Endometriosis Special Interest Group (ESIG) was formed by Endometriosis New Zealand (ENZ) in 2008 to act as advisors to ENZ on specific projects. ENZ governs ESIG. ESIG advise on issues relating to endometriosis, contributes to research and voluntarily support the organisation in its endeavours. Individuals who have a special interest in endometriosis, are appointed to ESIG through nomination by the ENZ Trust Board.
ESIG group frequently answer questions about endometriosis from our members. Find the questions and answers here Ask ESIG
MNZM. QSM. Dip Tchg. LSB, CEO
Christchurch and Auckland
Ved Prakash (VP) Singh
Leena St Martin
MNZM. QSM. Dip Tchg. LSB, CEO
Co-founder and Chief Executive Endometriosis New Zealand
Director EPP Coaching and Consulting (Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain)
Deborah has had a global influence on health promotion and prevention of endometriosis. Using her experience as a teacher, she developed the world’s first Menstrual Health and Endometriosis (me) school education programme in 1997. A unique well-health model promoting early intervention and appropriate management, ‘me’ is positively and profoundly influencing current data and improving health outcomes in this demographic.
Deborah has contributed to the medical literature through published articles and books and sits on International Boards, advisory and research committees for endometriosis.
She has frequently presented as key note speaker at international academic conferences and as MC at many functions. She was described by the judges at the 2012 Woman of the Year Awards as “a pioneer, a visionary, a highly effective lay person in a specialised medical world bringing relief from disability and pain to thousands.”
Deborah has established and maintains:
Endometriosis NZ, a national charitable non-government organisation
health initiatives and ground-breaking programmes for schools, workplaces, hospitals and CME
EPP Coaching and Consulting; her private practice for women and girls with endometriosis and pelvic pain which integrates into treatment centres offering multi-disciplinary expertise.
Deborah’s achievements are reflected in the following awards:
Queens Service Medal (QSM), Queen Elizabeth II Birthday Honours, 2003.
Commonwealth Award for Excellence in Women’s Health (Endometriosis NZ under her leadership).
Paul Newman Award, 2007.
International Outstanding Service Award, 2011 (for 100th International Women’s Day).
Zonta International Woman of the Biennium Award 2011 – 2013.
Woman of the Year – Health and Science, 2012
Woman of Influence Finalist 2014
World Endometriosis Society Board
Order of Merit (MNZM) Queen Elizabeth ll Birthday Honours 2017
Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist
MD CREI FRANZCOG FRCOG MRCGP, Auckland
Neil is a Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist in Auckland. In private practice at 105 Remuera Road with Auckland Gynaecology Group (that includes the old Endometriosis Auckland) and Repromed Auckland and in public practice as Medical Director of Fertility Plus at Auckland District Health Board. Neil trained in both the UK and New Zealand, and has a special interest in treating women with endometriosis.
Neil’s main clinical interests are endometriosis, fertility, laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery, menstrual disorders, and colposcopy. With a national and growing international reputation for clinical research in gynaecology and fertility, his main areas of research interest currently include evidence based fertility treatments, endometriosis, polycystic ovaries and ovarian reserve.
He has developed an innovative treatment for endometriosis-related infertility, using lipiodol, a poppy seed oil. Neil is Honorary Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Auckland.
He has served on the Trust Board of Endometriosis New Zealand since 2004 and on the Board of the World Endometriosis Society since 2008 and is President Elect of the World Endometriosis Society (2014-17). He is Immediate Past Chairperson of the RANZCOG Subspecialty Training programme in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, was the inaugural Chair of the Australasian multi-centre clinical research network REproduction And Clinical Trials (REACT-ANZ) and the Reproductive Medicine consensus group ACCEPT (Australasian CREI Consensus Expert Panel on Trial evidence), and is an Associate Editor of the Australasian journal ANZJOG.
Fiona is a New Zealand trained gynaecologist. She completed her fellowship at The Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, an accredited advanced laparoscopy training centre. This means she is qualified to perfom the most difficult levels of endometriosis surgery.
Fiona’s focus with patients is to understand how their symptoms and concerns affect them and to figure out what they need to be able to live their lives to the full. Her aim is to help patients find a solution that works for their lifestyle and if they need surgery, will always recommend the safest option that will give the least disruption to their life. She understands the complexity of pelvic pain and endometriosis and keeps up to date by attending international conferences and keeping in contact with endometriosis experts internationally. When a broader approach is needed and the answer is not entirely based in gynaecology, she enjoys working with other experts to give the best quality of life possible.
