used in evaluating endometriosis and is often coupled with a pelvic ultrasound scan. This scan involves the insertion of the ned of a slender ultrasound probe into the vagina, this allows for a close up look at the pelvic organs. The transvaginal scan detects the presence of endometriomas (Cysts filled with endometrial tissue) and other abnormalities which may not be clearly visualised with the pelvic scan. 
  • Colour doppler ultrasound: This is a feature that is often used in assessing blood flow. Sonographers can implement colour doppler during an of the scans listed above. The use of colour doppler allows for the assessment of blood flow in the pelvic region. 


What to expect during the procedure 

Two scans are usually performed for a thorough evaluation of the pelvic region and organs: A pelvic ultrasound scan and a transvaginal ultrasound scan. Therefore, there is minimal preparation that must be taken to ensure the best quality images. 

In preparation for the scan you may be asked to drink a lot of water so that your bladder is full for the first scan, this allows clinicians to have a better look at the organs.  

You may also be asked to change into a gown for easier access. 

During the scan: 

  • Preparation: These scans are performed with the patient lying down. The transabdominal scan of the pelvis (over the tummy) is performed first, with a gel applied over the abdomen. The transvaginal scan is performed second. Before the transvaginal scan is performed patients are told to use the toilet so the scan is performed on an empty bladder. For the TV scan, a slender probe is inserted into the vagina to give a clearer look at the anatomy. 
  • Ultrasound scanning: The transducer probe emits high frequency sound waves which bounce of structures and create real time images on the monitor.  
  • Image interpretation: Images taken during the scan are interpreted by sonographers or doctors to evaluates any findings. The information attained is crucial in diagnosis and deciding next steps. 

The entire procedure is usually painless; however, some find the transvaginal ultrasound scan to cause some discomfort. The entire process usually takes around 30 minutes to complete. 


To conclude, ultrasound scans are valuable in endometriosis detection and management. A scan may be fundamental in allowing you to reach a diagnosis and aid you in effective management of the condition. While there is no cure for endometriosis, treatment may be given to relieve pain, remove endometriosis tissue, improve fertility, reduce the chance of the condition returning. Ultrasound scans can help your healthcare provider plan next steps in the management of your endometriosis.  

To book or scan, or if you have any further enquiries, please do contact us.