How common is endometriosis and how is it diagnosed?

Diagnosing endometriosis may not be straightforward and there is no specific blood test that can be done. Some forms of endometriosis such as endometriotic cysts on the ovaries (known as endometriomas or “chocolate” cysts) can be identified using ultrasound scan and with other imaging tests like MRI. However, small deposits in the pelvis will not be detectable using these tests. Keyhole surgery (laparoscopy) is the gold-standard method for diagnosing endometriosis as it allows direct visualisation of the pelvic cavity.

Because there is no simple test for diagnosing the condition, it is difficult to know for certain how common endometriosis is. Estimates suggest that it may affect up to 10% of women.