Endometriosis UK
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MRI results - very confused


This is my first post on here. My name's Jo, I'm 24 and live in Birmingham. I was diagnosed with endometriosis with a laparoscopy at the age of 19. I take the pill to control it, however, I've been having severe pain when having a period, and it feels as though knives are stabbing my back passage when I go to the toilet when I'm on my period.

Due to this pain, I was sent for a pelvis MRI. The GP accessed it for me today, and printed it off for me. I'm confused because it says there is no endometriosis identified on the scan, yet it was found when I had my lap? Do MRI's always detect endo? Also, it says "there is small bowel closely applied to the right ovary, although this is not obviously adherent" - this is also confusing me, because how can it be applied without being adhered?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

Jo x

3 Replies

Hi Jo & welcome! :-) It definitely is confusing! MRI's can detect endo lesions but usually only when endo is deep / invasive, as superficial disease is "flat" and wouldn't normally show on a scan. It can sometimes depend on whether they used contrast dye during the MRI too, and also on the skill of the person reading the scans. The other statement about the adherent thing doesn't make a lot of sense really, seems like a contradiction. I would guess maybe adhesions could be moving things or have done previously, but it's unclear from what they see?

So although an MRI can sometimes give a good picture of what is going on, if it doesn't show endo all that means is the endo can't be seen on the MRI, not that it isn't there - only a lap can show the true extent of the disease.

Are you under the care of an endo specialist, and do you know what was done when you had your lap, was it just diagnostic or did they treat the endo either by burning or excision?


I had a lap after a clear (except for a cyst) MRI and I had a lot of endo excised. I also had clear ultrasounds - although the pattern of repeated U/S scans over some years showed my left ovary moving far left to my pelvic wall... When operated on it was attached via adhesions to the pelvic wall. The MRI I had was done without contrast.

I wonder if your scan report means your small bowel is touching or resting close to your ovary (when it should not normally), but that they cannot see any adhesions causing an actual attachment?

Another laparoscopy appears warranted as that's the only way they can truly see everything.


Hi Jo - as it is 5 years since your lap it is most likely it was done in general gynaecology and unfortunately endo affecting the bowel can often be missed because they are obstetricians who usually concentrate on checking the reproductive organs. However, the area between the back on the uterus and bowel is a very common site for endo. A general MRI definitely can't rule it out. I recommend you request to a specialist centre - click on my name and look at my post on how to get a referral.


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