Dr. Jennifer L. Cova has medical solutions for all stages of life.
By Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti
As she learned more about her chosen specialty she realized that she could help women at all stages of life through this specialty that incorporates surgical and procedure-based treatments along with an office-based practice, giving a balanced way to treat patients. After completing her residency at the Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahneman University Hospital, she went to work.
In 2010, she started The Complete Women’s Practice, which includes Cova Medspa, in Centerville. There an interdisciplinary team of experts addresses many of the concerns that women have throughout their lifecycle with solutions they may not have known existed.
Not just an office visit
“Women come in for more than a Pap smear or preventative visit that takes 10 minutes,” Cova says. She explains that a typical short office visit alone is not enough to address the concerns that many women have and that she makes an effort to find out what women need. “A lot of things women are concerned about they don’t necessarily ask,” she says.
This is why, in addition to providing routine preventative care, Cova asks her patients to fill out a few questionnaires on a yearly basis that help her identify the issues of most concern. One of these is a hereditary cancer questionnaire, which helps Cova identify risk for cancers like breast and ovarian.
She also asks patients if they have any other concerns, like problems with urinary or sexual health or aesthetic concerns about aging, something that she has grown to appreciate and understand even more over time.
“My patient population has grown older with me,” she laughs, adding that the questionnaires help her forge a positive relationship with her patients. “Patients feel very satisfied their doctor took the time to ask (about their concerns),” she says. In other practices, which limit patients to a 10 or 15-minute appointment, “people don’t feel like their concerns are being addressed,” she says.
Of course, Cova does not work alone; her team approach to women’s health allows for patients to receive all of the attention they need. Cova employs a nurse practitioner who works closely with patients and can offer hour-long appointments, a sonographer, a nurse in charge of the Coolsculpting team and a medical aesthetician, all able to coordinate services to help solve patients’ problems.
Cova’s practice offers a number of innovative therapies that her patients first learn about by viewing educational materials or indicating areas of concern to her. “We have a lot to offer the 35-65 age group,” she says, noting that she has set up the office so that patients can learn about new therapies without feeling that they are being pressured or asked to consider them. “I can’t believe all the things you have here,” she reports many patients saying.
One such therapy is Coolsculpting, a non-surgical, needle-free contouring treatment that helps eliminate fat bulges that bother many women. The treatment involves the use of a device that draws the unwanted bulge up between two cooling panels, with the device staying in place for about an hour. During this time patients often are able to read or relax and many return to work right after the treatment.
Another newer therapy is ThermiVa, a treatment that uses a radiofrequency device to gently heat tissues and rejuvenate collagen. This helps restore the natural elasticity in a woman’s intimate area that may have been lost through multiple or strenuous childbirths or by hormonal changes during menopause.
Cova also uses prescriptions for bioidentical hormones for some of her patients to help deal with the symptoms of menopause, which may include hot flashes, inability to lose weight, difficulties with mood and insomnia. She explains that, while she learned about conventional therapies for these problems during her medical training, her passion for continuing to learn about new therapies and “expand (her)toolbox” to include new ideas.
Bioidentical hormones are some of these new tools. These hormones have a chemical structure that replicates that of human hormones allowing them to fit a woman’s hormone receptors exactly. Additionally, because the dosing is individualized and compounded specifically for the woman being treated, they are tailored to a woman’s own biological needs.
Finally, the aesthetics service line available through Cova Medspa (which also includes the CoolSculpting therapy) helps women deal with the changes in skin elasticity, hair growth, weight gain and facial lines that keep a woman from feeling her best. “The aesthetics line is in greater demand than the regular gynecologic line,” Cova says.
She notes that a typical gynecologic practice usually does not offer this kind of broad range of aesthetic services. “When women feel good on the outside it’s part of feeling good on the inside.”
Cova is a busy woman, spending her out-of-office time caring for her three teenagers and enjoying a healthy lifestyle exercising and being outdoors. But she always comes back to her passion for continuing to learn about her field and discovering new ways to help her patients feel good about their lives. She says that a comprehensive practice like she provides is an option that Dayton-area women need.
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