In This Chapter
^ Knowing what to expect during the exam ^ Communicating with your doctor ^ Relying on diagnostic tests ^ Taking a close look at endometriosis ^ Classifying the stages of endometriosis
M^ow do you find out whether you have endometriosis? You may suspect it, think that your symptoms match those in every book and on every Internet support board, know that your mom and six sisters all have it — but how do you know for sure? When you really want a diagnosis, you need to talk with a doctor.
But how does a doctor know you have endometriosis? In many cases, this disease isn't easy to diagnose. In this chapter, we tell you about preparing for your first diagnostic appointment, what occurs at that exam, and how you can communicate most effectively. We also tell you what's in your doctor's bag of tricks to properly diagnose endometriosis, including lab tests, imaging techniques, and the granddaddy of diagnostic gold standards — a biopsy. After you have a diagnosis, we tell you how the doctor analyzes your condition and what the different stages mean so you can understand how severe your endometriosis is.
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