Christchurch and Auckland
Post Graduate Training/Experience:
Specialist training conducted in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom, namely Newcastle, Christchurch and Liverpool.
Michael first came to New Zealand in 1980 and worked as a house surgeon in Dunedin before eventually going back to the United Kingdom to start his training in obstetrics and gynaecology at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Specialist training was undertaken both in the UK and back in New Zealand, starting as a registrar in Christchurch in 1983 and finally settling back in Christchurch in 1988 after completing specialist training, the final leg of which was to obtain a Masters in Obstetrics and Gynaecology through Liverpool University.
Special clinical interests:
Advanced Laparoscopic techniques for endometriosis and pelvic reconstruction and hysterectomy Vaginal mesh reconstructive surgery Development of new surgical instruments Michael, along with his colleagues at the Oxford Clinic, have been at the forefront of introducing and developing Advanced Laparoscopic techniques here in New Zealand and was one of the founding members of the Oxford Clinic in 1996. Oxford Clinic has been an excellent place to work as a laparoscopic surgeon as laparoscopic techniques have evolved over the years. The Women’s Health consulting practice has also allowed the collegial support of colleagues Michael Laney, John Doig, Richard Dover, Simon Jones and Janene Brown.
Michael speaks frequently at international conferences on laparoscopic surgery and has published original articles particularly pertaining to a special tool that he has developed to aid the procedure of Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH.) Michael continues to take an interest in developing new surgical tools.
Former and current Member of NZ National Committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, former Board Member International Gynaecological Endoscopy Society, Clinical Director, Gynaecology, Christchurch Women’s Hospital, Director Oxford Clinic Hospital. Previous Clinical Director of Gynaecology at Canterbury District Hospital Board. Currently Michael works both in the public and private arenas. At Christchurch Women’s Hospital he works as a gynaecologist and laparoscopic surgeon.
He is also currently on the board of the Oxford Clinic Hospital and is a Director of Insitu Systems, a medical instrument manufacturing company.
Michael is married with four adult children. His wife Jane runs the family vineyard, namely Muddy Water in Waipara which was established in the then fledgling wine growing area of Waipara in 1992 and has risen to become a well respected wine producer, both in New Zealand and overseas.
Michael writes a regular wine critique column for Avenues magazine and has authored two children’s books. Current memberships of professional/other bodies: Royal College Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, International Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy, Australian Gynaecological Endoscopy Society, New Zealand Health and Disability Clinical Advisor.
Simon graduated from St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in London in 1993 and has since completed Fellowships in both general surgery and gynaecology. This dual training has allowed Simon to broaden his practical skills and safely perform more complex surgery, with a special interest in the management of severe endometriosis and laparoscopic/minimally invasive surgical techniques in the treatment of pelvic pathology, including laparoscopic hysterectomy and complex bowel adhesions.
He moved to New Zealand in 2010, where he worked for 8 years at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland, as the lead for minimally invasive surgery and as clinical lead in gynaecology 2011-2014. He was the Training Programme Director for the Australasian Gynaecological Endoscopy Society (AGES), 2 year training Fellowship, the first of only 2 units in New Zealand.
He was the NZ board member for AGES 2015-2019 and is lead for gynaecology on the Clinical Advisory Board at Mercy/Ascot Hospitals in Auckland 2015 to date. He was Chair for the Patient safety Advisory Group at Benenden Hospital in the UK, 2006-2010.
Simon is passionate about teaching and has regularly organised conferences in Australia and NZ with his fellow AGES board members. He teaches on anatomical and surgical update courses and continues to share his surgical skills and learn from other colleagues in gynaecology.
Simon has published in internationally recognised journals and contributed to a book chapter in an RCOG Reference book on Laparoscopic surgery.
In his spare time, Simon likes cooking, mountain biking and Pilates.
Dr Guy Gudex is a gynaecologist and subspecialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI). He has worked in the area of infertility for 25 years and is currently the Medical Director of Repromed Auckland ,a provider of publicly and privately funded tertiary fertility services. Guy graduated from the University of Auckland and did his specialty training in New Zealand and the UK. For many years he convened minimal access surgery surgical workshops at National Womens Health with a focus on the treatment of endometriosis.
