The Detailed Endometriosis Ultrasound is called a Deep Infiltrative Endometriosis Scan.
Endometriosis is a common medical condition that is said to affect about 10% of woman.
It is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of your uterus (endometrium) grows in other areas including the ovaries, muscle of the uterus (adenomyosis), or in other parts of your pelvis.
The endometrium is the layer of tissue that grows and is shed each month during your menstrual cycle.
When the abnormal endometrial tissue (the growth which has grown outside of your uterus lining) breaks down, it subsequently causes chocolate cysts (endometriomas), heavy and painful bleeding, chronic pain and possibly infertility.
There are 2 types of endometriosis:
- Superficial lesions
- Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis
The majority of cases involve superficial lesions on the lining of your pelvic tissues or within ovaries (ovarian endometriomas) and if these do not cause you any symptoms, you do not require any treatment, although we do recommend monitoring the condition with a pelvic ultrasound.
However, Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis is when the endometriotic lesions infiltrate your bowel, bladder, ureter, cervix and vaginal tissue, causing adhesions and obstruction in the pelvis, which may or may not cause you symptoms.
A Pelvic Ultrasound may identify lesions/cysts, however to detect severe deeply infiltrating endometriosis, we recommend a Deep (Detailed) Infiltrative Endometriosis Scan.
Who should have a Deep Infiltrative Endometriosis Scan?
- Anyone who is experiencing symptoms suggestive of severe endometriosis
- Pre-operatively to help plan prior to a laparoscopy
- Those monitoring their known severe endometriosis, and possibly under medication for this
- Those experiencing unexplained infertility or recurrent failures
Common Endometriosis Symptoms
- Significant and recurring period pain (where you need painkillers to manage the pain)
- Period pain that often worsens over time
- Abnormal bowel or urinary symptoms related to the period
- Pre-menstrual or mid-cycle spotting
- Occasionally a symptom of endometriosis can be painful intercourse
- Surprisingly some women can have minimal symptoms
What to Expect?
Prior to a Deep Infiltrative Endometriosis Scan, you will be asked to prepare your bowels with a mild laxative (Dulcolax fluid solution or tablet) which is taken the evening before your examination. You will also be asked to perform a simple rectal enema consisting of 133 ml of Fleet enema approximately 1 hour prior to the examination. This preparation is required to eliminate any faecal residues and gases that may be present immediately prior the scan.
This medication can be bought over the counter, at a cost of less than $10.
If there are endometriotic nodules identified in your vagina, rectum or adjacent structures in the cervix, an ultrasound gel may be placed in your vagina (GEL Sonovaginography) and this will help us to define and further assess any vaginal, uterosacral or recto-vaginal nodules.
Each ultrasound examination is performed and documented in real time by one of our COGU qualified Subspecialists in Gynaecological Imaging.
The results of the ultrasound will be discussed with you whilst being scanned by the Specialist Doctor, and a detailed ultrasound report will be provided to your doctor.
In conjunction with your medical history, we may offer suggestions of other possible issues that may be causing you your symptoms.
Treatments for Endometriosis
Treatment may include hormonal preparations or surgical removal of the endometriotic nodules. Transvaginal ultrasound plays an important role in assessing your current condition prior to any surgical treatment. This provides your specialist with complex pre-surgical planning, if necessary.
How do I get started?
The best place to start is to ask your doctor or specialist for a referral for a Deep Infiltrative Endometriosis Scan with Sydney Ultrasound for Women. With your referral we will be able to book your appointment, and you and your referrer will receive an accurate report detailing any relevant pelvic findings you may have.