Painful Sex: The Menopause Symptom No One Talks About

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin

By Mary Jane Minkin, MD, FACOG, NCMP
Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale Medical School

An educational grant to help fund this article was provided by Duchesnay USA.

Due to improvements in public health and medicine over the past 150 years, the life expectancy for women in the United States has increased into the late 70s, while the age of onset of menopause has remained at around age 52. This means that American women now spend approximately one third of their lives in post-menopause!

Healthy women transition from their reproductive years to menopause when hormone production in their ovaries drops to a level that is no longer sufficient to maintain ovulation and menstruation. 1While many women are happy not to have to worry about monthly periods anymore, lower estrogen levels can cause a number of other, less pleasant symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, bone loss, weight gain, mood swings and sleep disturbances. While most women are prepared for these symptoms, one symptom that often comes as a surprise is pain during sexual intercourse. Also known as dyspareunia, painful intercourse is most often a symptom of Vulvovaginal Atrophy (VVA) due to menopause.

What is VVA?

VVA is a condition in which low estrogen levels due to menopause cause a number of bothersome urinary and vulvovaginal (affecting the vulva and/or the vagina) symptoms. Urinary symptoms can include increased frequency, nocturia (waking at night to urinate), urgency, incontinence, dysuria (painful or difficult urination) and recurrent urinary tract infections.

Vulvovaginal symptoms can include irritation, itching, burning, dryness, light bleeding after intercourse, abnormal discharge and dyspareunia (painful intercourse).2

What VVA looks like

Physiological changes in the vagina due to menopause:3

  • Increased pH level4
  • Fewer superficial cells5
  • More parabasal cells5
  • Diminished blood flow to the vagina, leading to decreased lubrication5

Before menopause, the inner lining of the vagina is moist and thick with ridges (called rugae).

As estrogen levels fall during menopause:

  • The inner lining gets thinner and loses its ridges.
  • Increased parabasal cells and decreased surface (superficial) cells, making the lining sensitive and dry.
  • Vaginal pH levels rise, allowing an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, which can cause vaginal infections and inflammation.
  • Vaginal elasticity decrease and connective tissue increases.
  • Lower estrogen levels decrease blood flow and lubrication.6


After menopause, a low number of surface cells result in the vaginal mucous membrane becoming sensitive and dry.7

With less stretchiness and less moisture, it is no wonder so many menopausal women find sex painful!

Impact of VVA Symptoms: the VIVA Survey

In order to determine what impact the effects of VVA were having on women’s lives, an international survey was conducted among 3,520 postmenopausal women aged 55 to 65 years. The study revealed that 45% of women (51% in the U.S.) reported symptoms of VVA.8

  • 75% said that VVA symptoms had a negative impact on their lives
  • 62% described their symptoms as moderate or severe
  • Over half (55%) reported symptoms lasting 3 years or longer

Why dyspareunia often goes untreated

Despite painful sex being one of the most common symptoms of menopause, it is also one of the most under-treated. Sadly, many women do not seek help for this condition for a variety of reasons. For some women, it is a sensitive topic that they are too shy or embarrassed to discuss with their doctor. Other women think painful sex is simply an inevitable symptom of aging.9 Still others are under the mistaken impression that their symptoms will eventually go away on their own.8  

Why treating dyspareunia is important

While some menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats and fatigue, improve on their own over time, painful sex is a chronic condition. That means that without treatment, symptoms will not go away and may even get worse.10 

As mentioned, women spend an average of 30 years in menopause. That’s a long time to suffer from painful sex! Fortunately, there is no reason to suffer, because a variety of treatment options exist.

Over-the-counter remedies

If you are experiencing painful sex due to menopause, you can start with an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer or lubricant. Lubricants are short acting and used primarily at the time of intercourse. Moisturizers are longer acting and inserted vaginally two or three times a week. While these options are available at your local pharmacy without a prescription, they may provide temporary relief, but do nothing to treat the underlying condition that is causing your pain.

Using a vibrator may also help moisturize vaginal tissues by increasing pelvic blood flow.

When over-the-counter options are not enough

If over-the-counter remedies are not enough and you are looking for a solution that actually helps improve the condition of the tissues that are causing your pain, you have several options: 

Vaginal suppositories

Inserted nightly, these steroid hormones are absorbed by the cells in your vagina and converted into testosterone and estrogen. The estrogen helps increase vaginal moisture, while the effects of the testosterone are uncertain, but it may decrease pain and/or increase libido.

Estrogen therapy

Estrogen therapy has been shown to be very effective at reducing menopause symptoms, including vaginal dryness and overall sexual functioning.11 Estrogen comes in many forms, including vaginal rings, vaginal suppositories (tablets), creams and gels. When used as directed, all three forms ensure that only a minimal amount of estrogen is absorbed by your body.

SERMs

SERMs are non-hormonal, synthetic molecules that work by binding to estrogen receptors in the body and have “tissue selective effects”.12 This means that SERMs have different effects depending on which tissues they are working in. In some areas of the body, SERMs bind to the estrogen receptor and mimic the effects of estrogen, without being estrogen. In other areas, SERMs bind to estrogen receptors and block the effects of estrogen. SERMs are used to treat a variety of medical conditions, but the one used to treat moderate to severe painful sex due to menopause is called “ospemifene”.

Sold under the brand name Osphena®, ospemifene helps counteract the changes in your vaginal tissues that resulted from low estrogen levels. By improving the condition of your vaginal tissues, ospemifene makes sex less painful. In other words, Osphena® provides the relief you need without hormones.

Osphena® may increase the risk of cancer of the lining of the uterus, so tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding while taking Osphena®. It may also increase the risk of stroke and blood clots. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Osphena®.

In addition to being non-hormonal, Osphena® is the only treatment for moderate to severe dyspareunia due to menopause that comes in an oral pill. Many of my patients prefer taking a daily pill by mouth, either because they are uncomfortable using vaginal products that require an applicator, or because they are bothered by the staining and/or physical discomfort caused by vaginal treatments, which may also interfere with sexual spontaneity. Of course, this is a matter of personal preference, but only your doctor can determine if a specific treatment is right for you.  

Start the conversation with your doctor!

While menopause comes with many changes, a loss of sexual intimacy does not have to be one of them. I believe that sexual satisfaction is important at any age. Painful sex due to menopause may be a sensitive subject, but it is a women’s health issue that is simply too important to ignore. That’s why I regularly ask my menopausal patients if they are experiencing pain during or after intercourse. However, like every patient, every doctor is different, so if your doctor doesn’t ask, start the conversation!

Indication and Important Safety Information

Indication: Osphena® is a prescription oral pill that treats moderate to severe painful intercourse, a symptom of changes in and around your vagina, due to menopause.

