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Women with endometriosis are frequently misdiagnosed

Many Pennsylvania women who suffer from endometriosis do not know that they have the disease. Because endometriosis is so difficult to diagnose, the disease may be confused with other conditions, and diagnosis is often delayed. Medical researchers have found that the best method to confirm an endometriosis diagnosis is surgery.

Endometriosis is a female reproductive system disease that affects the way that the endometrium grow in a woman's body. Endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus, is supposed to grow on the inside of the uterus. In patients that have endometriosis, it begins to grow on the outside of the uterus. Researchers do not know what causes endometriosis, but some possible causes are abnormal hormone levels, immune system problems and exposure to toxins in the womb.

Doctors sometimes try to avoid surgery in patients with endometriosis, though laparoscopy is believed to be the only viable method for diagnosing the disease. Before laparoscopy is performed, a doctor may diagnose endometriosis by conducting a physical exam or using imaging like ultrasound and MRI. Some of the symptoms of endometriosis are unusually painful menstrual cramps, pain during urination, pain during sex and infertility. Patients with endometriosis may also experience bleeding between periods, fatigue, painful bowel movements and pain in the lower abdomen.

Though a failure to diagnose endometriosis is common, some misdiagnoses of the disease could be considered medical negligence. A doctor that fails to diagnose a patient with endometriosis could be held financially responsible for the patient's worsening condition and the additional medical expenses that had to be incurred through a successful medical malpractice lawsuit filed with the assistance of counsel.

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