With a mission to raise awareness about endometriosis – a disease which affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide – the month of March is observed as “National Endometriosis Awareness Month” in the United States. Sponsored by the Endometriosis Association, this month-long campaign aims to bring together women, families and medical communities and make them aware about the symptoms of this painful hormone and immune-system disease. Endometriosis can have a devastating effect on the quality of life due to its very painful symptoms. Reports suggest that this hormonal disorder affects five million women in the United States and is most common among women in the age group of 30-40. If left untreated, this condition can lead to several complications like – infertility, uterine abnormalities and ovarian cancer. Treatment for endometriosis usually involves medications or surgery (to remove the endometriosis implants). Obstetrics and Gynecology medical billing and coding may involve several challenges. OB-GYN (obstetrician-gynecologist) who provides treatment for endometriosis need to ensure that the medical billing and coding for the same is done appropriately on the medical claims. Opting for billing services from a reliable and established medical billing company would be a practical solution.

The major goal behind the endometriosis month is to educate the general public and medical professionals about endometriosis; to find a cure and develop non-invasive diagnostic testing and to improve health screenings among young girls and women in public schools.

Regarded as one of the biggest causes of infertility in women, endometriosis occurs when the endometrium (the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus) grows outside your uterus. The condition most commonly affects your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. In some rare cases, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs as well. This “misplaced” tissue can cause severe pain, painful/heavy periods (dysmenorrhea), pain during intercourse/ bowel movements or urination, excessive bleeding and other symptoms. The pain usually occurs in the abdomen, lower back or pelvic areas.

The 2019 monthly campaign is a perfect platform to generate awareness about endometriosis and underline the need for early diagnosis of symptoms for effective treatment. Diagnosis of this condition may generally begin with a detailed physical examination wherein the physicians will study the symptoms of the patient, including the location of the pain and when it occurs. A wide range of diagnostic tests like pelvic exam, ultrasound, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and laparoscopy will be conducted to identify physical clues of endometriosis. These tests will help identify the location, extent and size of the endometrial implants in order to determine the best treatment options.

Treatment for endometriosis usually involves medication or surgery and this again will depend on the severity of symptoms and whether a woman is planning to become pregnant. Pain medications, supplemental hormone therapy and surgery to remove endometriosis implants while preserving the uterus and ovaries will be opted as the initial part of the treatment. Women with endometriosis can have trouble conceiving. In such cases, fertility treatment (supervised by a fertility specialist) ranging from stimulating ovaries to make more eggs to in vitro fertilization will be opted. The diagnosis, screening tests and other treatment procedures performed by obstetrician-gynecologists must be carefully documented using the correct medical billing codes. Medical billing and coding services offered by experienced providers ensure this so that accurate claims submission is guaranteed. ICD-10 codes used for diagnosing endometriosis include –

ICD – 10 Codes

  • N80 – Endometriosis
    • N80.0 – Endometriosis of uterus
    • N80.1 – Endometriosis of ovary
    • N80.2 – Endometriosis of fallopian tube
    • N80.3 – Endometriosis of pelvic peritoneum
    • N80.4 – Endometriosis of rectovaginal septum and vagina
    • N80.5 – Endometriosis of intestine
    • N80.6 – Endometriosis in cutaneous scar
    • N80.8 – Other endometriosis
    • N80.9 – Endometriosis, unspecified

Yellow is the official color for the event. The monthly observance of “Endometriosis Awareness” first began in the year 1993. The event was started by Mary Lou Ballweg (one among the eight women founders) who founded an Endometriosis Awareness Week during The Endometriosis Association’s roundtable in Milwaukee. Those eight founders soon grew to 22, and shortly after that, the week-long observance was extended to a month-long celebration – in order to recognize the pain and sufferings of women who suffer from endometriosis.

People throughout the country can participate in National Endometriosis Month celebration in different ways like – talking or engaging in conversation with others about endometriosis (whether that be family, friends, or coworkers), sharing facts about the disease through several social media platforms, participating in different events and sharing survivor stories (by publishing blogs, or through guest posting on others’ blogs or social media accounts).

Join the 2019 National Endometriosis Month celebrations in March! Educate women about the need for identifying this hidden and often unrecognized hormonal condition at an early age.