January 2019: The Girlfriend’s Guide to an Integrative Lifestyle

Girlfriend's Guide to integrative health event 2019

Free January Event: The Girlfriend’s Guide to an Integrative Lifestyle

Girlfriend, are you ready for a change?

What IS an integrative lifestyle anyway?  Why is it so vital to weight loss and optimal health?

Join us for a casual, FREE Q & A interview with Dr. Couri & our team of providers!  Couri Center’s Registered Dietitian, Leslie Rusch-Bayer, and our Couri Center providers for an open discussion on how food sensitivities, hormones & our personalized lifestyle programs have helped women lose weight, reduce medications, & restore health!  We’ll give you all the tools you need to achieve your wellness goals! From in-depth labs to personalized nutrition & fitness, we’ll guide you to feeling great again!

Invite your girlfriends.  RSVP today!

 

The Magic Behind the Couri Center By Dr. Michele Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM

Recently, the Couri Center was awarded for the 3rd consecutive year, Peoria’s Best of the Best Award for Obstetrics and Gynecology. We were genuinely honored and humbled to accept this award. Even though the plaque states, Dr. Michele Couri, as the recipient, I must say that it is truly my staff and our patients that rightfully deserve this award. First, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to every single patient who took the time to vote for us. Your generosity and caring hearts are what makes it a privilege to care for and serve you. You have likely heard me say on numerous occasions that we have the very best patients in the world. For that, I am and forever will be grateful. Next, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank each and every one of our staff for their selfless dedication to enriching and empowering the lives of our patients every day.

Co-physician: Alexandra Mathern, MD
Physician Assistants: Hope Placher, Renee Alwan-Percell, Deb Collins
Certified Nurse Practitioner, Doctorate of Nursing: Dana Humes Goff
Licensed Dietician/Exercise Physiologist: Leslie Rusch-Bayer
Nursing Staff: Theresa Bowles, Kristine Cox, Geni Randle, Gail Williams, Christine Gorman, Karen Kelley, Heather Dentino
MOAs: Lisa Dearing, Janet Rocke
Sonographer: Amber Katz
Lead Biller/Insurance Specialist: Rhonda Britton
Surgery Scheduler/Referral Coordinator: Alyce Couri
Front Office Personnel: Kelly Beeney, Deb Seyller, Donna Rademaker, Jacquelyn Collier, Susan Spears, Susan Korfias, Carina Schilling
Pellet Coordinator: Becky Descamps
Marketing Director: Cheryl Neumann
Phlebotomists/Lab Personnel: Carmen Reese, Betty Quotskyva
Esthetician: Leslie Ann Gilstrap
These ladies are undeniably some of the most talented women in their specialty.

Lastly, for those that are not aware of the history of the Couri Center, I would like to briefly share its story. First of all, our building that houses our office sits on the land that I and my five siblings grew up on as children. That land used to be our baseball diamond, our field for go-karting and snowmobiling, and a gateway to the mystical woods that used to exist at the north end of the property that made many a magical adventure for our imaginative little minds. You can say that the Couri Center, which came into existence in 2001, has been in my blood for as long as I can remember.

The Couri Center building recently underwent an expansion, adding an additional 3,500 square feet of space, providing more exam rooms, procedure rooms, and offices. That expansion was masterfully carried out by my brother Bob and his team of craftsmen at RJ Unes Construction. My father, John Unes, was a brilliant and impeccable carpenter and cabinet maker, and he, along with my brother, was instrumental in the construction of the original space in 2001. My dad took great pride in his work, never settling for mediocrity, never performing less than his potential, and never sacrificing quality as his customers always deserved the best. He passed those traits on to me and my siblings, and for that, I am beyond blessed. That mantra has served me well so far in my career of eighteen years.

Collectively, the contributions of my dad, my brother, my amazing staff, and most importantly, the trust and inspiration of our patients have made and continue to make my time at 6708 N. Knoxville as special as it was growing up. Thank you, and God bless.

To Your Health,

Dr. Couri

Wine & Wellness Intimate Health Event November 2019

Join us for a casual, FREE Q & A on revolutionary, FDA-cleared treatments for women’s intimate health:

Are these symptoms getting in the way of your intimacy?

  • vaginal dryness, burning, itching
  • painful intercourse
  • urinary symptoms/incontinence

Sit back & enjoy chocolate and a sip of wine as Dr. Michele Couri hosts a panel of women-JUST LIKE YOU-to share how MonaLisa Touch™ & Emsella have changed their lives!