Phill is a highly skilled New Zealand born and trained obstetrician, gynaecologist and fertility subspecialist. He has a particular interest in diagnosing and treating endometriosisis, both as it relates to pelvic pain and to infertility.
In addition to specialising as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, Phill has undertaken 3 years of advanced training in fertility, reproductive endocrinology and minimally invasive surgery. Thus, making him one of the few specialists in New Zealand to complete the Certificate in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI) subspecialist qualification.
Phill has extensive clinical experience in minimal access surgery, performing both laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures. He prides himself on thorough investigation and individualised yet evidence based management. He is down-to-earth and is renowned for his caring approach and bedside manner.
Phill consults out of Fertility Associates rooms in Auckland and Hamilton.
VP is a graduate of University of Bombay and completed his medical degree at King Edward Memorial Hospital in India in 1988. He was part of the pioneering team credited with the first IVF baby in India.
VP worked at National Women’s Hospital, Auckland before moving to Waikato in 1997. He completed his Fellowship of Royal Australia New Zealand College of O&G in 2000 and became a consultant at Waikato Hospital and Fertility Associates Hamilton in 2001.
He commenced his private practice at Anglesea Women’s Specialists in 2004. VP has a particular interest in diagnosing and treating endometriosis, a painful and life-changing women’s disorder.
VP has done pioneering work in endometriosis surgery at Waikato Hospital and his private practice.
VP and his team have treated more than 2000 women with endometriosis. His team has performed around 1000 cases of moderate to severe endometriosis surgery procedure including laparoscopic bowel resection, partial bladder resection for deep endometriotic nodules and hysterectomies.
He is a strong believer in multidisciplinary approach towards endometriosis.
VP also maintains a strong interest in fertility issues. He is the Medical Director of Fertility Associates Hamilton and has particular research interest in endometriosis related infertility.
His other interests are pelvic floor repair, teaching and training junior staff. He is a keen researcher and has published and presented a number of papers at National and International level.
Dr Ravikanti started work at Waikato Hospital in 1999 initially as senior house surgeon then trainee.
registrar. She was appointed as Fellow in advanced laparoscopy and pelvic floor surgery from 2006-2007.
During those years she was involved in conducting significant research work in endometriosis, pelvic floor repair and presented a paper on endometriosis surgery and fertility outcomes at World Congress on Endometriosis in Melbourne, 2008 and at RANZCOG.
She was awarded the Fellowship of Royal Australia New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Dec 2007 and appointed as consultant in O&G at Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand.
She was awarded Young Gynaecologist Award by Asia Oceania Federation of O&G in 2009. She is enjoying working as Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Waikato Hospital in the field of endometriosis as a special interest. Dr Ravikanti is also part of Fertility Associates since 2007.
Dr Ravikanti and Mr VP Singh work together as a team in complicated cases of severe endometriosis along with colorectal and urology colleagues.
She and her team are strong believers in a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. She is a keen researcher in the area of fertility and endometriosis and has presented a number of papers at National and International level.
Her long term vision is to continue to develop services for women with endometriosis and pelvic floor issues at Waikato Hospital and help the team to create a centre offering expertise that is recognised internationally.
She feels proud to be part of a vibrant and friendly group practice specialising in endometriosis and pelvic floor disorders at Anglesea Women’s Specialists in Hamilton, New Zealand.
BHB, MB CHB, MRCOG, FRANZCOG
Dr Jeremy Meates is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist practising in Hawkes Bay. He has a special interest in laparoscopic surgery and in particular the treatment and management of endometriosis.
He has organised several conferences on laparoscopic surgery including live surgical demonstrations and surgical skills workshops.
He graduated from Otago University in 1990 and did his post-graduate specialist training in Christchurch and in England.
In 2001 he started working at Hawkes Bay Hospital where he is an Intern Supervisor, a member of the Credentialing Committee and Surgical Management Group, and he heads the department’s audit committee on Clinical Indicators.
He is a Performance Assessor for the New Zealand Medical Council. In addition to his commitments at the public hospital he also runs a private practice with consulting rooms in Napier and operates at Royston Private Hospital in Hastings.
Simon attended his primary medical degree at Otago University and is a fellow of the Royal Australia and New Zealand Collge of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RANZCOG) He is a certified subspecialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and practices both general gynaecology and Fertility Medicine at Fertility Associates Wellington. He has also completed a Master’s in Reproductive Medicine with the University of New South Wales.