Most Important Information you should know about Osphena®

Osphena® works like estrogen in the lining of the uterus, but can work differently in other parts of the body. Taking estrogen alone or Osphena® may increase your chance for getting cancer of the lining of the uterus. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the lining of the uterus. Your healthcare provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause, so tell him or her right away if this happens while you are using Osphena®.

Osphena® may increase your chances of having a stroke or blood clots.

You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Osphena®.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have changes in vision or speech, sudden new severe headaches, and severe pains in your chest or legs with or without shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue. Osphena® should not be used if you have unusual vaginal bleeding, have or have had certain types of cancers (including cancer of the breast or uterus), have or have had blood clots, have had a stroke or heart attack, have severe liver problems, are allergic to Osphena® or any of its ingredients, or think you may be pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider if you are going to have surgery or will be on bed rest.

Possible side effects of Osphena®

Serious but less common side effects can include stroke, blood clots and cancer of the lining of the uterus.

Common side effects may include hot flashes, vaginal discharge, muscle spasms and increased sweating.

Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines and supplements you take, as some medicines may affect how Osphena® works. Osphena® may also affect how other medicines work.

Duchesnay USA encourages you to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please read Patient Information for Osphena®(ospemifene) tablets, including Boxed Warning, in the U.S. Full Prescribing Information, at www.osphena.com.

Important Safety Information, including Boxed Warning, and Indication

Indication: What is Osphena® (ospemifene)?

Osphena is a prescription oral pill that treats moderate to severe painful intercourse, a symptom of changes in and around your vagina, due to menopause.

Most Important Information you should know about Osphena®

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have changes in vision or speech, sudden new severe headaches, and severe pains in your chest or legs with or without shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue. Osphena should not be used if you have unusual vaginal bleeding, have or have had certain types of cancers (including cancer of the breast or uterus), have or have had blood clots, have had a stroke or heart attack, have severe liver problems, are allergic to Osphena or any of its ingredients, or think you may be pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider if you are going to have surgery or will be on bed rest.

Possible side effects of Osphena

Serious but less common side effects can include stroke, blood clots and cancer of the lining of the uterus.

Common side effects may include hot flashes, vaginal discharge, muscle spasms and increased sweating.

Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines and supplements you take, as some medicines may affect how Osphena works. Osphena may also affect how other medicines work.

 

 

1 Grady D. N Engl J Med. 2006;355:2338–2347.
2 Minkin MJ, et al. Female Patient. 2012;37:33-41.
3 International Menopause Society Vaginal Atrophy Slide Deck. http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2010/slides.ppt.
4 MacBride MB, Rhodes DJ, Shuster LT. Vulvovaginal Atrophy. Mayo Clin Proc 2010; 85(1): 87-94. 
5 The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2013;20(9):888-902.
6 Mac Bride MB, Rhodes DJ, Shuster LT. Vulvovaginal atrophy. Mayo Clin Proc. 2010 Jan; 85(1):87-94.
7 Simon, J. Premenopausal VMI data and how VMI changes from menopause. Womens Health, 2011; 20(10): 1453-1465.
8 VIVA, Vaginal Health: Insights, Views and Attitudes Survey), Nappi RE, et al. Climacteric. 2012;15:36-44.
9 Kingsberg S., et al. J Sex Med.2013 May 16. [Epub ahead of print].
10 Winneker RC, et al. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2011; 89:129-132.
11 Burger HG et al. Climacteric 2912; 15:281-287.
12 Pinkerton J. Thomas S. Use of SERMs for Treatment in Postmenopausal Women. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecule Biology 2013; accepted 2013:1-13; Wurz GT, Kao CJ, DeGregorio MW. Safety and Efficacy of Ospemifene for the Treatment of Dyspareunia Associated with Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy due to Menopause. Clinical Interventions in Aging 2014; 9: 1939-1950.

Life Line Screening Wanted to Keep Me Healthy. I Didn’t Listen.

Life Line Screening compensated FOF with an advertising sponsorship to write this post. Regardless, I started having its health screenings years before this, and I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit others. Geri Brin, Founder, faboverfifty.com 

                  Carotid artery screening

I wasn’t overly concerned when the ultrasound test from Life Line Screening revealed mild fatty plaque in the carotid artery on the right side of my neck.  Two carotid arteries–there’s another one on the left side–carry oxygenated blood to the brain, neck and face, but the amount of plaque wasn’t a dire threat to my health, at least not immediately. Uncharacteristically, I dismissed the report recommendation to follow up with my doctor, too preoccupied with launching this website at the time.  That was in 2010. I felt good and had no signs of a problem. My weight was reasonable. I exercised. Didn’t smoke or drink. 

My blasé attitude had troubling consequences. 

By last year, my weight had spun out of control, I was working out less, and a new ultrasound showed a dramatic increase in the plaque. Now the bad stuff was narrowing the right carotid artery somewhere between 59 and 80 percent. That got my attention, even if there wasn’t a single symptom. If a piece of plaque broke off and blocked the blood flow, I could have a stroke. To make matters worse, my cholesterol numbers were dismal. My doctor started me on statin therapy right away to lower my cholesterol, told me to lose weight, and to take low-dose baby aspirin every day. 

I’m 15 pounds lighter today and my cholesterol numbers are excellent, thanks to statins. Another carotid artery scan is scheduled for the end of July, and hopefully the level of plaque hasn’t progressed. “It might even have regressed,” my doctor said. If more plaque shows up, surgery might be necessary to clear it out. Serious surgery! 

Ironically, most doctors won’t recommend a carotid artery ultrasound for asymptomatic patients with no family history of stroke. What’s more, Medicare doesn’t cover the test unless someone has experienced symptoms such as transient ischemic attacks, mini strokes lasting only a few minutes.  Without coverage, it’s costly to have tests like this done at a hospital.  The United States health system isn’t a shining example of how to practice preventive medicine. 

Having no reason to suspect any cardiovascular problems nine years ago, I actually arranged for the first ultrasound through Life Line Screening as a preventive measure. Life Line has provided preventive screening to millions, and at remarkably fair fees, since it began 25 years ago. When the original results showed mild plaque, it should have been fair warning not to let myself go. After all, that’s what preventive health care means. That’s what makes Life Line a smart idea.

The Life Line Screening Difference

When Life Line recently contacted me about introducing its screening service to my FOFriends, I didn’t hesitate. After all, they discovered the plaque in my carotid artery at an early stage, not to mention early bone loss, and suggested that I see my own doctor. Pretty foolish not to heed their advice.  “Every day we find people across the country with significant carotid artery disease,” said Dr. Keith Coffee, Chief Medical Officer at Life Line. 