RSVP as seating is limited

Let’s Talk About HPV By Alexandra Mathern, MD

If you have seen a gynecologist since 2011, you likely have been tested for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) at the time of your pap smear. The virus was first discovered in 1956, but it was not until 1986 that two specific subtypes of the virus were linked to cervical cancer. Currently, there are over 200 types of HPV. HPV 16 and 18 account for 60-75% of all cervical cancer cases worldwide. There are about 12 other types that account for the remainder of cervical cancer cases. These cervical cancer-causing HPV types are what are included routinely in pap smear collections in those 30 years old or older.

Approximately 80% of sexually active individuals will contract HPV during their lifetime. Just like any other virus that can infect the human body, the body has the ability to fight off the infection. Unlike other viruses, however, HPV infection is generally symptom-free. On average, it takes about 8-12 months for a healthy individual with a functioning immune system is to clear an HPV infection. Those less than 30 years old tend to be able to fight the infection off more quickly and completely. Therefore, a pap smear collected between 21 and 29 years old is not routinely run for HPV unless the pap smear is found to be abnormal. Because of the ability of most individuals to clear an HPV infection, treating each positive HPV result may result in overtreatment; however, the frequency of testing may be increased.

Cervical cancer screening is one of the most effective screening tests available across medical specialties in detecting and treating precancerous changes. The addition of HPV screening has further advanced the screening to the point that HPV testing/screening alone may be sufficient. In 2014-2015 HPV testing alone became an option approved by the FDA but is not yet routinely used. Due to this strong link between HPV and cervical cancer, an HPV vaccine has been developed against the HPV types most strongly associated with the development of cervical cancer. In the US, the vaccine is currently available for males and females between the ages of 9-26 years old regardless if already infected by HPV. The vaccine is so effective that in Australia (where there is a high rate of vaccination), high-grade precancerous pap smear results were significantly decreased in only three years of implementing the vaccination.

Next time you find yourself at the Gynecologist’s office for your pap smear, rest assured that that uncomfortable experience is quite possibly the most effective testing offered today as screening to prevent cancer.

Dr. Mathern

 

 

References:
Palefsky, J., UpToDate: Human Papilloma Infections: Epidemiology and Disease Associations. Updated June 2018. Literature review Sept 2019.
Cervical Cancer Screening. ACOG Practice Bulletin #168. October 2016.
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cervical Cancer. Last Reviewed Jan 2019.

Feminine Wellness Quiz

TAKE THE FEMININE WELLNESS QUIZ:

After menopause, when estrogen levels decline, many women experience changes that can really affect their quality of life.  Symptoms include:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching

MONALISA TOUCH™ TREATS THESE COMMON FEMALE SYMPTOMS WITHOUT HORMONES OR SURGERY!

MonaLisa Touch™ addresses these problems without hormones or surgery. Dr. Michele Couri is thrilled to be the first physician in the greater Peoria region to offer this state of the art technology here at the Couri Center. It is ideal for menopausal patients, post-menopausal patients, and breast cancer survivors who are often unable to receive conventional treatments for these debilitating symptoms.

HOW IT WORKS:

MonaLisa Touch™ delivers gentle laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue that stimulates a healing response by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 18 weeks.

  • Painless
  • In-office procedure
  • Requires no anesthesia
  • No downtime
  • Minimal side effects
  • Each treatment is <5 minutes
  • FDA-cleared for gynecologic use
  • Thousands of women have been treated worldwide since 2012

If you struggle with these common symptoms, we can help. Schedule your consultation today to see if Monalisa Touch Treatment is right for you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Issue

Even with the passage of time, many women still retain their youthful energy and enthusiasm, but post-menopausal changes can affect a woman’s quality of life in unexpected ways. Now, there is a gentle laser therapy that can help millions of women who are silently suffering.

What is the MonaLisa Touch™?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is a gentle laser therapy that delivers controlled energy to the vaginal wall tissue. It restores vaginal health by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. The MonaLisa Touch™ was first available outside the US where thousands of patients have been treated worldwide.

Are there clinical trials on the MonaLisa Touch™?

Dr. Mickey Karram, Director of Fellowship Program on Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, and Dr. Eric Sokol, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Stanford University Medical Center has completed a multisite study.

The trial assessed the use of CO2 fractional laser therapy on 30 women with vaginal health issues due to natural or induced menopause.   All patients in the trial received MonaLisa Touch™ laser therapy. Results were:

  • Overwhelmingly positive and immediate
  • Highly statistically significant improvement in symptoms after the first treatment
  • Escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment
  • *Women in the study either experienced natural menopause or induced menopause as the result of hysterectomy or drug-induced suppression of ovarian function (chemotherapy, radiations, and anticancer drugs such as Tamoxifen).

