Northern Kentucky hospitals are working to bring local women the specialized health care they need. From regular OB-GYN visits to urogynecology to pregnancy, The Christ Hospital and St. Elizabeth Healthcare are providing care for the entirety of a woman’s life.

The Christ Hospital

The Christ Hospital’s Fort Wright location offers urogynecology, a sought-after specialty that combines urology and gynecology. According to Dona Grant, senior marketing consultant at The Christ Hospital, many women experience pelvic organ prolapse, which is when pelvic organs start to lose some of the control they have due to factors such as childbirth and obesity.

“We offer a dedicated practice that specializes in different types of methods from physical therapy for bladder and bowel issues to noninvasive treatments such as medication to minimally invasive surgery,” Grant explains. “The doctors work with urologists and colorectal surgeons.” Grant says that the urogynecology specialty attracts patients from all over the region.

While the urogynecology services are beneficial to many, The Christ Hospital’s excellence in women’s care goes beyond that. “OB-GYN health is important from the teenage years through menopause,” she says. “Our services for women’s health run that gamut. We have providers that specialize in those different areas at those different times in life to offer that comprehensive care.”

Grant explains that in the younger years, girls are starting their yearly visits with Pap smears and the HPV test. “You are starting to develop a relationship with your gynecologist,” she says. Childbearing years focus on preconception health—the healthy habits women need before pregnancy. The care provided is from when women think they will have a baby until postpartum.

Another concern is breast health; women are supposed to do self-exams until they are 40 and then mammography after that. When women get older, they enter the pre-menopausal stage, and The Christ Hospital helps them manage their hormones as they go through that stage. There is also sexual health and protection against sexually transmitted diseases for the entirety of a woman’s life.

“It’s a really good balance [of services] and everything is really geared toward the patient,” says Grant.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare

St. Elizabeth Healthcare addresses the needs of women across the continuum of services from prenatal care to breast health. Director of Systems for Women and Children Services Laurie Conkright says the first time staff sees a patient come in is often when she is pregnant.

“For us, we would say our first contact can be high-risk from a pregnancy perspective or needed additional prenatal testing or even a patient who needs any type of genetic workup through our genetic counseling program,” explains Conkright. “Unless, of course, they had any gynecological issue identified prior to childbearing.”

The Maternal-Fetal Center has specialists in genetics and maternal-fetal medicine specialists along with a new state-of-the-art unit for prenatal testing. From there, the hospitals have opportunities to meet women’s needs if they are pregnant.