                  A stroke in the brain

Besides the carotid artery screening for plaque, a Life Line special package offers tests for 1) Peripheral arterial disease, a circulatory condition in which blood vessels narrowed by plaque reduce blood flow to the limbs. P.A.D. usually affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach 2) Abdominal aortic aneurysma bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body. Over time, the blood vessel balloons and is at risk for bursting or tearing, which can cause life- threatening bleeding and potentially death. 3) Heart rhythm aka atrial fibrillation or AFib, a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications and 4) Osteoporosisa loss of bone density or mass. 

It’s only $149 for all five screenings.

“We discovered about 62K overall health risks in 2017 alone,” Dr. Coffee said. A team of highly qualified, board-certified radiologists throughout the country, led by a vascular surgeon, reads all ultrasound images as well as the electrocardiograms for AFib. 

“These are screenings, not diagnostic tests,” Dr. Coffee stressed. “We encourage patients to share their results with their doctors so they can together discuss the appropriate treatment, if necessary.” (Remember, that’s what I didn’t do!)  Life Line doesn’t have physicians available who can discuss the test results with patients, and it doesn’t interact with patients’ physicians. They do provide a summary of the results that you can share with your doctor. “We simply provide the incentive for patients to take the right steps for their health,” Dr. Coffee noted. 

If Life Line Screening discovers a life threatening condition, however, such as an aneurysm that’s about to rupture, it will send someone right to the ER and call for an ambulance if they wish.  “Our customers tell us that we’ve possibly saved their lives. We get letters all the time from people who had no symptoms and thought they were just fine, but were at risk for having a large aneurysm about the rupture,” Dr. Coffee said. 

In and Out In 90 Minutes Or Less

    Peripheral arterial disease screening

An average of 50 people a day check into each Life Line location in 60 cities across the country. Teams at the screening sites include at least two ultrasound stenographers who hold certificates in ultrasound technology, and two medical assistants who are cross trained to perform tests including electrocardiograms for heart rhythm, fingerstick blood tests, and peripheral pulses. A nurse practitioner joins most of the teams to see people 65+ years old for Annual Wellness Visits, which are covered under Medicare.

While most people opt for the basic, five-test package I described earlier, many decide to get their cholesterol and glucose checked during the same appointment, Dr. Coffee told me.  Life Line Screening offers 15 preventive screening blood tests, including thyroid function, vitamin D, and hemoglobin A1C for diabetes. It also provides a take-home test for detection of colorectal cancer. A call center with 300 trained employees helps participants decide what tests are right for them, based on their age, risk factors and medical history.

Testing is done in churches, at community centers, fraternal organizations and occasionally in hotel ballrooms.  When Life Line works with affiliates, such as hospitals, anyone with abnormal results is referred back to the hospital. It also offers exclusive screenings for employees of large corporations as part of their healthcare plans. “Our goal is to get people in and out in 60 to 90 minutes, which includes paperwork and waiting time,” Dr. Coffee said. 

                           Results package

A results package arrives in the mail about three weeks after your screening. It reports on every test you took and on your risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease in general, taking into account factors including smoking, high cholesterol and family history. “We give you all the information we can to help you make lifestyle changes and modifications if you need to,” Dr. Coffee explained.  If a major issue such as Afib is discovered, a Life Line representative will call you directly, rather than having you wait for the results package. 

People generally have their first Life Line screenings at 55 years old. “We have patients in their 40s who just want to know where they fit healthwise, or maybe they have a family history of early strokes. And, we have people in their 90s,” Dr. Coffee said. Returning patients account for about half of Life Line’s annual screenings, and close to 90 percent of all patients have their own physicians. 

Please learn from my error: Get preventive screenings once you’re in your mid-fifties, whether or not you have symptoms.  And pay attention to what you learn.

for peace of mind or early detection 

After 18 Years of Suffering, One Patient Discovers a Treatment That “Finally Worked”

This is a sponsored post. Salix Pharmaceuticals compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will be informative for our readers. —Geri Brin

Her illness first erupted with stomach cramps and pains that would last for weeks at a time. Debilitating, uncontrollable diarrhea followed. Dawn Cobb was 44 and married with three young children. She had always been healthy.

She had colonoscopies, CAT scans, lactose testing, and stool tests, but everything checked out okay. Diets to still the diarrhea didn’t help either. Dawn stopped eating nuts when the doctor thought she might have diverticulosis. She didn’t!  

Dawn’s life was in turmoil. The cramps and pain were bad enough, but never knowing when she’d have a surprise attack of diarrhea, Dawn stopped taking long walks with her friends and other activities that would prevent her from quickly getting to a bathroom. There was no pattern to her symptoms. Periodically, she’d even feel totally fine.

                     Dawn playing tennis

“I owned a retail shop at the time and I literally would bring changes of clothes or have to run home in the middle of the day,” Dawn said. “If I was going out to play tennis, I had to be really careful about what I ate that morning. I could just be sitting at home after having a cup of coffee and ruin my couch cover. I never knew what was going to happen.”

Dawn lived like this for 11 years, trying vainly to find a solution. “You can’t sit back and just accept that this is going to be your way of life. Doctors think you’re stressed, that you want attention, but you can’t let them think that you’re crazy. You have to know this isn’t right. Your body should not be doing this,” Dawn said.

Finally diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), Dawn at least knew she wasn’t crazy. But even if she had a name for her disease, there wasn’t a solution that worked for her, so she continued enduring her horrific symptoms for another five years. She also suffered in silence, not telling anyone–including her family–about her illness. I barely shared details about my episodes with my doctor, and she was a woman,” Dawn said.

When symptoms got out of hand about two years ago, and Dawn “just couldn’t take it anymore,” her doctor discussed different treatment options, one of which was surgical intervention. Seeming drastic to her, Dawn went to another gastrointestinal (GI) doctor for a second opinion. That’s when she learned about XIFAXAN® (rifaximin), a two-week treatment that received FDA approval in 2015 specifically to treat IBS-D in adults. Dawn told her long-time doctor about it, who agreed to write a prescription. Patients can be retreated up to two times if symptoms come back.

INDICATION

• XIFAXAN® (rifaximin) 550 mg tablets are indicated for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) in adults.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
•XIFAXAN is not for everyone. Do not take XIFAXAN if you have a known hypersensitivity to rifaximin, any of the rifamycin antimicrobial agents, or any of the components in XIFAXAN.


(See additional Important Safety Information below and click
 here for full Prescribing Information for XIFAXAN®.)