Simon has a special interest in Endometriosis, and completed an AGES accredited fellowship in advanced laparoscopic surgery in Brisbane. This primariliy focused on the treatment of advanced endometriosis and complex gynaecological surgery via a minimially invasive approach. Simon is interested in the interplay between endometriosis and infertility, and preserving fertility when complex pelvic disorders are present.
Dr Philip Suisted BPRM PGDipOMG MBChB FRANZCOG is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist practising at Palmerston North Hospital. He has a special interest in laparoscopic surgery and works together with a senior colleague to provide care for women with endometriosis.
Graduating from Otago University in 2003, Philip completed his post-graduate specialist training in the lower North Island.
He returned to Palmerston North in 2015 where he practices general obstetrics and gynaecology, with particular focus on minimally invasive gynaecology and an interest in fertility. Philip has a role as Clinical Senior Lecturer and Intern Supervisor. His interest and background in research has lead to several publications and collaborations.
He is committed to improving care of women with endometriosis and those with complex and persisting pelvic pain.
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hāwea
BHB, MBChB, DipObsGyn, Cert.Pain
Dr Wendy Burgess is an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Waitemata DHB and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Auckland. She graduated from Auckland Medical School and completed a Certificate in Pain Assessment and Management from the University of Otago. She works in the Pelvic Pain clinic at Waitemata DHB.
Other interests include Medical Education and Research. She is a member of the Maternal Sleep Working Group at the Auckland University.
Padmaja works in Auckland and is a high-level Laparoscopic Gynaecologist with full repertoire of skills in the management of Endometriosis. She graduated in India and completed her Obstetrics and Gynaecology training on the East Midlands training scheme in the UK in Leicester. She completed her Laparoscopic training there and in Surrey and moved to New Zealand in 1998. She had been a Consultant since 1999 in Whangarei, Middlemore and Auckland Hospitals and is currently in full time private practice.
She was instrumental in setting up a Laparoscopic Gynaecology unit in Middlemore. Subsequently, she set up the fellowship position for trainees in Laparoscopic Gynaecology at Auckland hospital. She has been in private practice since 2000 and been in full time private since 2014.
She continues to be involved with helping trainees and junior Consultants with Laparoscopy. She has also been actively involved with RANZCOG collegial peer review of fellows.
She works at OneSixOne medical group with 6 other Gynaecologists, 7 Urologists, Physiotherapists and a dietitian in a multidisciplinary environment. She believes in providing total care to Endometriosis sufferers in a multidisciplinary team. She regularly carries out complex endometriosis surgery with a team including Colorectal Surgeons and Urologists.
Her practice also includes Single incision laparoscopy [SILS] and Laparoscopic myomectomy, Laparoscopic removal of large fibroids and large Uteruses, as well as complex Laparoscopic Urogynaecology procedures like Laparoscopic Sacrocolpopexy with her Urogynaecology colleagues.
Amelia completed her medical degree at the University of Otago before embarking on specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. She completed her advanced training in the Pelvic Pain Unit at The Royal Women’s Hospital, developing a special interest in Endometriosis and honing techniques in advanced laparoscopic surgery.
Amelia works as a specialist gynaecologist and obstetrician at Waitemata DHB in the Pelvic Pain Clinic. She is actively involved in research, both in recruitment and as a lead researcher. She trains junior and senior colleagues in advanced laparoscopic surgery in the hospital setting and by facilitating at surgical courses. She maintains strong ties to her Australian network to ensure she is practising in line with international standards.
Amelia has a passion for the early recognition and management of pelvic pain and endometriosis. Along with surgical and non-surgical techniques, she believes in clear communication and a multidisciplinary approach to achieve the best results for the individual patient.
Olivia is a specialist gynaecologist based in Christchurch, New Zealand.
During her training she has been inspired and mentored by others in the ESIG group to further her skills in helping women with endometriosis. She has trained in advanced laparoscopic surgery as well as completing post grad studies in pain management. Her treatment approach incorporates all facets of the interdisciplinary team and aims to tailor recommendations to the individual.
