Talking to your doctor

It is beneficial to become as knowledgeable as possible about endometriosis so that you can partner with your physician to make the best treatment decisions possible. This is a philosophy of treatment that can be applied to all aspects of your health, not just endometriosis.

To assist you in selecting a physician here is a list of some questions you might wish to ask a potential physician. These questions will allow you to become familiar with the physician and the treatment you may receive. It is also a good idea to ask a companion to accompany you since it is often difficult for one person to remember everything said during an office visit.

Feel free to download and print the questions below and bring them with you to your next appointment.

Choosing a treatment - questions you should ask

  • How many women have you treated for endometriosis?
  • How many patients are you currently treating for endometriosis?
  • What treatment method do you recommend?
  • How do you measure the outcome of your treatment, and for how long do you gather that information?
  • If the recommended treatment is unsuccessful, what do you recommend as a subsequent course of treatment?
  • Does the treatment approach temporarily mask symptoms or actually remove disease?

Since the only cure for endometriosis is surgical excision, in addition to asking the above questions you may wish to ask the following questions if you are selecting a physician to perform surgery on you:

  • Can you describe the surgical method that you use and why you selected this method over the others currently available?
  • Surgical options include excision, laser vaporization, and electrocoagulation. How many of these procedures have you performed? Experience is one of the best predictors of success, so select a physician who has performed several hundred procedures.
  • Will this procedure be done via a laparoscope or as a laparotomy?
  • Do you remove all of the endometriosis?
  • What is your approach if you locate endometriosis on areas such as the bladder or bowel? Typically, endometriosis located in these areas requires additional surgical experience.
  • Will the tissues you remove be sent to pathology for final identification? Unless a pathologist microscopically examines the tissues removed, it is difficult to know for certain if endometriosis is present.
  • Will your treatment be provided at a hospital or clinic where the staff is familiar with the special needs of women with endometriosis?
  • What is your treatment philosophy regarding hysterectomy and endometriosis treatment?
  • Have you collected data while treating women with endometriosis and published the results of your work? If so, may I have a list of the article(s)?