XIFAXAN ultimately worked for me,” said Dawn, now 62 years old. Dawn responded to her initial course of treatment, but did experience recurring symptoms. She was retreated, and she hasn’t needed to go back to her GI doctor since. “My doctor had mentioned I may have side effects like nausea but I had no nausea at all. I have been able to do things like walk four miles, not petrified that I’ll make it back without an incident. I no longer walk onto a plane afraid of what’s going to happen if the bathroom is occupied,” Dawn explained. “I tell everyone about XIFAXAN. I want other women who suffer with the same symptoms I had, but don’t talk about them, to find out about it. This is my experience with XIFAXAN. If you’re experiencing IBS-D symptoms, talk to your doctor to see if XIFAXAN is right for you.”

To learn more about IBS-D and how XIFAXAN treats it, we spoke to Dr. Caterina Oneto, a gastroenterologist in New York City. 

Dr. Oneto is not giving medical advice. Patients should talk to their healthcare professionals about what is right for them.

FABOVERFIFTY:   WHAT CAUSES IBS-D?

DR. ONETO:  IBS-D is a complex and heterogeneous disease, and we don’t have a complete understanding of its cause or causes. Several factors seem to contribute to it, including an imbalance of the gut microbiota, visceral hypersensitivity (abnormal pain within the inner organs), motility abnormalities (uncommon intestinal contractions), psychosocial stressors  (the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of what it means to be healthy), and environmental factors.

WHO IS MOST AFFECTED BY IBS-D?

IBS affects about 10 percent of the population in the United States, and of those patients, about 60 percent have a diarrheal component.

IBS is more common in women; in fact, 60 to 80 percent of participants in most IBS clinical trials are women, generally 25 to 50 years old. But you can get it when you’re older.”

BESIDES THE SYMPTOMS DAWN COBB EXHIBITED (E.G. STOMACH CRAMPS AND PAINS THAT WOULD LAST FOR WEEKS AT A TIME AND DEBILITATING, UNCONTROLLABLE DIARRHEA), ARE THERE OTHER SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH IBS-D?

IBS-D symptoms can vary widely from one person to the next. However, the two most common are abdominal pain and diarrhea, which is what Dawn experienced. Having frequent and unpredictable diarrhea can be quite disruptive to a person’s personal and professional life and sometimes patients even avoid leaving their homes because they’re afraid to have ‘accidents.'”

WHY DID IT TAKE 18 YEARS FOR DAWN COBB TO GET AN OFFICIAL DIAGNOSIS?

“Sometimes patients don’t seek medical attention for their IBS symptoms. If they’re suffering from diarrhea and abdominal pain they may try to restrict their diet or use over-the-counter drugs. Or, they may accept their symptoms and tell themselves they just have a ‘sensitive stomach’. Patients who seek medical attention for their symptoms may just get antidiarrheals or antispasmodics, but a formal diagnosis will not necessarily be made.”

HOW IS AN IBS-D DIAGNOSIS MADE?

“The diagnosis of IBS-D, in most cases, can be made by taking a good history and performing a physical exam. When evaluating a patient with diarrhea and abdominal pain, it’s important to ask the right questions to determine if other symptoms are present, such as weight loss, rectal bleeding, anemia, and a family history of gastrointestinal cancers, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) or celiac disease.  These symptoms should make the clinician question the diagnosis of IBS and consider further evaluation that may include lab tests, imaging (like an ultrasound or CT scan) and possibly a colonoscopy and/or endoscopy.”

WHAT IS XIFAXAN AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

“Approved for the treatment of IBS-D in 2015, XIFAXAN is an antibiotic that works on the gut microbiome, a possible factor in IBS-D. Unlike other antibiotics prescribed to combat issues such as sore throats, sinus and urinary infections, XIFAXAN is minimally absorbed into the bloodstream, but stays within the GI tract to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This makes it a well-tolerated medication with a side effect profile similar to placebo. In clinical studies, the most common side effects associated with XIFAXAN for IBS-D were nausea and increase in liver enzymes.”

 XIFAXAN was shown to provide relief from abdominal pain and diarrhea

WHAT IS THE COURSE OF TREATMENT AND SUCCESS RATE?

XIFAXAN is taken by mouth, three times a day, for 14 days. In clinical trials, some patients achieved lasting relief up to six months (relief ranged from 6-24 weeks; average of 10 weeks) after only one course of therapy.

“Those patients whose symptoms return can be retreated up to two additional times. Many patients appreciate XIFAXAN because it lets them control their IBS-D symptoms without taking daily long-term medications.”


INDICATION

XIFAXAN® (rifaximin) 550 mg tablets are indicated for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) in adults.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

      • XIFAXAN is not for everyone. Do not take XIFAXAN if you have a known hypersensitivity to rifaximin, any of the rifamycin antimicrobial agents, or any of the components in XIFAXAN.

      • If you take antibiotics, like XIFAXAN, there is a chance you could experience diarrhea caused by an overgrowth of bacteria (C. difficile). This can cause symptoms ranging in severity from mild diarrhea to life-threatening colitis. Contact your healthcare provider if your diarrhea does not improve or worsens.

      • Talk to your healthcare provider before taking XIFAXAN if you have severe hepatic (liver) impairment, as this may cause increased effects of the medicine.

      • Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking drugs called P-glycoprotein and/or OATPs inhibitors (such as cyclosporine) because using these drugs with XIFAXAN may lead to an increase in the amount of XIFAXAN absorbed by your body.

      • In clinical studies, the most common side effects of XIFAXAN in IBS-D were nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) and an increase in liver enzymes.

      • XIFAXAN may affect warfarin activity when taken together. Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking warfarin because the dose of warfarin may need to be adjusted to maintain proper blood-thinning effect.

      • If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing, talk to your healthcare provider before taking XIFAXAN because XIFAXAN may cause harm to an unborn baby or nursing infant.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch/ or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For product information, adverse event reports, and product complaint reports, please contact:

Salix Product Information Call Center
Phone: 1-800-321-4576
Fax: 1-510-595-8183

Email: salixmc@dlss.com

Please click here for full Prescribing Information.

The XIFAXAN product and the XIFAXAN trademark are licensed by Alfasigma S.P.A. to © 2019 Salix Pharmaceuticals or its affiliates.

New Website Addresses The Impact Of Vaginal Symptoms Due To Menopause

Fab Over Fifty works with many companies that specialize in women’s health, and one of the finest is Duchesnay USA, which markets a treatment for moderate to severe vaginal dryness and painful sex due to menopause. These may not be subjects women rush to discuss with their partners or best friends, but they’re real medical conditions that can be devastating–physically and emotionally–and they can be treated. 

Duchesnay has launched a new website for its drug Osphena, which has recently received FDA approval for the treatment of moderate to severe vaginal dryness due to menopause.  Osphena had FDA approval for the treatment of moderate to severe dyspareunia (painful intercourse) due to menopause. 

