My girlfriend, who is 44 and never had kids, has very severe pain and cramps during her period. Her gynaecologist just gives her pain killers. What tests should she do to figure out if she has endometriosis?
The most common ways to diagnose endometriosis are as follows:
- Palpation/physical exam
- Imaging test (MRI, Ultrasound)
Laparoscopy, where the doctor makes a small incision to insert a camera tube into the pelvic area for a visual examination, is the only definitive way to diagnose endometriosis. In each case, the doctor is looking for cysts or scars outside the uterus, due to tissue (endometrium) growing where it shouldn't.
If you suspect that she has this, I would suggest talking to her doctor and asking specifically about exams to rule it out, especially given her age and pain during menstruation. (I would also suggest it if the pain is new. If she has had painful menstruation all her life, it's less likely but still can't be ruled out.)