Posts made in December, 2008

Happy, peaceful, healthy, prosperous, joyful…

Posted by on Dec 31, 2008 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

New Year!

New You!

Enjoy….see you in 2009!

Winner of $25 Itunes card to be announced in the morning.

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Best post of 2008 – you decide

Posted by on Dec 29, 2008 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

I’ve decided to hold a contest to ring in the new and let go of the old.

Please email me or add a comment (with your name/email address) about what Flashfree post resonated the most this year. If I get enough feedback, I’ll draw names out of a hat and announce the post on December 30. Winner gets a $25 itunes card to insure that the New Year launches with a rocking start.

Voting closes at midnight, 12-31 and the winner will be announced on 1-1-09.

Email me at

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One-stop shopping

Posted by on Dec 29, 2008 in herbal medicine | 4 comments

I recently ran across a press release for Menersa™, Vitaloix Labs’ neutraceutical that the company says addresses 34 common symptoms of menopause, including:

  • weight gain
  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • mood swings
  • vaginal dryness
  • urinary changes
  • loss of sex drive

Wow! One pill that does ALL THAT. Company spokesperson Janice Greenberg, also says that “evidence suggests that it (Menersa™) is comparable to low-dose estradiol for relieving hot flashes.”

So, what is in this wonder “drug” anyhow?

According to the product website, Menersa™ is a combination of phytoestrogens, black cohosh, soy isoflavones and other natural ingredients.

I want to believe

Truly, I do. But if anything, science and medicine has proven that one size rarely fits all.  What’s more, the company cites clinical studies that back their efficacy claims and yet the only thing on the web is a one-pager on the supplement that contains a description, testimonials and an order form.

As regular readers of this blog knows, I am a huge fan of herbal and alternative approaches to addressing menopausal symptoms. However, I am also a stickler for data that supports any claims.

So, Vitaloix. Show me the data. And if it does what it says it does, I’ll be an enduring fan.

Any of you try Menersa™ yet? Tell me about the product.

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Older but wiser?

Posted by on Dec 26, 2008 in cervical cancer | 2 comments

Age and wisdom don’t always go hand-in-hand.

Indeed, recently published data show that nearly 1 in 16 older women in the United States are infected with high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV).  HPV, of which there are 40 types, is classified as low-risk or high-risk, depending on whether or not it causes genital warts (low-risk) or cancer (high-risk).

Left undetected, HPV (which resides in the skin and mucous membranes) can be easily transmitted during sexual activity. What’s more, the virus causes virtually no symptoms until the infection reaches more advanced stages. In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can increase the risk for cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis and anus.

In this study, researchers conducted interviews with 1,550 women, ages 57 to 85, residing in Chicago. Additionally they drew  vaginal samples and tested them for 13 high-risk types of HPV.

Study results, which were published in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, showed that the prevalence of high-risk HPV was 6% in this population; this corresponds to 1.8 million women (2006 Census data). Additionally, 63%  had multiple type infections.

Factors contributing to higher HPV risk included being single, smoking, having had 2 or more sexual partners and having previously had cancer or a hysterectomy.

HPV vaccine for older women?

The new, controversial HPV vaccine — Gardisil — is only  indicated for girls, ages 9 through 12, and may also offer protection for females through the age of 26, so long as they have not been previously vaccinated.  A condom may offer some amount of protection, but because HPV can affect areas that are not covered by a condom, the risk may remain in certain individuals. Short of that, the only way to truly prevent transmission is to avoid sexual activity altogether.

Merck did submit an application to extend use of Gardisil through the age of 45 but as of today, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration continues to express concern that the data do not support this extension.

Fortunately, there are options for women over age 30

The American Cancer Society now recommends that in addition to the pap smear (which can miss precancerous cells in up to 50% of cases), women over age 30 should have an HPV test. Like a pap, it simply require a swab and can be done at the same time. If results are negative in both, it is not necessary to have either again for 3 years.

It’s important to note that although there is no treatment for HPV, the immune system is able to clear both low- and high-risk types in 90% of cases. And of course, vigilance is a wonderful way to treat cervical cancer early, when necessary.

Be older and wiser

The take-away message is that older women remain at risk for HPV and have an increased risk for more severe infections.

Knowledge is power. Take the time to be tested, learn more about HPV, and open the lines of communication with your partner. At least 50% of men and women who have sex will develop HPV at some point in their lifetime, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 6.2 million American become infected yearly.

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Wednesday Bubble: Hot stuff

Posted by on Dec 24, 2008 in sexual desire, sexual health | 5 comments


Those of you who regularly read this blog know that I’ve spent quite a bit of time this Fall writing about sex. Sexual desire, sexual dysfunctiontestosterone and sex, self respect, happiness….sex.

However, when a friend of mine recently mentioned that it is commonly believed amongst men is that women going through menopause are insatiable,  I had to jump on him (figuratively, of course) and the topic.

This statement blows all the data proving otherwise, well, right out the window.

Women going through menopause are insatiable.

So ladies and gentlemen, the soapbox is yours’ today on Flashfree. Let’s burst the bubble and put the myth and misconceptions about midlife and sex to rest, once and for all (okay, I can’t really promise not to write about this topic again but once and for all this week….):

What are your experiences? Take the poll or comment. Let’s talk!

[polldaddy poll=”1223610″]

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