The site’s technological improvements, such as speedy downloading and easy navigation, are a small part of the story.  Women can access short videos packed with information from Dr. Barb DePree, Osphena’s new spokesperson, who specializes in menopausal care. Dr. DePree covers subjects including how to recognize the vaginal symptoms of menopause and what causes them to the reasons you should talk about painful sex to your doctor. “Talking about painful sex to a healthcare provider is as normal as talking about back pain or headaches,” Dr. DePree explains. 

You’ll also learn how Osphena works to improve the condition of specific vaginal tissues and why it’s an excellent option for women who are concerned about hormone-based treatments or uncomfortable with treatments that require vaginal application. 

Duchesnay USA is committed to empowering women to take control of their health at every stage of their lives. It is determined to raise awareness about some of the lesser known, yet most common and bothersome symptoms of menopause. It will consider itself successful if  it can get women to talk to their healthcare providers about treatment options. 

Powerful New Supplement Targets Brain Plaques And Tangles

This is a “sponsored post.” Percepta compensated FOF with an advertising sponsorship to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers. All insights and expressed opinions are our own. —Geri Brin

I can fanatically floss and dutifully diet to help control the soft and sticky stuff on my teeth and the fatty buildup in the right carotid artery in my neck. But there’s not much I can do if impenetrable plaques accumulate between the nerve cells in my brain, and start to rob my memory and destroy my mind. Naturally, it got my attention when I heard about an exciting, new and natural plant-based supplement that’s more powerful than any other for targeting out-of-control brain “plaques” and “tangles.”  They’re the real reasons we lose memory as we age.  I’m not afraid of much. I’m petrified of losing my mind.

Anxious to learn more, I arranged for an interview with Dr. Alan Snow, one of the two neuroscientists behind the new supplement who has spent decades studying brain health and the aging brain. “We’re all walking around with a bunch of  plaques and tangles in our brains, starting in our early to mid-20s,” Dr. Snow said. “We now know they’re there, but no one knows with certainty why they accumulate and cause memory loss in people as they age.”

Plaques and tangles, both forms of protein, can become partners in crime.  Plaques–hard, insoluble clumps of amyloid protein fragments–settle between nerve cells in the brain, and look like “giant meatballs,” Dr. Snow told me. In a healthy brain, protective cells from our immune system recognize the plaque as an enemy and move in to destroy their protein fragments. In some people, the protective cells misfire,  killing healthy brain cells instead, and actually trigger the production of even more harmful plaques as well as neuroinflammation. The plaques can literally stand in the way of our nerve cells talking to each other. This prevents us from forming coherent thoughts or sharp memories.

Brain tangles of tau protein

Tangles–tau protein–are twisted fibers that live inside the cells and look like “dried-up spaghetti,”  Dr. Snow said.  In healthy brain cells, the protein normally supports essential structures that carry nutrients and other important substances from one part of the nerve cell to another. In brain aging, the tau protein may be abnormal, the structures collapse and the cells die.

Newer research also has established the link between neuroinflammation and memory loss, “although we don’t know the cause of the inflammation,” Dr. Snow added. “We think some people might have problems with brain inflammation later in life. Others can live to be 100 years old and have brains filled with plaques and tangles, but their memories stay basically intact.  They don’t have inflammation in the brain,” explained Dr Snow, who calls the combination of plaques, tangles and inflammation “the memory loss trilogy.”

THE POWER OF CAT’S CLAW ON THE AGING BRAIN 

Percepta, Dr. Snow’s new supplement, is made with PTI-00703® cat’s claw, a natural plant extract from a wild, woody vine in the Amazon rainforest. The plant’s thorns, by the way, are shaped like a cat’s claw! “I’ve been working in the drug development field for brain aging for over 30 years and have never seen a more potent inhibitor of both plaques and tangles than the cat’s claw that we discovered,” Dr. Snow said confidently. 

Dr. Snow and a team of research scientists  at the University of Washington began studying the interaction between  different dietary supplements and amyloid plaques about two decades ago. Testing dozens of nutraceuticals purchased from a Seattle vitamin shop, they were exhilarated when one of them took only a few minutes to disintegrate the plaque they had replicated in a test tube.  It was a mixture of cat’s claw and glucosamine, so Dr. Snow next tested each ingredient separately. “The cat’s claw was able to stop the plaques from forming in a particular way, but once they did form, it dissolved them in a few minutes. “As soon as we added the cat’s claw to the test tube, the plaques broke apart and were gone!” Dr. Snow said.  Dr. Snow later discovered cat’s claw had the same effect on tangles in the brain.

          Cat’s Claw

Dr. Snow tested the PTI-00703® cat’s claw on mice that had been genetically engineered to grow plaques in their brains as they aged. The major newly discovered polyphenol in cat’s claw (known as proanthocyanidin B2) by the Snow research team decreased plaques in older mice by 52 to 58% and in younger mice by 74 to 83% over a three-month period. The reduction of brain plaques also led to a 58% improvement in short-term memory, almost back to normal. This work was finally published in a 109-page paper in Nature- Scientific Reports on February 6, 2019, by Snow et al. It represented over 10 years of scientific studies on the effects of PTI-00703® cat’s claw on brain plaques, tangles and inflammation, and included over eight different institutions involved in different aspects of the studies.

THE PERCEPTA DISTINCTION 

Cat’s claw isn’t a new supplement. The Inca civilization used it for medicinal purposes. Today, at least  dozens of brands market cat’s claw capsules, liquids and powders for everything from fighting viral infections to stimulating the immune system. But the cat’s claw in Percepta® is superior to any other, Dr. Snow asserted. “We tested brands from 18 different companies all over the world, and located a high elevation in the Amazon rainforest that grows the most potent cat’s claw we have ever seen for specifically targeting brain plaques, tangles and inflammation,” he explained. “And, the proprietary process we use to extract our cat’s claw from the plant’s bark and concentrate it into a powder seems to optimize its plaque and tangle dissolving activity.”  A second ingredient in Percepta is MemorTeaTM, a specific oolong tea extract from the mountains of China. “Partially oxidized and partially fermented, our research demonstrated that oolong tea acts more potently on plaques than black and green tea,” Dr. Snow said. 

Oolong tea acts potently on brain plaques

Percepta has 50 global patents covering cat’s claw for brain health, including cognition, short term memory, focus, concentration and executive function. “We had to stop a couple of supplement companies from claiming their cat’s claw was good for brain health because they were infringing on our patents,” Dr. Snow said.

