Gynecology Institute Offers : Integrative and Holistic Women’s Care
Dec 27, 2016 10:25PM
● By Carrie Jackson
Dr. Nicole Williams
Since 2013, the Gynecology Institute of Chicago has served as a place where women can find a holistic team of specialists to treat everything from common gynecological issues and check-ups to advanced surgical procedures. With three locations in Chicago, the Institute is a convenient, inviting and supportive environment promoting urogynecological health and overall wellness.
The Institute specializes in fibroids, urinary incontinence, vaginal rejuvenation, pain with sex, menopause and menorrhagia, or abnormal uterine bleeding. They offer holistic childbirth with the assistance of a doula, but also have advanced treatment techniques such as Novasure procedures for endometrial ablation and robotic surgery for minimally invasive incisions.
Dr. Nicole Williams, a board-certified gynecological surgeon, is the founder and medical director of the Institute, and believes there is more than one way to achieve complete health. Although she was primarily trained in Western medicine, Williams has an extensive research background and affirms that as a physician, it’s vital to be open to a variety of treatment options.
“At the Gynecology Institute of Chicago, we believe in whole body healing. Alternative methods such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and pelvic floor physical therapy, combined with contemporary medical technology, can complement each other to give you the best total result, treating conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic pain and hormone imbalance,” she says.
The team includes a certified nurse midwife, doula, certified nurse practitioner and wellness specialist, among others, that work together to ensure clients’ needs are met. “We have a physical therapist who is trained to help naturally heal conditions with the pelvic floor such as urinary incontinence, often allowing our clients to avoid surgery. Our acupuncturist helps treat pelvic pain, endometriosis, infertility and menopause, and promotes general health, stress relief and overall wellness,” says Williams. “Our massage therapist provides deep tissue acupressure and massage to relieve stress, back and pelvic pain.” On certain days, clients can walk in and get birth control refills, STD checks and UTI evaluations from the urgent care nurse practitioner without making an appointment.
“If a client has a diagnosis of endometriosis, instead of just suggesting surgery, we will follow up with acupuncture to address the pain, diet therapy to build immunity and herbal treatments to promote relaxation and wellness,” says Williams. The Institute uses a combination of medications, herbal supplements and therapeutic products to help promote a healthy lifestyle. They also offer products to decrease sexual pain, improve symptoms of PMS and treat hot flashes, as well as probiotics, lubricants and detoxing cleanses.
Williams spends time educating clients about how to achieve their goals. With longer appointments than most clinics or doctor offices, she’s able to discuss how habits and lifestyle affect patients’ gynecological health. “Most of my clients are already incredibly in tune with their bodies and what they need, and are looking for a more holistic approach. It’s a joy to be able to open their eyes to more interesting aspects of their health. We discuss diet, stress management and exercise habits. For my clients trying to get pregnant, I encourage getting plenty of calcium and folic acid through dietary changes like leafy green vegetables,” says Williams.
She also recommends weight-bearing activities such as walking or jogging to build strong bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and obesity, which have been linked to infertility. Other habits, such as maintaining proper oral hygiene, are less well known, but are equally as important. “I tell my clients to floss their teeth every day, which helps prevent periodontal disease. Clinical studies have shown that gum disease may increase your risk of preterm birth,” says Williams.
Williams wants her clients to take control of their own health and assists them on their journey to wellness, whether during puberty, childbirth or menopause. “We’re trying to rewrite what the doctor and client experience is. Instead of sick care, we’re looking at wellness care and preventative maintenance. I encourage my clients to ask as many questions as they need to until they feel satisfied with the answers and can walk away more educated about their choices,” notes Williams.
The Gynecology Institute of Chicago is located at 1147 S. Wabash Ave.; 900 N. Michigan Ave.; and 2335 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information, call 312-929-9191 or visit GynecologyInstitute.com. See ads on page 13 and in the Community Reosurce Guide.
Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. Connect with her at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.