She completed her training in 2014 and was appointed as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. She also works in private practice at Oxford Women’s health. For further bio or to request a consultation with Olivia please visit www.oxfordwomenshealth.co.nz
BSc(Hons), BHSc(Acu), PhD
Dr Mike Armour is a senior research fellow at NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University. Mike has a biomedical degree with honours from the University of Auckland, and is a qualified acupuncturist and Chinese medical herbalist. In 2016 he was awarded his PhD from Western Sydney University on the use of acupuncture to treat dysmenorrhea (period pain). Mike’s research focuses primarily on clinical trials of non-pharmacological interventions for endometriosis and period pain, including acupuncture, herbal medicine and exercise. Mike has been one of the lead investigators on four randomised controlled trials in the area of endometriosis or period pain and as of early 2020 has published over 35 academic articles and book chapters on women’s health. Mike is a member of the advisory panel on endometriosis for The China-Australia International Research Centre for Chinese Medicine and a member of the Endometriosis Expert Working Group (EEWG) for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).
Dr Michael Wynn-Williams is an endometriosis specialist (AGES Level 6) with extensive experience in minimally invasive pelvic surgery. He favours a multidisciplinary approach to managing complex endometriosis cases. Michael trained in obstetrics and gynaecology in Christchurch, New Zealand, and it was here that he developed his interest in endometriosis management. Post-training, he undertook a two-year Fellowship in advanced laparoscopic surgery with A/Prof Alan Lam in Sydney. Michael backed up his sub-specialty training with a post-fellowship year in Glasgow, before completing a 2-year consultant post at Cambridge University NHS Trust, Addenbrookes Hospital. Sharing his knowledge and skills with the next generation of women’s health specialists, Michael taught and demonstrated advanced laparoscopic gynaecology surgery to doctors around the United Kingdom and Ireland.
He continues to teach and demonstrate advanced laparoscopic surgery to gynaecologists around Australia and New Zealand. Michael is a co-founder and Director of Eve Health. He provides private surgical services at Mater Private, and the Wesley Private Hospitals in Brisbane. He provides Public surgery at the Mater Mothers Hospital to complex cases from around Queensland, northern NSW and the Northern Territory. Michael is a Senior Lecturer with the University of Queensland. He provides fertility treatments through Queensland Fertility Group.
Michael has his own Fellow he is training to perform advanced laparoscopic gynaecology surgery under the Australasian Gynaecological Endoscopy & Surgery, two-year training program. Always striving to progress his learning and increase his ability to provide the best care for women, Michael has become qualified in the use of the Da Vinci Robotic surgical system. He has also developed an interest in the multidisciplinary management of chronic pelvic pain including the use of Botox for the treatment of pelvic floor hypertonic disorders.
Michael is a current Board member of the Australasian Gynaecological Endoscopy & Surgery and on the medical advisory board of Endometriosis Australia.
Michael will be returning permanently to New Zealand in 2020 to continue his work with patients with endometriosis and pelvic pain.
Dr Koh, M.D. graduated from the University of Singapore and trained in the University of London, where he obtained his specialty degree in obstetrics and gynaecology.
He went to Milwaukee in 1977 as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is currently the Co-Director of the Milwaukee Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Reproductive Specialty Centre. In addition to the practice of infertility and in vitro fertilization, Dr Koh is a pioneer in advanced laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis, and has lectured extensively on this internationally.
He also pioneered a special technique and equipment for laparoscopic hysterectomy called the “Koh System for Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy” and invented instruments for laparoscopic microsurgery.
Dr Koh and his associate, Dr Grace Janik, were the first doctors in the world to perform laparoscopic microsurgical tubal anastomosis in 1992.
Dr Koh recently completed a term as President of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, and currently serves as a National Advisor for the American Association of Gynaecologic Laparoscopists.
He is also a specialty reviewer for various industry journals. In 2009, Dr Koh received the Distinguished Surgeon Award in recognition of his many contributions to the field of reproductive surgery.
Since qualifying in London in 1995, Orna has spent more than 20 years working as a general practitioner with a strong focus in supporting and advocating for improvements in women’s health. She undertook extensive training in the UK and attained postgraduate qualifications through the Faculty of Family Planning and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Since moving to New Zealand in 2010, Orna has undertaken several leadership roles, whilst continuing to work as a general practitioner in Auckland. She was Clinical Director of East Health Primary Health Organisation in Auckland from 2016 to 2017 and was a member of the PHARMAC Reproductive and Sexual Health (RASH) subcommittee in 2017 /18. Increasing access to contraception for women is an ongoing project and in 2018 she worked with Counties Manukau Health to establish a free contraception clinic in Mangere, South Auckland.