Dr. Stefano Salvatore*, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vita- Salute San Raffaele University completed a study to assess the feasibility of fractional C02 laser in the treatment of 50 women suffering changes in their gynecologic health.

84% showed significant improvement in their physical and mental quality of life scores over baseline and were satisfied with the treatment.
In addition to the multisite study, there are currently eight published studies with six ongoing studies.

Where can I have this done?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is an in-office procedure that Dr. Michele Couri can perform right here at the Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health, in Peoria, IL. Dr. Couri is the first physician in Central Illinois to offer this treatment.

Does the procedure hurt?

The procedure is virtually painless and requires no anesthesia. Some patients may experience some discomfort when the probe inserted the first time, but the actual treatment is not painful. Many patients report that it feels like a gentle vibration.

How long does MonaLisa Touch™ take?

Patients receive three treatments, spaced six weeks apart, which each take less than five minutes to perform.

For which patients is this treatment appropriate?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is appropriate for any female suffering from issues from a decline in estrogen, as well as those who are experiencing symptoms as a result of a hysterectomy or breast cancer treatments, for any woman with vaginal atrophy due to physiological hormone changes, which become inevitable over time. In particular, MonaLisa Touch™ is the ideal treatment for those who are looking for a less invasive procedure, compared to traditional surgical or pharmaceutical treatments. Remember, no one can advise you better about MonaLisa Touch™ and what is best for you to achieve your best results than your doctor.

When will I see results?

Most patients feel improvement after the very first treatment, although the procedure calls for three sessions spaced over an 18-week period.

How long does MonaLisa Touch™ therapy last?

Patients should expect to come back annually for their maintenance treatment to ensure results last over the course of time.*

*Your doctor will determine if follow up treatments are required.

What are my limitations following the procedure?

Patients should refrain from sexual activity for 2-3 days. Your doctor will determine a post-procedure regimen that is right for you.

Is this MonaLisa Touch™ safe for women with breast cancer?

Yes, the MonaLisa Touch™ therapy is particularly well suited for patients who cannot, or prefer not to receive estrogen therapy.

How much will the procedure cost?

Patients should schedule a consultation or call 309.692.6838 for additional information.

Will insurance cover MonaLisa Touch™?

There is no processing code for this procedure.  We believe this is an investment in yourself and your quality of life.  We gladly accept CareCredit.

Are there any risks?

There are some minimal risks. MonaLisa Touch™ is an outpatient treatment. Most women report temporary side effects, slight redness or swelling, some discomfort that usually disappears in one or two days.

The MonaLisa Touch™ Laser system has been FDA-cleared as safe for gynecologic use; however, it has not explicitly been FDA-approved for treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy) or painful intercourse. MonaLisa Touch™ laser therapy is documented as an appropriate and efficacious treatment for vaginal symptoms due to menopause in the medical literature.

The Benefits of the HPV Vaccine By Dr. Michele Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM

With all the ongoing controversy about vaccines that continues to circulate, I wanted to share some compelling evidence about the benefit of the vaccination against HPV or Human Papilloma Virus.  HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer as well as a significant factor in the development of anogenital warts, anal cancer and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and throat). HPV causes abnormal cellular growth, including condyloma (warts) and precancerous tissue changes known as dysplasia. More than 9 out of every 10 cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. HPV does not only affect women. Roughly 4 out of every 10 cases of HPV-related cancer occur among men. 70% of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV.   In fact, genital HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.

Fortunately, many of these cases of cancer can be prevented by the vaccine against HPV.  There is a recent study in the journal Lancet (June, 2019) that showed a significant reduction in HPV type 16 and 18, two virulent HPV strains that are most commonly associated with cervical, anal and oropharyngeal cancers.  This study also showed a significant reduction in anogenital warts among young men and women who had received the vaccination against HPV. Cervical dysplasia or “precancer” rates decreased among those women vaccinated.  There was a significant 51% reduction in CIN2 (moderate cervical dysplasia or precancer) in girls aged 15-19 years and a 31% reduction in women aged 20-24 years.  It also found that after eight years post vaccination, the prevalence of HPV 16 and 18 had significantly decreased by 83% among girls aged 13-19 years and by 66% in girls aged 20-24 years.  The prevalence of genital warts among vaccinated females decreased significantly as well — 67% reduction in 15-17-year-olds, 54% reduction in, and a 31% reduction among women aged 25-29 years.  Among boys, the rates of genital warts decreased as well — 48% decrease in 15-19-year-olds and by 31% among men aged 20-24 years.

