Personalized Women’s Health
Dr. Nadine Antonelli on founding Seashore Women's Health
Dr. NADINE ANTONELLI, a holistic gynecologist and the owner of Seashore Women’s Health, says she doesn’t treat symptoms. She treats patients. Therefore, her treatment plans are personalized and take into account each patient’s social and medical history, current lifestyle, and preferences. They also include both conventional and alternative treatment options.
“Every patient is different, and you need to individualize your approach to them,” says Antonelli.
Antonelli came to holistic medicine via the conventional route. She earned her medical degree from the UNC School of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Antonelli then joined Azalea Obstetrics & Gynecology, where she practiced obstetrics as well as gynecology for a total of 12 years.
In 2014, Antonelli decided to limit her practice to gynecology and opened Seashore Women’s Health. She provides a wide array of gynecological services, including comprehensive wellness exams, contraceptive counseling and options, family planning, pap smear evaluations, menopause management, and treatments for abnormal menses and sexual dysfunction.
Like other holistic doctors, Antonelli spends a lot of time with her patients. In addition to a medical history, she gathers a social history and information about their lifestyle and past and current events that can affect their health. During appointments, she first addresses her patients’ concerns, then she asks about issues she noted in her patients’ history that could cause a health problem now or in the future. With this process, Antonelli says she can often prevent medical conditions from developing.
When gynecological issues do occur, Antonelli offers a wide range of treatment options including western medication, supplements, and herbs for which objective studies or clinical experience show their efficacy, or even an exercise program or other unconventional remedy she thinks will best help her patient.
“There’s more than one way to treat an issue,” Antonelli says. “Treatment A may be better for one patient and treatment B is better for another. For someone else, it may be a combination of treatments.”
Educating patients is another essential component of Antonelli’s work. Women need to know how their body adapts and alters over their lifetime, she says.
“Women have so many phases in their lives in which their body changes,” Antonelli adds. “Women are empowered when they understand their bodies.”
Antonelli says she also ensures her patients know about all the available treatment options for a condition as well as each treatment’s pros, cons, and risks/benefits. In addition, she separates for patients the facts from the hype surrounding in-vogue treatments.
Another role that Antonelli fulfills is that of supportive and trusted counselor. Many of her patients feel comfortable sharing their most private concerns: fears about their gynecological health, emotional distress they are experiencing, sexual abuse they’ve experienced, and/or problems with intimacy. In these situations, Antonelli says she provides guidance, affirmation, and medical treatments that can help.
Antonelli considers it a privilege to relieve her patients’ suffering and help them thrive.
“My patients allow me to have an intimate view of their lives and trust me to impart information that’s helpful to them,” she says. “I never plan on retiring. How else can I help women in such a powerful way?”
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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