Endometriosis occurs when the tissue inside the uterus grows in other areas of the abdomen. Most often, the fallopian tubes and ovaries are affected. Although endometriosis is most prevalent in women between the ages of 30 to 40, it can affect women of all ages, sometimes as young as 15. Because the symptoms of endometriosis are so similar to other medical conditions, it’s not uncommon for endometriosis to get misdiagnosed. In fact, 84.6 percent of adults have had contact with a healthcare professional within the last year. Doctors and other staff are often tired and overworked, but that’s no excuse for mistakes. If you’ve had trouble being misdiagnosed, here are a few tips that might help you find a better doctor.
See a Specialist
Diagnosing endometriosis can be challenging. Because it can mirror the symptoms of other diseases like irritable bowel syndrome or other gynecological conditions, it’s often misdiagnosed. While some gynecologists may suspect endometriosis and treat accordingly, others tend to simply write patients off, letting them suffer in silence. They might convince you that since the symptoms only present when you’re menstruating, it’s nothing to worry about. However, the painful symptoms of endometriosis often lead women feeling lost and alone.
Not having a concrete diagnosis can be emotionally draining. Regardless of medical training and credentials, if your doctor doesn’t believe you or dismisses your concerns, you need to seek a second opinion. Even the most prominent physicians can be wrong, and you don’t need to suffer in silence with endometriosis. Accurate diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis is an ongoing process, which warrants the care and attention of a specialist. It’s also important to not let friends, family or even your current physician change your mind. Since the symptoms of endometriosis can wax and wane, it’s easy for outsiders to think that your symptoms aren’t really that bad.
Don’t Give Up!
Since finding another physician isn’t always easy, you should enlist the help of your insurance company. They can direct you to a physician who specializes in endometriosis. Above all else, you need to follow your gut instinct. You know your body better than anyone else, so if you think there is something wrong, there probably is. Never let anyone convince you that it’s all in your head. Even the most intelligent, well-respected physicians make mistakes. Diagnosing endometriosis isn’t always easy, especially since the symptoms can mimic other medical conditions.
The best thing you can do if you feel a doctor has ignored your symptoms or misdiagnosed you is to seek out a second and, if necessary, third opinion. This may require going out of your insurance network, but you can also speak to your health coverage provider and see if there are other specialists available that operate in your network.
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