These findings support the recommendation of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for routine HPV vaccination for females and males aged 9-26 years.  In fact, ACOG recommendations are further outlined as below:

ACOG Recommendations:

  • The target age for HPV vaccination is 11–12 years for girls and boys, but the HPV vaccine can be given to both genders through 26 years of age. However, as of October, 2018, the CDC approved the HPV vaccine for adults up to age 45.
  • For girls and boys who receive their first dose of HPV vaccine before 15 years of age, only two doses are needed. The timing of the two doses is 0 (baseline) and 6–12 months. If the interval between the two doses is less than five months, a third dose is recommended. If females or males receive their first dose at 15 years of age or older, three doses are needed and given at 0 (baseline), 1–2 months after the first dose, and six months after the first dose.
  • Testing for HPV DNA is not recommended before vaccination. Vaccination is recommended, even if the patient is tested for HPV DNA, and the results are positive.
  • Even if a patient previously has had an abnormal Pap test or history of genital warts, vaccination is still recommended.

 

To your health,

Dr. Couri

 

Sources:

Population-level impact and herd effects following the introduction of human papillomavirus vaccination programmes:  updated systemic review and meta-analysis.  The Lancet.  June 26, 2019

About HPV.  https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/cancer.html

HPV Vaccination.  ACOG Committee Opinion.  Number 704, June 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

TLC Complimentary Consultation

Personalized Integrative Lifestyle Programs

Let’s face it.  The more you know about your health, the better equipped you are to achieve your wellness goals.  Dr. Michele Couri’s personalized, integrative wellness programs include:

  • detoxification
  • food sensitivity testing
  • hormone balancing
  • metabolic labs
  • nutrition
  • exercise

Curious how TLC can change YOU?  

Schedule your complimentary consultation below or call 692-6838.

We’re Growing! An Interview with Dr. Alexandra Mathern

We’re growing!  Meet the Couri Center’s new OB/GYN, Alexandra L. Mathern, MD.

Meet the Couri Center’s new OB/GYN, Alexandra L. Mathern, MD.  Dr. Mathern completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center through the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria.  She received her Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  She also received a Bachelor of Science and Minor in Spanish from the University of North Dakota.

Dr. Mathern’s Background

Dr. Mathern has explored many aspects of the medical field from an early age.  Her passion for women’s health began in medical school when she found herself surrounded by strong, compassionate women who prided themselves on taking the best, evidence-based care of the women in the community. She was inspired by their dedication not only to their craft but also the betterment of themselves and their families.

Her Passions

Dr. Mathern strives to make sure her patients are well informed and take an active role in their medical care.  She can offer a wide variety of medical and surgical options, stressing minimally invasive approaches, for multiple gynecologic issues. She has particular interest in reproductive age issues from menstrual irregularities, ovarian pathology, pelvic floor dysfunction, and perimenopause.

Born and raised in North Dakota she has made Peoria home with her husband and three children. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.

How to Schedule

Dr. Michele Couri and the Couri Center team proudly welcome Dr. Mathern, MD, to our practice, August 2019!  Dr. Mathern is now accepting new patients and looks forward to meeting you.  Schedule your visit today:  692-6838 or visit our patient portal

Continue reading

Monalisa Touch Laser Therapy for feminine wellness

MONALISA TOUCH™ TREATS THESE COMMON FEMALE SYMPTOMS

After menopause, when estrogen levels decline, many women experience changes that can really affect their quality of life.  Symptoms include:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching

How does MonaLisa Touch™ work?

MonaLisa Touch™ delivers gentle laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue that stimulates a healing response by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 18 weeks.

  • Painless
  • In-office procedure
  • Requires no anesthesia
  • No downtime
  • Minimal side effects
  • Each treatment is <5 minutes
  • FDA-cleared for gynecologic use

SCHEDULE YOUR CONSULTATION TODAY TO SEE IF YOU ARE A CANDIDATE.

Continue reading

MonaLisa Touch Testimonial

After menopause, when estrogen levels decline, many women experience changes that can really affect their quality of life. Symptoms include:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching

MonaLisa Touch™ treats these common female symptoms without hormones or surgery!

MonaLisa Touch™ addresses these problems without hormones or surgery. Dr. Michele Couri is thrilled to be the first physician in the greater Peoria region to offer this state of the art technology here at the Couri Center. It is ideal for menopausal patients, post-menopausal patients, and breast cancer survivors who are often unable to receive conventional treatments for these debilitating symptoms.

