Questions to ask your doctor about endometriosis

Everyone’s experience of endo is different; what works for some may not work as well for others. What’s important is to get the help that’s right for your body and your life.

Whether you suspect that you have endometriosis and you’re seeking a diagnosis or you already have a diagnosis and are seeking care, you likely have lots of questions. Here are some important questions to ask yourself, your primary care practitioner, or your potential surgeon.

Please keep in mind that there may be other questions you’ll want to ask that aren’t covered here and apply to your specific situation. We encourage you to prepare ahead of time for your appointment and write down any questions or information you may need to recall.

Remember that when seeking a doctor to treat your endometriosis, it is important that you are comfortable with them and feel safe in their care. If you do not feel that your doctor is listening to you or that you can speak openly and honestly about your symptoms, treatment options and goals, or quality of life, we encourage you to seek a second opinion, if possible. Ideally, you should always feel validated, heard, and supported during your appointments.

Top view red stethoscope on yellow background. For check heart or health check up concept
Two female doctors, one African, one Caucasian, discussing patient care generated by artificial intelligence

Questions to ask yourself 

  • Why do I believe I have endometriosis, and how best can I convey this to my doctor?
  • Recording pain or other symptoms over a few months, including bouts of fatigue, pain or discomfort with bowel movements, urination, and/or intercourse, as well as any changes in diet and sleep habits.
  • Providing medical history, ultrasound and surgical reports, list of current prescriptions.
  • Providing reports from fertility clinic. 

What do I want out of this meeting with my doctor? 

  • A referral to a surgeon with expertise in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery?
  • To discuss fertility options?
  • To request another course of treatment because the current one is not working?

Questions to ask your primary care provider or gynecologist

  • What are the short-term and long-term options available to me for pain or symptom management?
  • Keep in mind that some medical management options are prescribed by primary care providers and others are more typically prescribed by gynecologists.
  • I have heard about [treatment option here], what are your thoughts on whether it may be helpful, and what are the pros and cons of this treatment option? 
  • Keep in mind some of the treatment options may be better explained by a gynecologist or allied healthcare professional.
  • Do you have any information on helpful complementary care options?
  • Do you have any information or websites about endometriosis you can share with me??
  • Can you refer me to a gynecologist with expertise in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery?
  • Gynecologists who perform excision surgery for endometriosis are trained in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. Note that not all gynecologists have this training. If you have a specific doctor in mind you can request the referral be sent there. 

Questions for gynecologists — surgery

  • What are the benefits and risks of laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis and how likely are they to occur? 
    What is your surgical approach to pre-surgical planning and removing endometriosis?
  • What would happen if you found endometriosis during surgery that could not be removed?
  • Will surgery harm my fertility?
  • How long would recovery take? What are my options for post-op pain management?
  • If I do not want surgery right now, what other options do I have to help manage my endometriosis symptoms? Can I change my mind and have surgery later if other options don’t work?
  • What are the outcomes in your patients who have had surgery? Was pain and/or other symptoms reduced or eliminated? If fertility was an issue, was fertility improved?
  • What happens if I don’t get symptom relief with surgery? Will you continue to see me?