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Dr. Angela Stoehr of ‘Nurture Women’s Health’: “Never assume you won’t get called in”

Women juggle several roles — being a caregiver, employee, friend, wife, mom, among many others. I believe learning to manage these different roles is somewhat inherent to women. What helps me to balance these different roles and maintain a better wellbeing is to be 100% present wherever I am, and whomever I am with. If I am at […]

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Women juggle several roles — being a caregiver, employee, friend, wife, mom, among many others. I believe learning to manage these different roles is somewhat inherent to women.

What helps me to balance these different roles and maintain a better wellbeing is to be 100% present wherever I am, and whomever I am with. If I am at the office or hospital, I am 100% present with my patients. If I am home with my children, I am 100% present with them. Same with my husband. I may not be a master at juggling all of these roles, but I try to be physically and emotionally present in the moment and I find that helps a lot. I also think it’s impossible to take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. For me, that means having a date night with my husband once a week — it’s a nice way for us to unwind and we do our best to stick to that. I also make time for activities that I enjoy, such as gardening and sewing. I encourage my patients to make time for things they enjoy — it’s so important to their overall wellbeing.


As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Angela Stoehr, an OB/GYN who also focuses on pelvic/sexual pain and sexual dysfunction, and works out of Nurture Women’s Health in Frisco, Texas. An experienced practitioner who offers some of the best care available in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Dr. Stoehr obtained her medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine. She then went on to complete her residency at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Whether it has been my time participating in medical missions around the world or my current role as an OB/GYN specializing in chronic pelvic/sexual pain and sexual dysfunction in Texas, I’ve always been eager to contribute to the greater good in public health. One of the central tenets of my life’s work is reaching out, working with, and caring for my patients.

Outside of my practice, my husband and I are proud parents to two wonderful children. I love gardening, sewing, crocheting, taking my dogs for walks and playing the piano.

There is also a critical part of my backstory that has shaped the way I treat my patient’s pain. Several years ago, we became a ‘host home’ to junior hockey players from across the country. When I learned that a young man staying with us lost two of his best friends to an opioid overdose, it quickly opened my eyes to how easily opioid prescriptions get diverted. It ultimately changed how I manage my patient’s pain. I felt an overwhelming responsibility to figure out how I could provide pain management with fewer, or even zero opioids. Effectively managing pain after a procedure works hand in hand with a quicker recovery. This is especially important for moms-to-be who often will focus on the pain “during” childbirth. While that is important, it’s only one part of the process — especially for women who have C-sections and want to be able to take care of their newborn once they’re home. Fortunately, non-opioid options used during surgery can help patients get through the first few days when pain is often at its worst. Non-opioids have completely changed the way I practice medicine.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

I’ve had a lot of “interesting stories” throughout my career. I once took care of a patient whose husband was a professional athlete — he wanted to be incredibly involved in the delivery process and was thrilled to “catch” his daughter as we delivered her.

I also vividly remember my first C-section where I was able to avoid opioids (narcotics) after surgery. I was so nervous the patient would be in pain, and that all my preparation and counseling with her would fail. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when she walked out of the hospital two days after surgery with her pain well managed with ibuprofen and acetaminophen (without any opioids)!

One key insight I’d love to share with women — be empowered! Women who are involved and understand what is happening to their bodies are more likely to have better outcomes after their procedure. While medications and therapies help, it’s important the patient is “in it” too. Answering their questions with sound counsel makes a significant difference in a patient’s recovery journey.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting your practice? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

That’s a tough question for a surgeon to answer, as we don’t like to admit our faults! While I can think of several small mistakes that had no consequences for the patient, one instance that stands out occurred when I was a resident and told a patient that her own misbehavior had caused her preterm labor. It was a true statement, but as my senior resident pointed out, this mom will blame herself forever for her child’s medical issues. This experience underscores that how you say something to a patient is just as important as what you say to a patient.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

This may sound really cliche, but my parents and older sister are the first people who come to mind. My parents always told me I could do anything and be whatever I wanted and their support was so appreciated. My mom was amazing — she even helped me study all the way through medical school and residency by grilling me for hours over the phone.