“Exercising, sleeping well, and reducing stress have everything to do with helping to clear out the plaque load that accumulates in your brain so it will function better. One-third of memory loss cases can be prevented by lifestyle changes,” Dr. Snow stressed.  And make sure to add Percepta to your smart schedule. Each two-capsule dose works for about 24 hours, which is how long it takes for plaques to turn over in our brain. “Most people see an increase in memory, focus and/or concentration within a few weeks,” Dr. Snow said.  “One woman with brain tangles from multiple concussions had memories she hasn’t had in 13 years after she started taking Percepta.”

Naturally Alleviate Hot Flashes

EQUELLE compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit others. Geri Brin, Founder, faboverfifty.com #EquelleAmbassador

No matter how many articles I read about hot flashes, or how many women described theirs to me in excruciating detail, I never could have imagined how wretched they’d actually make me feel. Like contractions during labor, until you personally experience a whole bunch of hot flashes, you’ll never understand the anguish they can cause.

If you’re currently suffering through hot flashes due to menopause, you surely don’t need an essay about them from me. If you haven’t yet had one, nothing I say will make it any easier when you do. Both groups of women, however, should know about a new non-hormonal [1] supplement, EQUELLE, that can help alleviate the frequency of hot flashes as well as muscle aches associated with menopause.

The most common menopause symptom and the second most common in perimenopause, hot flashes affect 75 percent of women in the US [2], many for as long as a decade. While some women might experience just a couple of hot flashes every day, others might have several every hour.  Considering how debilitating they can be, EQUELLE is a potential godsend to millions of ladies.

Happily, scientists are discovering how to replicate crucial chemical reactions in our body, without using hormones, so that vital biological processes aren’t hindered as we age. Although the exact cause of hot flashes isn’t known, they’re definitely linked to the decline of estrogen during menopause, and its effect on the brain’s ability to regulate our body temperature. We may no longer need estrogen to conceive when we’re 50 years old, but when our estrogen level starts falling, it can take quite a toll on a woman’s body. A sudden feeling of feverish heat, accompanied by profuse sweating, especially on the upper body, is one of the most distressing reactions. 

HOW EQUELLE THROWS “COLD WATER” ON HOT FLASHES

Of course, not every available treatment works the same on every woman. What’s more, many women don’t want to treat their hot flashes with some of the drugs and supplements on the market, such as hormone therapy. The beauty of EQUELLE is that it does its job without a single hormone. [3] Its active ingredient, S-equol, is naturally produced from a plant compound in soy through an exclusive process. It helps to alleviate the frequency of menopause-related hot flashes and muscle aches by binding to select estrogen receptors (groups of proteins) inside our cells.

“The active ingredient has a structure similar to estrogen, and can be an option for those seeking different solutions due to potential risks associated with systemic estrogen therapy for certain women,” explained Dr. LeeCole Legette, a principal scientist at Pharmavite, the company that manufactures EQUELLE. LeeCole did the research for her PhD on the effects of botanical compounds such as S-equol on our health. Now she’s delighted women have the option to take a nutritional solution to help them feel their best during the menopausal transition. Interestingly, about three out of 10 U.S. women naturally produce S-equol, LeeCole told me, which might account for why some women have fewer menopause symptoms like hot flashes. EQUELLE recreates this natural compound so more of us can get its benefits, which have been clinically shown.

Women taking a daily oral dose of EQUELLE (with 10mg S-equol) in a 12-week clinical study saw a 58.7% reduction in the frequency of their hot flashes, significantly more than the 34.5% reduction experienced in women who received a placebo. They also had significant improvement in the severity of their neck or shoulder muscle stiffness compared to those on a placebo. While clinical studies showed benefits in four weeks, optimal results were achieved within eight to 12 weeks.

Only on the market a few months, EQUELLE is getting impressive reviews. Consider this 5-star review from Pam M in San Francisco, who participated in a sampling program:

“Prior to taking EQUELLE, I felt like I had lost the ability to function in everyday activities. I was too tired, always sweating, getting hot flashes that would lead people to ask, ‘Are you ok?’ (all because I would flush deep red). Then I began taking EQUELLE, and the hot flashes dropped to almost zero so I could sleep easier and wake up with more energy! I stopped being embarrassed because the hot flashes were not as extreme, and people stopped asking, ‘Are you ok?’ I felt more like myself and able to return to more normal activities!

EQUELLE is so confident you’ll see relief from hot flashes and muscle aches, it invites you to try it for 60 days, and, if you “aren’t feeling EQUELLE,” you’ll get your money back.

This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

[1] Free from human or animal hormones. Contains trace amounts of isoflavones, a type of naturally occurring plant hormone

[2] US Office of Women’s Health. Menopause symptoms and relief. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-symptoms-and-relief#13

[3] Free from human or animal hormones. Contains trace amounts of isoflavones, a type of naturally occurring plant hormone

Read How Low Dose Aspirin Can Help Protect Your Heart & If It’s Right For You

FabOverFifty collaborated with St. Joseph® Low Dose Aspirin to create this post.  All insights and opinions are our own.

Please meet three close friends whom I’ve known for many years. I’ve changed their names, but these are their real stories as they’ve told me (and allowed me to share with you!).

Hannah, a divorced 55-year-old bookkeeper and writer, is slender, fit, and active. She occasionally enjoys a glass of wine, doesn’t smoke, and religiously watches her diet. Her blood pressure is normal, her cholesterol numbers are ideal, and her doctor’s examination and full panel blood test results confirmed that she’s in tip-top shape. Her family has no history of cardiovascular disease.

Rochelle, a married 69-year-old retired dietician, was 20 pounds overweight, with high blood pressure and dangerous cholesterol levels.  Although a scan revealed mild plaque in one of her carotid arteries, Rochelle hasn’t exhibited any symptoms of a stroke. (Note: Plaque consists of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood that can build up, harden and narrow your arteries over time, Carotid arteries are the major blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain, neck and face). Rochelle’s paternal and maternal grandfathers died of heart attacks at 66 and at 82. Rochelle recently lost about 20 pounds and she’s taking statins to regulate her cholesterol as well as blood pressure medication. She tries to walk vigorously at least three times a week, but isn’t an exercise enthusiast otherwise. She doesn’t drink or smoke.

Penny, a single 73-year-old manger in the education field, survived a major heart attack in late 2018 that prevented her from going to work for months. Although she was much heavier decades ago, she’d kept off most of the 50+ pounds she lost years before the attack. Penny’s blood pressure and cholesterol were also under control before the heart attack. She used to be a great fan of wine, but not of exercise. Her mother and father did not die of cardiovascular disease.

My story is similar to Rochelle’s: I was about 20 pounds overweight (but have lost 12 pounds during the last two months and intend to lose at least 15 more), I’m taking statins, and one of my carotid arteries has a more significant buildup of plaque than Rochelle’s, which puts me at greater risk for stroke. My cardiac calcium score indicates my coronary arteries have mild plaque. I don’t drink or smoke, and although I worked with a trainer for years I stopped about six months ago. I know that for my health, I must start exercising regularly again.