Orna is currently the Clinical Director for Primary Care Women’s Health at Auckland District Health Board and is on the Board of the recently formed NZ College of Sexual and Reproductive Health. She chairs an Expert Advisory group for the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC), which is currently developing an Atlas of Contraceptive provision looking at the variability of contraception access throughout New Zealand.
Orna has a passion for education and training and teaches at GP conferences and at the University of Auckland . Her belief is that a highly skilled primary care workforce can provide the multifaceted care required through women’s different life stages. Complex conditions such as endometriosis require this holistic approach, with women benefiting from emotional and practical support, appropriate investigation and initial treatment, and navigation through often complex health services.
Jane is a researcher working in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago. She joined the Department after nearly 20 years working in Australia, most recently as a Senior Research Fellow in the Gynaecology Research Centre at the University of Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospital. Her research interests are in uterine biology and women’s health, with a particular focus on common gynaecological problems including endometriosis and menstrual and pelvic pain. Jane also has an interest in the impact of menstrual pain and heavy bleeding on girls and their families, and how we can better assist girls and young women to live a full and happy life.
Anna Fenton BHB, MBChB, CCD, PhD, FRACP is a Gynaecological Endocrinologist who completed a PhD in bone cell biology at the University of Melbourne. She was involved in establishing the New Zealand branch of the Australasian Menopause Society and has served on the board of Osteoporosis New Zealand. Anna is currently the clinical leader for the Canterbury District Health Board Bone Density Service. She is actively involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. She has special interests in the management of premature ovarian insufficiency and the treatment of women after gynaecological cancer. She was co-editor-in-chief of Climacteric, the journal of the International Menopause Society until 2017 and is a Past President of the Australasian Menopause Society. She serves on the PTAC Endocrine sub-committee.
Dip PT, PGDip MT
Company Director Inside Out Physiotherapy
Leanne is a physiotherapist with over 2 decades experience – supporting, educating and empowering clients. Over this time, she has developed a specialty area in pelvic health.
Leanne is passionate and dedicated to health promotion and facilitating best possible outcomes based on a team approach. Her specific areas of interest include pelvic pain encompassing bladder and bowel pain/dysfunction along with painful intercourse (dyspareunia and vaginimus), perineal pain (vulvodynia, pudendal neuralgia) and endometriosis. Physiotherapy has in the past been overlooked in the management and treatment of Endometriosis. Pelvic floor muscle spasm does not usually go away after surgery without treatment and can be part of reoccurring symptoms.
This can be treated successfully by Pelvic Health Physiotherapists using many treatments that may include massage and trigger point therapy, muscle relaxation and down training techniques, exercise and activity modification and dilators/trainers.
Leanne appreciates being a part of people’s wellness journeys, and shares their struggles, challenges and triumphs. She feels honoured to help change her client’s life for the better and believes in the power of knowledge, open discussion, an individual approach and self-belief. She also believes in striving for better information and treatment options across all cultures and socioeconomic groups.
After completing her Diploma of Physiotherapy, Leanne completed a post graduate diploma in manipulative therapy and has worked in the public and private health system. She now runs her own business, Inside Out Physiotherapy, in Hawkes Bay focusing mostly on the treatment of pelvic health clients.
Heba Shaheed is a women’s health coach and physiotherapist, with a special interest in endometriosis. She is a firm believer in an integrative and multidisciplinary approach to the management of endometriosis.
Diagnosed with endometriosis herself, Heba is an advocate for independence, education and empowerment despite the diagnosis. Through her online platform – www.thepelvicexpert.com – Heba offers educational webinars and blogs on endometriosis and pelvic pain, as well as other women’s health and pelvic health concerns. She also offers online programs for endometriosis and pelvic pain, 1-1 telehealth consulting and group coaching programs.
In clinical practice, for women with endometriosis, Heba combines women’s health physiotherapy techniques, including pelvic floor assessment and release, with musculoskeletal physiotherapy techniques to address myofascial imbalances through a “whole body approach” as well as pain neurophysiology education, holistic nutrition and wellness coaching, exercise rehabilitation combining yoga therapy and clinical pilates, all with a mix of compassion and empathy.
