As owner of Advanced Women’s Healthcare since 2003, Dr. Jolyn Fergon, is changing lives one woman at a time.
Her medical practice has three offices – Palm Springs, La Quinta and Yucca Valley with a staff of five physicians and five nurse practitioners – all focusing on women’s health. “I wanted to be progressive in women’s health,” she says.
Shortly after beginning her practice, Dr. Lillia Pacini became her partner. Together they have built the practice through their shared passion for women’s health. “She has been the best partner and friend in every way,” Fergon notes.
For her mature patients who experience issues related to post-menopause, Fergon was the first practitioner in the desert to offer a life-changing laser therapy called Mona Lisa Touch. While erectile dysfunction in men is openly discussed and the issue blankets television with ads, sexual dysfunction in women is still seemingly a taboo topic, despite the fact that 2 in 4 women experience these symptoms.
The Mona Lisa Touch laser therapy was developed in Italy and has recently arrived in the U.S. At present Fergon’s office is the only office in the Coachella Valley that offers it. She has treated more than 100 post-menopausal women with the treatment, some of whom have not been able to have sexual intercourse for years. Many of her patients have told her it has changed their lives.
But the power to manifest change and rise above challenges is evident in Jolyn Fergon’s personal inspirational life story.
Growing up on a farm in Kelso, Wash., the small logging town could not contain Fergon’s big dreams.
Her early aspirations were inspired by her father’s dedication, a carpet layer in the small town on the Port of Columbia River. Raised by her father, Fergon was inspired by her father when he went back to school as a 40 year old, and pursued his dream to become an economics and accounting teacher. Then, while she herself was enrolled in college, her father went on to receive his master’s degree in business administration.
At age 15, she came to the desert to live with her mother in Palm Springs where her grandparents were seasonal snowbirds. Having grown up on a farm she thought Palm Springs was exciting. “This was a big city to me,” she laughs.
While she loved being in the desert, things did not go well with her alcoholic mother. The arrangement lasted only a year. Fergon moved out on her own and became an emancipated minor at age 16. She got her own apartment, attended Palm Springs High School, and worked for a pediatrician during her senior year while completing her high school requirements through independent study and working full time.
These challenges must have seemed daunting to a young woman living on her own at such an early age, but despite them, Fergon graduated from Palm Springs High School at the top of her class.
Fergon attended College of the Desert’s nursing program while working two jobs — as a medical assistant for an OB-GYN and at the Chart House restaurant waiting tables. “I fell in love with medicine and women’s health at one job and fell in love with my future husband at the other.” After COD, she attended UCLA and became a nurse practitioner, then went on to Philadelphia University where she received a master’s degree in nurse midwifery. She followed that with a doctorate of nursing practice from Duke University in 2013.
Fergon, 49, lives with her family in Bermuda Dunes – her husband, Chris, to whom she has been married for 22 years and a daughter, Kaila, 17, a high school senior at Desert Christian Academy. She also has a son, Mack, 20, who is completing his undergrad for medical school in Boston.
While she was completing her education, she had to be away from home for much of the time, years she looks back on in awe. “I could never have done what I did without my husband, he did everything for us. He managed everything while I was in school — he took care of me, our children, and his parents who are 90 and 94 and have lived with us for the past 10 years, plus running his landscaping company,” she says. “He is the most amazing man.”
What Is Mona Lisa Touch?
Mona Lisa Touch is a laser procedure, designed and produced by DEKA, a laser technology firm based in Florence, Italy, that delivers fractional CO2 laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue. It treats changes in vaginal health often caused by menopause, including painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, itching, burning, loss of vaginal tone and elasticity.
“I heard about it actually, through a patient who had had it done and was thrilled. I contacted the rep for it and was sold after the first meeting, when I saw the many, many tutorials of how it was changing women’s lives in Europe where it had been out for a while,” says Fergon.
Although symptoms related to menopause that prevent having healthy sex lives are not new, it’s taken a long time for women’s issues with sexual dysfunction to be openly addressed.
“There are probably many reasons for this,” Fergon says. “I think culturally it has always been more open for men to discuss sexual issues than for women. I also think many women would not even know who to talk to about these issues and may be embarrassed to do so.”
The response to Mona Lisa Touch has been overwhelming.
“The majority of women treated, about 90%, have come back with amazing stories of how much it has improved their lives and many of them have shared their life changing stores,” Fergon says.
“The most touching was from a woman who had not been able to have relations with her husband for nearly 20 years before he passed away. She had been dating a new gentleman for about 6 months, but was considering calling it off since she was certain they could never have a normal physical relationship. After her treatments with the Mona Lisa Touch, she was thrilled to discover that part of her life was returned, and so he came with her to the last visit to thank me and hug me!
“It was a wonderful moment. I wish it could help every single woman. While not everyone has had complete remission of their symptoms most have had significant improvement. The response has been truly phenomenal.”