My older sister, Anita, is the person who led me into my specialty of pelvic/sexual pain and sexual dysfunction. She has her doctorate in physical therapy and a PhD in neurophysiology. She teaches now, but when she was in full time practice she worked with pelvic and sexual pain patients and encouraged me to take the difficult cases. That quickly became my passion.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

The opioid epidemic has been in the news for years, but many people are unaware that opioids can actually slow down recovery after surgery. As a doctor, I know all too well the risks opioids can present to patients after surgery, especially among women. In fact, research found women are 40% more likely than men to become persistent users of opioids following surgery, meaning they continue to use opioids 3–6 months after their procedure. Although opioids can help manage pain, they are often associated with several unwanted side effects such as nausea, vomiting and constipation which can limit a patient’s ability to ambulate and eat after surgery — activities that are proven to help patients recover.

I encourage anyone planning for surgery — whether it’s a C-section, breast reconstruction, gynecologic procedure, or a joint replacement — to ask their doctor about how their pain can be managed before, during and after surgery, as well as what non-opioid options are available. These options can support a patient’s recovery and help avoid many of the unwanted opioid-related side effects.

About five years ago, I started using a long-acting non-opioid option called EXPAREL in my practice and I’ve been able to significantly decrease the number of opioids prescribed to my patients. EXPAREL is a long-acting numbing medication injected by your doctor during surgery (including C-section) that allows me to effectively control patients’ pain and provide a positive recovery experience with limited or no opioids. As a result, many of my patients are up, walking and eating hours after surgery and are also able to return home a few days after a C-section.

Can you share your top “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story.

Women juggle several roles — being a caregiver, employee, friend, wife, mom, among many others. I believe learning to manage these different roles is somewhat inherent to women.

What helps me to balance these different roles and maintain a better wellbeing is to be 100% present wherever I am, and whomever I am with. If I am at the office or hospital, I am 100% present with my patients. If I am home with my children, I am 100% present with them. Same with my husband. I may not be a master at juggling all of these roles, but I try to be physically and emotionally present in the moment and I find that helps a lot.

I also think it’s impossible to take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. For me, that means having a date night with my husband once a week — it’s a nice way for us to unwind and we do our best to stick to that. I also make time for activities that I enjoy, such as gardening and sewing. I encourage my patients to make time for things they enjoy — it’s so important to their overall wellbeing.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Honestly, one of the biggest things women need to hear right now is how important it is for them to advocate for themselves. If you don’t feel like you are getting the information, attention, or treatment you need, you should feel empowered to seek out another provider. If there is something that concerns you about your body and a provider dismisses it then go for a second opinion. You need to advocate for yourself and for your family. I know parents go to great lengths to advocate for their children, so make sure to do the same for yourself.

It’s also so important to ask your doctor whether they use non-opioids to manage pain during preliminary discussions before surgery. If they do not or will not use non-opioids, or if they rely heavily on opioids to manage pain after a procedure, you should absolutely feel empowered to consult with different providers who may have a treatment plan that better fits your recovery goals.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. The best reward for the insane amount of hours you work is the patient’s experience and recovery, not your paycheck.
  2. You will never be more appreciated than when you listen, even if you can’t fix it.
  3. You can always work another day; you cannot regain time with your kids.
  4. Everything is washable except for nice shoes. Don’t ever wear them to work.
  5. Never assume you won’t get called in. The only way to avoid that is to turn off your phone.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

My husband and I are big into both sustainability and environmental changes. I’d really like for my children and grandchildren to have a decent place to live. We avoid plastic almost completely, opting for glass, silicone, and bamboo replacements. We use environmentally friendly cleaning options and recycle twice as much as we throw away. I think that preserving the environment and minimizing our footprint is paramount to the survival and happiness of our families.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Instagram: @angiestoehrmd

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheStoehrCenter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nurturewomenshealth/

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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