How it works:

MonaLisa Touch™ delivers gentle laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue that stimulates a healing response by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 18 weeks.

  • Painless
  • In-office procedure
  • Requires no anesthesia
  • No downtime
  • Minimal side effects
  • Each treatment is <5 minutes
  • FDA-cleared for gynecologic use
  • Thousands of women have been treated worldwide since 2012

If you struggle with these common symptoms, we can help. Schedule your consultation today to see if Monalisa Touch Treatment is right for you.

Watch a video to learn more:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The Issue

Even with the passage of time, many women still retain their youthful energy and enthusiasm, but post-menopausal changes can affect a woman’s quality of life in unexpected ways. Now, there is a gentle laser therapy that can help millions of women who are silently suffering.

What is the MonaLisa Touch™?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is a gentle laser therapy that delivers controlled energy to the vaginal wall tissue. It restores vaginal health by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. The MonaLisa Touch™ was first available outside the US where thousands of patients have been treated worldwide.

Are there clinical trials on the MonaLisa Touch™?

Dr. Mickey Karram, Director of Fellowship Program on Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, and Dr. Eric Sokol, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Stanford University Medical Center has completed a multisite study.

The trial assessed the use of CO2 fractional laser therapy on 30 women with vaginal health issues due to natural or induced menopause.   All patients in the trial received MonaLisa Touch™ laser therapy. Results were:

  • Overwhelmingly positive and immediate
  • Highly statistically significant improvement in symptoms after the first treatment
  • Escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment
  • *Women in the study either experienced natural menopause or induced menopause as the result of hysterectomy or drug-induced suppression of ovarian function (chemotherapy, radiations, and anticancer drugs such as Tamoxifen).

Dr. Stefano Salvatore*, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vita- Salute San Raffaele University completed a study to assess the feasibility of fractional C02 laser in the treatment of 50 women suffering changes in their gynecologic health.

84% showed significant improvement in their physical and mental quality of life scores over baseline and were satisfied with the treatment.
In addition to the multisite study, there are currently eight published studies with six ongoing studies.

Where can I have this done?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is an in-office procedure that Dr. Michele Couri can perform right here at the Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health, in Peoria, IL. Dr. Couri is the first physician in Central Illinois to offer this treatment.

Does the procedure hurt?

The procedure is virtually painless and requires no anesthesia. Some patients may experience some discomfort when the probe inserted the first time, but the actual treatment is not painful. Many patients report that it feels like a gentle vibration.

How long does MonaLisa Touch™ take?

Patients receive three treatments, spaced six weeks apart, which each take less than five minutes to perform.

For which patients is this treatment appropriate?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is appropriate for any female suffering from issues from a decline in estrogen, as well as those who are experiencing symptoms as a result of a hysterectomy or breast cancer treatments, for any woman with vaginal atrophy due to physiological hormone changes, which become inevitable over time. In particular, MonaLisa Touch™ is the ideal treatment for those who are looking for a less invasive procedure, compared to traditional surgical or pharmaceutical treatments. Remember, no one can advise you better about MonaLisa Touch™ and what is best for you to achieve your best results than your doctor.

When will I see results?

Most patients feel improvement after the very first treatment, although the procedure calls for three sessions spaced over an 18-week period.

How long does MonaLisa Touch™ therapy last?

Patients should expect to come back annually for their maintenance treatment to ensure results last over the course of time.*

*Your doctor will determine if follow up treatments are required.

What are my limitations following the procedure?

Patients should refrain from sexual activity for 2-3 days. Your doctor will determine a post-procedure regimen that is right for you.

Is this MonaLisa Touch™ safe for women with breast cancer?

Yes, the MonaLisa Touch™ therapy is particularly well suited for patients who cannot, or prefer not to receive estrogen therapy.

How much will the procedure cost?

Patients should schedule a consultation or call 309.692.6838 for additional information.

Will insurance cover MonaLisa Touch™?

There is no processing code for this procedure.  We believe this is an investment in yourself and your quality of life.  We gladly accept CareCredit.

Are there any risks?

There are some minimal risks. MonaLisa Touch™ is an outpatient treatment. Most women report temporary side effects, slight redness or swelling, some discomfort that usually disappears in one or two days.

The MonaLisa Touch™ Laser system has been FDA-cleared as safe for gynecologic use; however, it has not explicitly been FDA-approved for treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy) or painful intercourse. MonaLisa Touch™ laser therapy is documented as an appropriate and efficacious treatment for vaginal symptoms due to menopause in the medical literature.