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Posts Tagged ‘vaginal moisturizer’

You say you’ve been using Replens regularly, and have noticed that hydrogenated palm oil is among the ingredients. You’ve heard that hydrogenated fats are unhealthy, and wonder whether you should be concerned.

You’re right to be concerned about ingesting hydrogenated palm oil in food products, especially if you have elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. As an ingredient for a topical product, though, like a vaginal moisturizer, the oil is safe and won’t affect your lipids. Applied to the surface of your skin or tissues, the moisturizer is not absorbed into your bloodstream.

Keep using that moisturizer! Keeping tissues health goes a long way toward comfort and enjoyment.

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I started MiddlesexMD because I wanted to help women to stay as sexually active as they choose for as long as they choose. I’d heard from too many women in my medical practice who assumed that they were “over” that part of their lives, whether or not they liked the assumption. Discomfort, downright pain, less pleasure, and diminished libido appeared to be barriers they just couldn’t see past.

I thought I was in a unique position to help: I’d practiced obstetrics and gynecology for a couple of decades, had become qualified as a menopause care specialist, and had myself reached what we call “a certain age.” I could explain the medical realities from the perspective of a woman who shared experiences and day-to-day impact.

And I hoped to contribute to breaking the silence about midlife sexual health, since so few of us have talked to our friends, our doctors, and even our partners about what’s changing and what we might want to change.

It’s been rewarding. An unexpected benefit for me—and in some ways for you, too—is all of the people I’ve met who share the vision: of women taking control of their health and wellness, including their sexuality, as they move through midlife.

The MiddlesexMD team first met Rebecca Posten, CEO of PrevaLeaf, at a conference for nurse practitioners in Savannah. We were struck by the similarity in our missions and values. PrevaLeaf’s purpose is to “provide women with gentle and natural products to maintain their intimate wellness.” When Rebecca says she’s all about “helping women stay in control and stay well,” she’s speaking my language.

She and I have other things in common, too: We’ve both had medical training specializing in ob/gyn; we’ve both networked with women entrepreneurs who had practical experience in bringing a vision to life; she shares my interest in spreading the word about women’s health; we both have daughters who know much more than their peers about women’s anatomy and sex.

None of those, though, are the reasons I feel good about offering PrevaLeaf™ products. As a physician, I share PrevaLeaf’s bias toward prevention and wellness, and the intensity of their focus on women’s health. I like how seriously they take natural ingredients; they’re a member of the Natural Products Association and follow their guidelines for ingredients and manufacturing processes.

But the proof is in the products, so I invite you to check them out. PrevaLeaf Oasis is a water-based vaginal moisturizer for daily use. PrevaLeaf Soothe is for those occasions when discomfort calls for some additional relief.

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Like you, I feel the pull of the New Year, the impulse to fresh determination and resolve. (It partly comes, I think, from the satisfaction of packing away the Christmas decorations—much as I love them during the holidays!) I see the January magazine covers with headlines that offer a more organized, less stressed, healthier life.

And I see evidence of the season in the order trends here at MiddlesexMD. There are clearly a number of us who are making resolutions, and our fresh-start, new-focus impulse includes our sexual health.

As we’ve said before, being specific helps when making resolutions. So I dug into the data to see what other women have been choosing during this season of self-improvement. Here are the most popular choices, consistent over the past three years, and the reasons why I’d guess they land at the top of the list:

Vaginal moisturizer: I love that this lands at the top of the list. Moisturizers are used regularly (we put lotion on other body parts daily!) to strengthen vaginal tissues and keep them healthy. They supplement the moisture that we lose as our estrogen levels decline. Yes Water-Based moisturizer is our most popular, but we offer other options as well, including a subscription that keeps you stocked.

Lubricant: Lubricants are the very easiest defense against uncomfortable sex, which many of us experience with vaginal dryness. The most popular resolution purchase is the Personal Lubricant Selection Kit, and for good reason, I think. With the kit, you can sample seven different varieties, and then receive a full-size bottle of your favorite. If lubricants are new to you, this is especially helpful: The drugstore options are overwhelming, and I hate to buy a full-size bottle of something I end up not liking! All of our lubricants are selected for safety, efficacy, and fit for the needs of midlife women.

Kegel tools: I’m also happy to see these among the most-purchased at this time of year. Our upper arms are more visible, so we get a visual prompt to add them to our tone-up list. Our pelvic floors are out of sight and often out of mind—until we’ve lost enough muscle tone to experience incontinence or diminished orgasm. Strong pelvic floors do so much for us! And Kegel tools help us focus on the right muscles to flex, as well as reminding us to do those pesky flexes. Luna Beads Vaginal Weights are among the products most purchased at this time of year (and are actually the most popular of our Kegel tools throughout the year).

Just because these have been popular, of course, doesn’t mean they’re right for you; take some time to think about your own starting point and priorities. But you can also take some comfort in knowing there are simple steps you can take, and you’re not alone in the journey!

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You ask whether there’s an over-the-counter hormonal cream to restore vaginal elasticity. You’re finding intercourse painful and experiencing dryness.

Vaginal moisturizers will help to retain some moisture, but none of them will reverse the process—which is, medically speaking, atrophy given the loss of estrogen. The combination of moisturizers and lubricants will keep things comfortable for a while, but most women eventually need more.

Localized estrogen or the new pharmaceutical Osphena are effective; either requires a consultation with your health care provider. I’m not aware of any hormone-based medication available over the counter and, in fact, encourage a consideration of your medical history and current factors before use.

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Sjogren’s is an immune system disorder most commonly identified by dry eyes and dry mouth, but vaginal dryness is among the additional symptoms. For a vaginal moisturizer, be sure you’re starting with a product designed to be effective for that purpose (and Yes and Emerita are among the favorites we offer). Normally moisturizers are used twice a week, but with a condition like Sjogren’s, you may increase that frequency.

For a lubricant, I’d recommend a hybrid or a silicone (like Pink). The silicone lubricant will last longer and feel more slippery, which usually means less discomfort. The hybrid, which has some of the benefits of both water-based and silicone, may be your choice if you use a silicone vibrator. If you want to experiment to compare lubricants that are water-based, hybrid, and silicone, we offer a Personal Selection Kit so you don’t need to invest in a full-size bottle just for a test!

You have plenty of options in managing your comfort and Sjogren’s! I wish you the best of luck.

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The best option for what you describe is a regular routine of vaginal moisturizer use; use it consistently at least two times a week. Add a lubricant at the time of intercourse to assure your comfort.

Yes is the most popular product at MiddlesexMD for this condition; it’s an organic vaginal moisturizer that can also be used as a lubricant. Emerita is another moisturizer option that works well.

Lubricants come in a number of formulations, so you might want to use our personal selection kit to try out a few and find the one that’s most effective for you and your partner.

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When women in my practice have vaginal dryness or atrophy, I typically start by recommending a vaginal moisturizer. The key is to be faithful, using the moisturizer at least two times each week. Yes is the most popular vaginal moisturizer at MiddlesexMD; the fact that it’s available in pre-filled applicators is definitely a plus for women who don’t like the mess of other options!

If the dryness or atrophy is not effectively managed with a moisturizer (which can happen over time), then I add a vaginal (localized) estrogen product.

I should also mention that a new oral medication for vaginal dryness or pain was approved by the FDA this summer. Non-hormonal, it’s called Osphena and is available by prescription. Because it’s oral, there’s no mess! But you do need to make the consistent commitment, again, to regular use.

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