Endometriosis

Your Sexual Health Questions Answered

Beth, November 8th 2018

Dear Nisha, Thank you for existing and being a force for positive treatment experiences for women.  I referred a patient of mine to you after hearing her stories of being ignored by her physicians. I assured her that you would agree with me that her physical pain was not normal (as her doctor told her) and that you would take her seriously and be kind to her.  She’s now working with you and Lily and is so encouraged that she could feel comfortable in her body.  Thank you for making her feel safe and cared for. This helps in all areas of her life. Thank you again!

Sincerely,
Beth Mellema,
LMSW Centennial Park Counseling

Anonymous, October 19th 2018

I am so grateful for this place and for the services they provide. I was referred to Lily Dawson after struggling for years with pelvic pain during intercourse. Lily listened patiently and respectfully to my experiences and concerns. She offered many resources that, with consistent practice, not only decreased my pain but also increased my knowledge of my body.

She also provided podcasts, nutritional ideas, books, and connections to resources in the community. She is the definition of a holistic practice. During a difficult season of my life, Lily’s knowledge, delivered with patience and kindness, empowered me to own my story and my life.

Anonymous, October 17th 2018

I wish I could give Grand Rapids OB/GYN 10 stars!  I have suffered from incontinence and extreme pain during attempted intercourse since menopause about nine years ago.  My primary care physician and my regular gynecologist didn’t have much to offer in the way of treatment, so I suffered on, thinking there nothing could be done.  After doing some online research, I found Grand Rapids OB/GYN – Center for Women’s Sexual Health, specifically PA-C Nisha McKenzie and Physical Therapist Lily Dawson.   My initial visit started with an exam by Nisha, who was so understanding, asked me questions that no doctor had ever asked before and assured me that many women suffer the same as me.  I was given a hormone prescription and referred to Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Lily Dawson.

Lily has been an answer to prayer!  After my first visit it was all I could do to not burst into tears as I was flooded with a feeling of hope.  She has taught me how to care for my body and given me the tools to conquer pain and incontinence.  Throughout the process I never felt uncomfortable and was so freeing to be able to talk to her about my private parts and sexual issues openly and honestly.  I had never done that before with anyone.  Now I have all this knowledge that I want to share with my daughter and girlfriends.  If you are experiencing any type of sexual issue, trouble during menopause or incontinence, run, run, run to Grand Rapids OB/GYN – Nisha and Lily.  It’s been truly life-changing

Anonymous, October 2018

I wanted to share a success story with you because I don’t want any of you to wait as long as I did to get help. As a result of all my treatments I was put into early menopause, which brought along with it a ton of awful side effects. Hot flashes, night sweats, painful intercourse, one chin hair (lol) – you get the idea and many of you deal with the same things. I saw Dr after Dr but nothing helped with the painful intercourse problem and I finally got to the point where I just gave up. I stopped having sex because it hurt so bad, it was truly awful. I felt bad about this, I felt sad for my husband and I felt sad for me. I really gave up, for years…Many of my doctors were trying to be helpful and a few didn’t give up on me, pushing me to try to find a way though this. Tami Laninga Groothuis contacted me about a year ago and asked if she could nominate me for a free vaginal laser procedure (Diva) that might be helpful. I agreed but honestly I wasn’t very hopeful. About a month later I got a call from Amber who is a survivor and a nurse at the Center for Women’s Sexual Health. She let me know that they would like to provide me with 3 laser treatments to help with my menopausal issues.

I cried. I cried hard during that phone call- because the lack of intimacy in my life was just so sad. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s in a family that didn’t talk about sex or even how important intimacy was in your life. So, I came with a lot of baggage. In fact, it’s even hard for me to be telling all of you this today. I set up my first appointment with Nisha at the center and for the first time in my life I felt that I could be totally honest about my issues with sex, no sex, etc… in addition to dealing with damage to my vagina from chemo and menopause. This was 9 months ago. Yesterday I graduated from the program (Laser, meds and pelvic floor PT). It’s been a long and hard 9 months of both physical and emotional work on my part but thanks to the women at the Center, I am back to having no pain intercourse! Honestly, I never thought that could happen. The DiVa laser procedure was easy, I started using a suppository called Intrarosa (I’m TN, so no hormone issues for me, however this one is okay for BC survivors to use) and I did pelvic floor PT with Lily. In addition to helping with the vaginal changes from chemo and a lack of use (hahaha), she helped with my chronic back pain and she helped me get over some of my issues surrounding sex. Honestly, these ladies saved my life just as much as my onco team. This is getting long winded but I wanted you to know that if you are suffering from these issues, there is help out there. Thanks Tami Laninga Groothuis for getting the ball rolling, Thanks Amber for creating a way for us to get free treatments!

Rachel, September 2018

There are not enough words to express how thankful I am for every single person in this office and the services they provide. After 15+ years of pelvic pain/pain during intercourse, and many unsuccessful visits to other providers in the area, I was referred to Nisha. She was the first person to actually listen to me and take my pain seriously.

After seeing Nisha for about 8 months, she referred me to Lily for pelvic floor PT. Having done PT in the past, with little success, I was initially skeptical. From day one, Lily was wonderful. She treated me with respect, answered every question I had, and was never dismissive of any of my concerns. She was always there with a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on if I was having a rough day- I joked with a friend that sometimes it felt more like “real” therapy than physical therapy! :) She provided me with educational resources and so much helpful information- podcasts, books, articles, etc. My journey is not yet over, but for the first time I feel like I’m not alone and that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel :)

Krista, September 2018

At 52 years of age, I had been struggling with menopause for several months. I was having horrible hot flashes as well as not being able to have orgasms. This was devastating. I had no interest in sex and when I did, it wasn’t that great. I was referred to Nisha, by a good friend of mine. I’m so glad I made that appointment! I went to see Nisha, a year ago, figuring I had nothing to lose. Nisha listened to my problems, asked me some questions, and discussed the options available for me. Nisha has been so kind, caring and attentive. I appreciated her knowledge and openness when discussing female health.

After starting hormone therapy, the hot flashes stopped and after a few months, sex started getting better and better. Now, I am back to having great sex with multiple orgasms and feeling like myself again.  I am so happy I made that appointment with Nisha. It changed my life!

Current Patient, May 2018

I went into my physical therapy not knowing what to expect.  From the very first day, Lily made me feel comfortable and optimistic that we could work together to address the issues that have plagued me for years. She was focused on me and catered my therapy plan around my whole body and life!   After going through the program, I have never felt better.  I left with the tools and know how to continue my therapy on my own with confidence.  For those of you who are nervous, scared, or too embarrassed… Just do it.

Julie, January 2018

The scope of the aftermath of treatment for Breast Cancer took me by surprise.  It has affected every area of life and did not leave sexuality untouched (forgive the awful pun). Lily’s approach to pelvic floor is gentle, patient, encouraging. She manages to deal with private matters gracefully. We are so very vulnerable in these moments, and she acknowledges sense of fragileness while moving forward. Throughout our therapy sessions she made accommodations for my particular physical challenges and celebrated achievements. She’s trustworthy and fun. She is fabulous.

At my most vulnerable, she was able to work with grace and gentleness to reacquaint my body with my mind. She worked well to make sure the bits that were already broken (arthritic knees and the like) did not get worse, and the pelvic floor therapy exercises got results immediately. She is gifted at making a girl feel more in control of things that have been righteously ignored. Any hesitations should be set aside. Do it.