Heba works closely with some of Australia’s leading gynecologists, advanced laparoscopic surgeons and specialist pain medicine physicians to ensure the best outcomes for the women who entrust her with their care.
Leena St Martin
Leena St Martin
Leena St Martin is a Clinical Psychologist and also the Professional Leader for Psychologists working in physical health settings at Auckland District Health Board (around 50 psychologists).
She completed her academic degrees at the University of Auckland in 1996. After six years working in community mental health, Leena was drawn to women’s health and has been with Gynaecology Outpatients, Auckland DHB and in private practice since 2001 as well as spending three years at Fertility Associates Auckland and a year at High Performance Sport NZ. This vast experience means she routinely assists with pelvic pain, endometriosis, genital pain syndromes, gynaecological cancer, fertility difficulties, and all the impacts of these conditions on identity and relationships. Leena enjoys opportunities to share this knowledge with wide audiences.
The one hour appointment takes the form of a collaborative discussion and is guided by your stated goals. She is accustomed to working closely with other members of your treatment team.
Memberships: NZ Pain Society Psychosocial Oncology NZ
BA (Hons), MSc, PGDipClinPsych
Hannah is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in all aspects of the psychology of women’s health and related fields. She works alongside women and their families who live with endometriosis or similar symptoms including management of; chronic pain, endometriosis treatment associated outcomes, fertility planning, pregnancy and postnatal care, sexual disorders, sexuality issues and the general management of coping with chronic medical treatments.
Hannah works with girls and women who have persistent pelvic pain using psychological strategies and skills from treatment modalities mentioned below to better cope with their daily functioning. Her approach is centred on both the overall well-being of the individual as well as the impact on couples and wider the family system.
Most often utilising the treatment modality, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or Metacognitive Therapy focusing (incorporating the interactions of thoughts, feelings, behaviour and their processes) as primary treatment modalities. She works well as part of team alongside Obstetric and Gynaecologist Specialists, Nurses, Midwives and General Practitioners.
Specifically, Hannah’s background clinical training encompasses all aspects of general mental health and health anxiety, Anxiety disorders, Depression, Post-natal Depression, Adjustment, Loss and Grief, Pain, and Sexuality as well as supporting individuals and couples regarding issues associated with fertility, and child and family dynamics. Patients referred need not be seeing any other medical professional at Oxford Women’s Health. Please contact Alison Bush at Oxford Women’s Health. Ph: 03 379 0555 for booking details and or contact Hannah directly by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BSc (Bachelor of Science), ND (Naturopathic doctor).
Lara is a naturopathic doctor with more than twenty years experience in women’s health. She has a strong science background and first worked as an evolutionary biologist at the University of Calgary before going on to qualify in 1997 from Toronto’s Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.
Lara moved to Sydney, Australia in 2001 and had consulting rooms there until setting up in Christchurch in late 2019. She prescribes diet and nutritional supplements to her endometriosis patients and advocates for a multidisciplinary clinical approach including excisional laparoscopic surgery, specialist physiotherapy, and medication as required.
A passionate communicator about women’s health, Lara has been involved in several projects including:
Keynote speaker at the 2017 Sydney Endometriosis Symposium.
Member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research at the University of British Columbia.
Author of the bestselling book Period Repair Manual, published by Pan Macmillan.
Clarice is a UK and NZ Registered Dietitian with 10 years experience as chef and over 20 years as Nutritionist and Dietitian. She is widely regarded as a leading dietitian in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, identifying and treating food intolerance and supporting nutritional needs for gastrointestinal surgery. Founder of NZ Dietitians Gastroenterology Interest group, Clarice worked for many years in Christchurch hospital and both The Oxford Clinic and then at Forte Health with Oxford Womens Health. She has grown the successful team of Dietary Specialists in Christchurch since 2007 and this is where she now consults. www.dietaryspecialists.co.nz
Clarice is a regular speaker to groups including dietitians, doctors, nurses and health support groups. Clarice has also written several articles for Healthy Food Guide Magazine and has her blog sharing recipes, nutrition and lifestyle tips www.allnourishing.com.
Clarice truly has a passion for guiding people to achieve greater health and optimal wellbeing. Combining the wisdom of her experiences (which include working at Gwinganna health retreat) with the latest research, Clarice believes in helping the person achieve their goals with practical and tasty food ideas that suit their own lifestyle.
