Live Well: August 2017

Posted on September 05, 2017

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Dr. Holly L. Thacker shares advances and innovations in women's health.

Live Well: August 2017 -- An informed woman is a strong woman. Understanding the latest innovations and options for treating health problems can improve lifestyle, longevity and outlook on life. Research is uncovering new ways to treat common problems women face, from a leaky bladder to depression during pregnancy. We talked to three Ohio hospital systems about innovations in women’s health that are providing more treatment options and better outcomes.

The Cleveland Clinic’s CustomFit Physicals are tailored to women, with the goal of pinpointing common problems such as thyroid and bladder disorders, osteoporosis, cancer risk, cardiovascular problems and diabetes. “We focus on the female and her life cycle,” says Dr. Holly Thacker, director of the Clinic’s Center for Specialized Women’s Health.

Rather than scheduling multiple screenings at different times, a dedicated nurse creates a custom doctor’s visit at the Center for Specialized Women’s Health. “It takes all of the hassle away,” Thacker says. “The focus is interdisciplinary and on the woman and her needs.”

Thacker also addresses common concerns that women face, such as urinary incontinence, with a device that uses stimulation and biofeedback therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Called InTone or Apex treatment, it’s the first nonsurgical, drug-free treatment for women with urinary incontinence and is FDA approved. The device sends a calming signal to the muscle that decreases spasms and retrains muscles.

Patients go through an in-office session then use the device at home five minutes daily. After continence is achieved, the device can be used once a week. Results may take three to six months, but Thacker has also seen patients improve in a week or two. “There are no side effects and it’s easy to use,” she says.

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