Posts made in January, 2010

The Roundup: January News and Tidbits

Posted by on Jan 29, 2010 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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[Credit: Special thanks to artist Darryl Willison of Please visit his site and support his work.]

Is it already February? This year is going to fly by. Into the tens and closer to Spring! Let’s take a look at what January brought in terms of menopause and midlife:

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Wednesday Bubble: Scentuelle Seduction, deux

Posted by on Jan 27, 2010 in aromatherapy, sexual desire, sexual health, women's health | 0 comments


A little over a month ago, I enrolled in a user study for Scentuelle™, which you may recall, is an “aroma” patch that uses a woman’s sense of smell to enhance sexual response. At the time, I wrote Scentuelle that reportedly targets smell receptors at the back of nose closest to the brain “with a sensuous blend of aromas” that mimic dopamine, a naturally-occurring chemical associated with pleasure.  Manufacturers of Scentuelle claim that because it acts like dopamine, it increases happiness and by default, arousal.

Now that the user study has ended, it’s time for the reveal.

I am not crazy about product itself, but I love the company’s approach.

The Scentuelle patch is unobtrusive, so much so that  you might forget that you’re even wearing it.  So far as I can surmise, the strategy underlying Scentuelle is a behavioral one, which is why I am giving the product two thumbs up! (In case you are wondering, I was not approached to review this product; as I explained a few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to the product website and while perusing the goods, I saw that they were conducting a user study, which seemed like a great strategy by which to review a product.)

If you have been following this blog, you might have read my posts on sexual desire and Dr. Christine Northrup. If you’ve not read, them, I encourage you to do so because when it comes to how we feel about ourselves and our partners and more importantly, how that translates to sexual desire, she is spot on.

Briefly, Dr. Northrup suggests that we become “ardent explorers” of our own pleasure, in essence, become our own partners in sex. Turn ourselves on and tell ourselves often that a turned on woman is irresistible. Commit to regularly exploring our pleasure potential and live our lives in ways that “excite, motivate, and turns on” other people in our lives. Become self-actualized, confident. For example,

  • Think heartwarming, sexy, uplifting, kind, loving and positive thoughts about yourself and others EVERY DAY
  • Strive for commitment, trust and vulnerability with your partner
  • Get out of your head and into your body….regularly

Philisophically, Scentuelle appears to be taking the same approach; empowerment, fulfillment, exploration and reinforcement. The rub: the use of gentle reminders to smell the patch and think about sex, desire, your partner, senses, arousal, etc. In a Pavlovian way, the patch and its scent (which for me personally, was the largest drawback as I did not care for it) represented daily reminders to think and act. Whether or not the scent actually activated receptors in my brain is an entirely different matter and I remain unconvinced. It’s not that I don’t appreciate aromatherapy; personally, I embrace it — through candles, perfume, flower and tea. Yet, I found this particular scent so unappealing that I was not sure how it was linked to self-actualization and desire.

I like Scentuelle and I’m not bursting any bubbles. I like what the company is done and I like how they follow through. Clearly, they’ve spent a lot of time and research exploring what does and doesn’t turn a woman on.

If you are experiencing declines in sexual desire because of hormones I encourage you to try the product out. It might be the best $30 you ever spent. And if you’re not, tell your friends who are. It’s wonderful to have a natural, potentially effective solution to a waning sexual desire.

Scentuelle seduction? Yeah, I’m all for it!

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A doc and a diva walk up to the rooftop

Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in bioidentical hormones, estrogen, menopause | 4 comments


Taking the mystery out of menopause, one rooftop conversation at a time. Drifters optional.

Yup ladies, the Nation’s own ‘Red Hot Mama’s”, THE source for everything menopause, has teamed up with Novagyne Pharmaceuticals to promote VIVELLE-Dot®, a hormone replacement topical patch. Perched up on the roof, the doc and diva discuss the changes of menopause, hot flashes and more. The conversation is lively and takes the “pause” out of menopause, so much so that makes you wonder what the heck you’re doing up on a roof with these two ladies.

