PMC observing National Endometriosis Awareness Month

Melinda Goodson

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is observing National Endometriosis Awareness Month during March.


Endometriosis occurs when the tissue lining the uterus grows outside of the uterus on other areas in the body. In the United States, there are an estimated 6.5 million women with endometriosis and others who have the condition but are unaware due to having no symptoms.


“Endometriosis occurs from the abnormal attachment of endometrial glands outside of the uterus, which can result in chronic inflammation of the surrounding area from the irritation of its irregular placement,” said PMC Obstetrician/Gynecologist Tiffany Thompson, DO. “One of the most challenging gynecologic conditions a woman may encounter within her life is endometriosis. It occurs in approximately 6-10 percent of women, and the disorder can be a leading source of chronic pelvic pain and infertility.”


The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often associated with a woman’s menstrual period and although many women experience cramping during their menstrual period, women with endometriosis typically describe menstrual pain that’s far worse than usual according to Mayo Clinic.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (OWH) states that other symptoms include bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods, infertility and/or stomach (digestive) problems.


“Those individuals with endometriosis may first notice increased pain with menstrual cycles or discomfort within the pelvis,” added Dr. Thompson.


According to the OWH women are more likely to get endometriosis if they have never had children, their menstrual periods last more than seven days, they have short menstrual cycles that are 27 days or fewer, a family member has endometriosis such as their mother, aunt and/or sister or they have a health problem that blocks the normal flow of menstrual blood from their body during their menstrual period.


Although there is no cure for endometriosis, if a woman is experiencing symptoms she should speak with her physician about treatment options to help manage these symptoms and any other issues related to the condition.


“Patients require an examination with a gynecologist for appropriate diagnosis,” Dr. Thompson said. “Depending on age and clinical status, there are many medical and surgical options available to help improve the quality of life for a woman with endometriosis.”


For more information or to schedule a physician appointment, call 606-218-2207.


Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, Mayo Clinic