BSc, PGDipDiet, Cert. Paed Nutr
Courtney is a NZ registered dietitian who runs her own private dietetic business – Nutrition Toolbox Ltd. She graduated from Otago University in 2006 with a BSc in Human Nutrition and a Post graduate diploma in Dietetics (Masters Equiv.)
Since then she has done additional training in:
· Certificate in Paediatric Nutrition (Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne)
· FODMAPs (Monash University, Australia)
· Food Chemical diets (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Australia)
· Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding
· Motivational Interviewing
· Cognitive behavioral therapy
Courtney has worked for a number of years in a hospital setting at both Waitemata and Counties Manukau DHBs. During this time, she worked as a clinical dietitian for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric wards, The National Burns Centre and on the general adult wards.
As well as working for a number of years in the hospital setting; Courtney is a highly sought after private practice dietitian running busy clinics in central Auckland for almost a decade. She offers clinic appointments via traditional face to face consults, and via virtual clinics utilizing zoom video conferencing and phone. This allows her to see clients from all around NZ at a time that best suits them.
Courtney specialises in paediatric nutrition and gastrointestinal disorders, and has a particular interest in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), FODMAPs, endometriosis and nutrition in the first 1000 days – from preconception right through until a child’s second birthday. These passions have allowed her to work closely with some of Auckland’s best specialists and GPs.
Courtney is involved in numerous special interest groups including the Dietitians NZ gastroenterology group, paediatric group and Auckland primary and private practice dietitians group. She is a firm believer that vitality and wellness can be achieved through good nutrition and being mindful of what we put into our bodies.
Together with her clients, Courtney is able to help create a healthy relationship with food and good symptom control. Her friendly manner and individualised approach ensures clients get the tools they need to make healthy changes, become confident with food and live a life full of vitality!
BM Ac., NDA, AD Ac., MNZASA reg Acupuncturist
Dr Vitalis has extensive experience in treating reproductive disorders and pain with acupuncture. He is one of a very few European acupuncturists who mastered Chinese language to access the depth of knowledge in acupuncture. He then completed his training in Chinese at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Over the years Dr Vitalis has established himself as a recgonised expert in reproductive acupuncture in New Zealand.
Vitalis is a strong supporter of multidisciplinary integrative approach to treatment, especially in complex conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic pain and infertility. He was the first acupuncturist in New Zealand to offer acupuncture to IVF patients at their IVF clinics.
Vitalis is trained in both Western and Chinese Medicine, which allows him for better understanding of your condition and integrative approach. He is registered as an acupuncturist in New Zealand.
Dr Vitalis keeps up to date with the latest reproductive acupuncture and pain research, he has presented as a speaker to educational acupuncturists conferences on the subject of reproductive acupuncture.
Vitalis is a proud father of two. Helping his patients aside, spending quality time with his children is one of his very favourite things.
Vitalis consults from his rooms on Auckland’s North Shore, and regularly sees patients at IVF clinics including Repromed, Fertility Associates and Fertility Plus for acupuncture in conjunction with IVF embryo transfer.
Should you be interested to learn how acupuncture can help in your situation, you can get in touch with Vitalis via his website Dr Vitalis Acupuncture Auckland
MTCM, FABORM, MNFNZ
Roberta is a highly skilled reproductive acupuncturist. She qualified with Master’s degree (reproductive acupuncture) in HangZhou, Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine. Roberta is the only acupuncturist in New Zealand certified by American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (www.aborm.org), an elite group of practitioners with advanced training and knowledge in reproductive medicine, fertility acupuncture and gynecology.
The drive for empowering women through knowledge led Roberta to become Fertility Educator with Natural Fertility New Zealand. She teaches fertility awareness, pain and stress management during evidence bases fertility workshops since 2015.
Roberta is interested in application of acupuncture in pelvic pain, managing endometriosis symptoms and improving/preserving fertility. Her passion is being the catalyst in positive change for her patients. Her caring personality and warm manner are frequently complimented by her patients.
Anna is a reproductive biologist in the Liggins Institute and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland. She has expertise in epigenetics and endometrial physiology and pathology. Her research interest are endometrial biology, endometriosis, and female infertility and pregnancy complications. Anna is also passionate about public understanding of science, gender equality and making a positive difference in the community.
Strength through support - mā te tautoko, ka whai kaha, ka ora