COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Dr. Charis Chambers is a board certified Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN) and a fellowship trained Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecologists. She is one of only three fellowship trained pediatric and adolescent gynecologists in the entire state of Georgia.
“Periods can start as early as the age of nine, that falls into the pediatric category. So pediatric often means under the age of 21,” said Dr. Chambers. “So there’s girls who fall into the pediatric category that will have gynecological issues and that’s kind of where I come into the picture.”
Dr. Chambers says being able to provide care for this specific group can help take away some of the fears of seeking gynecological care.
“So when you have someone who is designated for this group I think it kind of dismisses some of those fears essentially,” said Dr. Chambers. “And my practice is truly catered to the adolescent and pediatric population. And so ya know, I don’t do things like invasive exams, I definitely explain things quite a bite more, I incorporate the parent or guardian in the discussion conservative approaches because we’re trying to preserve fertility and we’re trying to educate and advocate at the same time.”
Part of educating and advocating is creating conversations about periods, what they look like and things girls should look for.
“There are women who are in their late 30’s who still don’t know exactly what a period is or what’s normal or abnormal when it comes to their cycle,” said Dr. Chambers. “My goal is to highlight the abnormalities early. We know that a lot of the disorders that adult women deal with present as early as the age of 8 or 9 and the earlier we make the diagnoses the better these outcomes are. So it’s hugely important that even if your child doesn’t have a period issue necessarily per say that they know what their periods should look like and when to seek help.”
Being only one of three pediatric and adolescent gynecologists in the entire state, Dr. Chambers has patients who drive up to two hours away or over from Phenix City, Ala. to come see her.
Creating conversations about periods doesn’t just stop in Dr. Chambers’ office. She also runs an Instagram page called “theperioddoctor” that educates women on reproductive health and periods. Dr. Chambers said it’s another avenue that girls, parents, or anyone can find answers and even ask questions.
“When we talk about things like this we can normalize the conversation so that people know this is normal, this is abnormal and this is when I need medical evaluation,” said Dr. Chambers. “Honestly I don’t understand why we don’t talk about periods more.”