Better yet, why are they up on a roof?!

Let’s talk about Vivelle for just a minute.

VIVELLE-Dot is a patch that is applied to the skin. It delivers a constant dose of a form of a natural (as opposed to synthetic) estrogen called estradiol, which enters the body through a very small skin patch. VIVELLE-Dot is applied twice weekly.

Granted, transdermal, or ‘through-the-skin’ delivery of medications is generally associated with fewer side effects than oral medications since the drug bypasses the liver and directly enters the blood stream. Still, although estradiol is a bioidentical hormone, with the same molecular structure as estrogen found naturally in the body, potentially seriously risks associated with taking estrogen, endogenous or not, include:

  • a 2- to 12-fold risk of developing endometrial cancer, depending on length of time taken and dose
  • breast cancer
  • dementia
  • a 2- to 4-fold increased risk for gallbladder disease
  • increased risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots

Note that using bioidentical hormones is not the same as using bioidentical hormone replacement that is customized to your needs. This is an important distinction to keep in mind the next time that you see the phrase.

Here’s my question: still hanging on the roof with the doc and the diva? Or do you want to drift away?

Menopause isn’t something to “fix,” it’s something to address with safe, effective strategies that don’t turn women into long-term guinea pigs.  Do you want to be a Red Hot Mama? Or do you want give the Mama’s a run for their money?

This ain’t your mama’s menopause, it’s yours.’

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Keep it cool: Sheex

Posted by on Jan 22, 2010 in apparel, hot flash, nightsweats | 2 comments


I am a huge fan of innovative solutions to keeping cool. Which is why I am a huge fan of Sheex.  Disclosure: the company did not contact me to write about them nor have I tried the sheets. However, I have written previously about alternate use of fabrics that were originally developed for athletes to promote a cooler, more comfortable sleep for flashers and sweaters.

According to the website, the technology breathes twice as well as more traditional bedding and transfers body heat twice as effectively as cotton does. It also claims to have three times the drying power of cotton. I also like the fact they’ve taken the time to develop sheets for travel, so that you can keep comfortable wherever you are. What’s more, the company is owned by two women who were former basketball coaches, so clearly they understand women’s needs.

Granted, the sheet sets are expensive. But can you really place a price on comfort and a good night’s sleep? I’d rather spend a bit more money and a bit less time changing sheets or clothing because I’m drenched.

Hat’s off Sheex! Thanks for thinking of us! And let us all “sleep fit” and not fitfully.

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Wednesday Bubble: take care of your wants and needles

Posted by on Jan 20, 2010 in hot flash, nightsweats | 1 comment

Thinking about trying acupuncture for those menopausal symptoms? Make sure they are the real deal!

Researchers say that non-invasive acupuncture, often preferred by the needle-phobic, will not have much effect on hot flashes and symptoms. In fact, in a small scientific study published in the online edition of  Menopause, women with daytime and nighttime hot flashes and symptoms received laser acupuncture treatments or fake laser treatments once every two weeks over a three-month period. (Laser acupuncture (laser acupoint stimulation) is a technique that uses laser light that is applied to — but not inserted into — the skin to stimulate common acupuncture points.) Specific acupuncture points were selected from a series of 10 points and then individualized for each participant and her respective needs.

At the study’s end, no differences were seen between the groups in terms of menopausal symptoms.

Does this mean that acupuncture doesn’t work for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms? No, not at all. In fact, acupuncture has shown to be effective for alleviating hot flashes and the like. But you need real needles. If you are needle-phobic, speak a licensed acupuncturist or check out some of these wonderful links provided by the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I’ve a huge fan of acupuncture and don’t care for needles. Yet, my experience with acupuncture is that in most cases, it is virtually painless and may simply be associated with mild tingling or brief ache that quickly dissipates.

How about you? How has acupuncture worked for your symptoms?

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