Here’s why I’m telling you all this: Each of these stories is different – and your personal story may be different, too! But no matter what your story, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your heart health to find a care plan that’s suitable for you. Although neither Rochelle nor I have suffered a heart attack, like Penny, or a stroke (think of it as a brain attack), each of us discussed our risk factors with our doctors to determine if it would be appropriate to start a low dose aspirin regimen. And, based on their assessments, we are taking one low dose aspirin (81 mg) every day – for different reasons for our cardiovascular health, as well as focusing on a healthy diet. The low dose aspirin will help prevent another heart attack in Penny’s case and a first-time stroke or heart attack for me and Rochelle.

Our doctors’ recommendations about low dose aspirin adhere to the updated Guidelines on the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA).

The doctors quoted in this story were given overviews of my friends’ stories, and did not evaluate them personally.

Although not a universal approach for all, according to Dr. Nieca Goldberg, Medical Director, Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health and Women’s Heart Program at NYU Langone Health, “Taking aspirin following a heart attack or other cardiovascular event will reduce a person’s risk of recurrence by about 25 percent, provided it’s part of a treatment program that includes blood pressure medication and statins if needed, and exercise and diet. “We call the regimen ‘secondary prevention,’” she explained.

But–and this is a crucial but–low dose aspirin is also recommended for women with arterial plaque like Rochelle and I, added Dr. Goldberg. Considering one in three women dies from heart disease, taking aspirin could be a life-saving step for women at risk.

Make sure to speak to your doctor about your overall health and the potential benefits of a daily low dose aspirin for YOU. Please don’t start, stop or change an existing regimen until you’ve consulted with him or her.

Understanding how low dose aspirin works to reduce the risk of a first or second heart attack

When you cut your finger in the kitchen or gash your leg at the ice skating rink, sticky cells in your blood–called platelets or clotting cells, combined with other processes in your blood—come together to stop the flow of blood and repair the damage. That’s good. But blood clots can also form in arteries that supply our heart or brain. That’s bad!  If the plaque in my carotid artery became fragile and ruptured, for instance, the platelets would rush to the scene and clump together to form a clot.  The combination of the clot and the plaque could obstruct and completely halt blood flow in the artery that feeds my brain, and it could lead to a stroke. If the clot were to block a blood vessel feeding my heart, it would cause a heart attack.  

Low dose aspirin works by reducing the ability of platelets to stick together and form a blood clot that could clog an artery and trigger a heart attack or stroke in individuals who have already experienced such an event, or a first attack for someone at risk.

Lest you think we forgot about my pal Hannah, we didn’t. Dr. Goldberg explained that at this stage she doesn’t need low dose aspirin for two big reasons: She hasn’t experienced a cardiovascular event, and she’s at low risk for having one. “Aspirin wouldn’t lower her already low risk for heart disease,” she added. “Even if a woman like Hannah had [has] mildly elevated cholesterol, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend low dose aspirin if she also has no family history of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Jeffrey Bender, a prominent cardiologist with Yale School of Medicine. She also had no other risk factors.

 

As you can tell by these stories, everyone is different. Whether you’re like me or any of my three friends, make sure to speak to your doctor about your potential risks and the potential benefits of a daily low dose aspirin regimen for YOU. Please don’t start, stop or change an existing regimen until you’ve consulted with your doctor. And pass on what you’ve learned to your loved ones with similar health concerns to make sure they are aware and talk to their doctor. St. Joseph® Low Dose Aspirin, the low dose aspirin our mothers relied on when we were kids, is committed to helping us all maintain healthy hearts as we age.

When it comes to loving your heart, talk to your doctor and know you can always pluck St. Joseph right off the shelf at all major retailers. Capture this coupon first. 

Mary Lou Retton Flips Over One Menopause Supplement

Brought to you and sponsored by Amberen

Who can forget Mary Lou Retton’s gymnastic performance at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, CA? Her breathtaking vaults. Her perfect 10s. The first American woman to win the all-around gold medal, she captured our hearts with her boundless exuberance and infectious smile.

                           Mary Lou Retton

I hadn’t followed Mary Lou’s career closely, but I came across her in a TV commercial the other day, talking openly about menopause. It got my attention that she wasn’t just talking about hot flashes and night sweats, but was describing a combination of symptoms—most of all low energy—that had left her constantly feeling sluggish. The worst part, she explained, was thinking that her signature vitality was a thing of the past. 

Mary Lou hadn’t just accepted the change. She’d tried solution after solution to no avail, until finally someone recommended a supplement called Amberen for multi-symptom relief. Unlike many menopause supplements Mary Lou had heard about, Amberen was different. It wasn’t an herb, nor did it contain soy or caffeine or gluten. She tried it, and it worked! After taking Amberen for 30 days, her energy returned. Her hot flashes subsided, and the quality of her sleep improved dramatically. She felt like her true self again, busy living life. The old Mary Lou was back.

>>Click here to get your $10 Amberen Walmart Coupon

CLINCHING THE CLINICAL TRIALS 

After hearing Mary Lou’s personal story I wanted to learn more. As the editor of a website trusted by women 45+, I only recommend health products like this that are backed by solid studies attesting to their effectiveness. Mary Lou’s testimonial was powerful, but I needed further proof. 

These important studies showed that women who used Amberen for 30 to 90 days experienced safe and effective relief for 12 menopause symptoms*, with no adverse side effects reported.** While many supplements only address 2 or 3 symptoms, Amberen treats the gamut! Look at these impressive outcomes for four symptoms that most often trouble women during menopause, and sometimes for a decade more.

91%   had reduced hot flashes*

78%   had reduced night sweats*

80%   had reduced mood swings*

87%   had less difficulty sleeping*

What’s more, 77% of the women in the clinical trials had more energy* so, like Mary Lou, they could resume their active lives.

Based on all the positive data, it’s not surprising that Amberen is the #1 selling menopause relief supplement in the United States. At this point, I had no hesitation about recommending it to my FabOverFifty friends. When the folks at Amberen offered me the chance to talk to Mary Lou about her menopause journey, I jumped at it.

TALKING WITH MARY LOU

It’s easy to understand why so many fans look up to Mary Lou, who is now 51. She’s humble, and she’s unafraid to be herself. “Was low energy really your worst symptom?” I asked her.

“Having a hot flash when I was speaking in public was hard,” she said. “It’s even more difficult worrying and waiting for it to happen. But yes, for me, dealing with low energy was hardest.”

“Because it impacted everything you did?”

