Ladies, we need to talk about problems ‘down there’

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Dr Uche Menakaya and Adj A:Prof Elissa O’Keefe, of Junic Specialist Centre.

“LADIES, we need to talk about ‘down there’,” say the women’s health experts Dr Uche Menakaya and Adj A/Prof Elissa O’Keefe, of Junic Specialist Centre.

“I meet women who are taking great care of themselves, of their overall health and wellbeing, but their vaginal health is not on the same page as the rest of the way they feel about themselves,” says Elissa.

“Their confidence is affected and they don’t want to talk about it. However, there is an option out there for them to feel sexy again.”

Elissa and Uche have worked together at the Junic Specialist Centre for four years and together they have more than 45 years’ experience in women’s health.

Based in their clinic at Coombs, they provide a bespoke model of care, as the only obstetrician/gynaecologist and nurse practitioner combined specialist practice in Canberra.

Together they have been at the forefront of new medical technologies in women’s health and, more recently, the innovative use of vagina laser therapy to treat a range of vaginal and vulval conditions such as mild urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, scar tissue, dryness, itching, burning and atrophy.

“These conditions affect premenopausal and postmenopausal women. We can’t stop the ageing process and vaginal health changes with age,” says Elissa.

Last year, the Junic team welcomed to the practice the DiVa – a third-generation, high-precision, hybrid fractional laser system which is the only one of its kind in Australia. This cutting-edge technology boasts advantages over the older-generation laser models, including automated accuracy and higher precision.

For some women who are suffering from menopausal symptoms, hormonal treatment isn’t recommended, especially if they are cancer survivors. “Vaginal laser is another drug-free and relatively painless option for women to be treated,” says Uche.

Uche says that the results of the laser have been extremely positive and created life-changing outcomes for patients, who came to the clinic for three short laser sessions across a few months.

“Studies in the US provide evidence of DiVa’s efficacy in areas such as increasing vaginal tone, lubrication and enhanced ability to reach orgasm,” says Uche.

The team brings a focus of innovation and efficacy alongside their commitment to patient safety, first and foremost. Uche has a reputation as a leader in new technology and best practice, having joined a global coalition of scientists championing the use of ultrasound to diagnose endometriosis rather than invasive and painful techniques.

He says that as laser treatment is still evolving the clinic is conducting an ongoing scientific evaluation and assessment to support the evidence of DiVa’s success and he has written several peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject.

Elissa has worked in all areas of women’s health for more than 25 years and is a national expert in the safe practices of laser therapy, having developed training modules for laser practitioners.

They encourage women who are interested to call Junic for a bulk-billed initial consultation with Elissa to find out how DiVa can help them. No referral is required.

“Our patients are telling us they are starting to tell their sisters and friends over coffee ‘you’ll never guess what I did… and I feel amazing!’. There’s starting to be a ripple effect about the benefits of DiVa,” says Elissa.

“DiVA gives women hope to feel how they see themselves – more youthful and confident. It’s the next step in looking after themselves.”

Junic Specialist Centre, Molonglo Health Hub, 110 Woodberry Avenue, Coombs. Call 6178 0470 or visit to make a bulk-billed appointment.

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