“Everything! From work to affecting my relationship with my daughters. Just grocery shopping was hard. My energy was part of my identity and I felt like it was slipping away. I didn’t realize low energy was a menopause symptom until I discovered Amberen. And then it was a revelation because suddenly it was no longer this inevitable thing. It was something I could control.”

“And now?”

“Thanks to Amberen, my energy is back. It helped my moods, my night sweats, my headaches, all my symptoms. I’m currently at the end of a 90-day course, then I will take a month break and will start taking it again to manage my symptoms. My life now, in many ways, is better than when I was younger. Menopause doesn’t bother me anymore since I found Amberen.”*

>>Click here to get your $10 Amberen Walmart Coupon

UNDERSTANDING THE AMBEREN DIFFERENCE 

As we age, decreases in our estrogen levels make us susceptible to a range of symptoms, including “vasomotor disturbances,” which is a fancy way of saying hot flashes, night sweats, flushing and more. Likewise, we lose energy, as Mary Lou did.

These hormone imbalances occur because of a breakdown in communication between the brain’s hypothalamus (which controls hormone regulation) and our hormone-producing organs, such as our ovaries. Unlike other menopause supplements, Amberen’s unique formula of antioxidants, amino acids, minerals and vitamin E, works by supporting the hypothalamus to improve this communication. That way our ovaries know when to produce more estrogen and when not to. Put simply, Amberen helps relieve so many symptoms by helping to restore your hormonal balance. 

THANK YOU MARY LOU!

Before saying goodbye, Mary Lou asked me to convey a message to my readers.  

“I want to make a difference in women’s lives. I want my daughters to be aware of menopause, so they’ll be able to deal with it successfully. I want women to know that menopause can span over many years and doesn’t necessarily start with hot flashes, but can be a combination of symptoms that can change your life. That’s why it’s so important to look for clues that your body is sending and to get relief, especially in the early stages. I put my name behind Amberen because women deserve the relief this great product provides. I feel fab over fifty, thanks to Amberen. I’m proud of my age. We all should be!”

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR

_____________________________________

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

◊ Mary Lou Retton is a paid spokesperson for Amberen.

*Individual results will vary. Mary Lou Retton’s testimonial is based on results after 30 days of use and after continuing to use Amberen for 90 days. Every woman’s experience with Amberen will be unique. Amberen’s 12 menopausal symptom relief benefits are supported by the results of two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical trials, involving 102 and 125 menopausal women, aged 42-60 years, with mild to moderate menopausal symptoms over the course of 90 days.

**No adverse side effects were observed during clinical studies. Caution: Amberen is not intended for use by pregnant or nursing women. Do not take if you have severe hypertension. If you are taking prescription medication or have any medical condition, consult your doctor before use. Discontinue use and consult your doctor if you have any adverse reaction.

≠IRI US MULO 52 wks 3.24.19 by UPC.

Mary Lou Retton Flips Over One Menopause Supplement

Brought to you and sponsored by Amberen

Who can forget Mary Lou Retton’s gymnastic performance at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, CA? Her breathtaking vaults. Her perfect 10s. The first American woman to win the all-around gold medal, she captured our hearts with her boundless exuberance and infectious smile.

                           Mary Lou Retton

I hadn’t followed Mary Lou’s career closely, but I came across her in a TV commercial the other day, talking openly about menopause. It got my attention that she wasn’t just talking about hot flashes and night sweats, but was describing a combination of symptoms—most of all low energy—that had left her constantly feeling sluggish. The worst part, she explained, was thinking that her signature vitality was a thing of the past. 

Mary Lou hadn’t just accepted the change. She’d tried solution after solution to no avail, until finally someone recommended a supplement called Amberen for multi-symptom relief. Unlike many menopause supplements Mary Lou had heard about, Amberen was different. It wasn’t an herb, nor did it contain soy or caffeine or gluten. She tried it, and it worked! After taking Amberen for 30 days, her energy returned. Her hot flashes subsided, and the quality of her sleep improved dramatically. She felt like her true self again, busy living life. The old Mary Lou was back.

 

CLINCHING THE CLINICAL TRIALS 

After hearing Mary Lou’s personal story I wanted to learn more. As the editor of a website trusted by women 45+, I only recommend health products like this that are backed by solid studies attesting to their effectiveness. Mary Lou’s testimonial was powerful, but I needed further proof. 

These important studies showed that women who used Amberen for 30 to 90 days experienced safe and effective relief for 12 menopause symptoms*, with no adverse side effects reported.** While many supplements only address 2 or 3 symptoms, Amberen treats the gamut! Look at these impressive outcomes for four symptoms that most often trouble women during menopause, and sometimes for a decade more.

91%   had reduced hot flashes*

78%   had reduced night sweats*

80%   had reduced mood swings*

87%   had less difficulty sleeping*

What’s more, 77% of the women in the clinical trials had more energy* so, like Mary Lou, they could resume their active lives.

Based on all the positive data, it’s not surprising that Amberen is the #1 selling menopause relief supplement in the United States. At this point, I had no hesitation about recommending it to my FabOverFifty friends. When the folks at Amberen offered me the chance to talk to Mary Lou about her menopause journey, I jumped at it.

TALKING WITH MARY LOU

It’s easy to understand why so many fans look up to Mary Lou, who is now 51. She’s humble, and she’s unafraid to be herself. “Was low energy really your worst symptom?” I asked her.

“Having a hot flash when I was speaking in public was hard,” she said. “It’s even more difficult worrying and waiting for it to happen. But yes, for me, dealing with low energy was hardest.”

“Because it impacted everything you did?”

“Everything! From work to affecting my relationship with my daughters. Just grocery shopping was hard. My energy was part of my identity and I felt like it was slipping away. I didn’t realize low energy was a menopause symptom until I discovered Amberen. And then it was a revelation because suddenly it was no longer this inevitable thing. It was something I could control.”

“And now?”

“Thanks to Amberen, my energy is back. It helped my moods, my night sweats, my headaches, all my symptoms. I’m currently at the end of a 90-day course, then I will take a month break and will start taking it again to manage my symptoms. My life now, in many ways, is better than when I was younger. Menopause doesn’t bother me anymore since I found Amberen.”*

>>Available at Costco.com & Your Local Warehouse. Click here to learn more.

UNDERSTANDING THE AMBEREN DIFFERENCE 

As we age, decreases in our estrogen levels make us susceptible to a range of symptoms, including “vasomotor disturbances,” which is a fancy way of saying hot flashes, night sweats, flushing and more. Likewise, we lose energy, as Mary Lou did.

These hormone imbalances occur because of a breakdown in communication between the brain’s hypothalamus (which controls hormone regulation) and our hormone-producing organs, such as our ovaries. Unlike other menopause supplements, Amberen’s unique formula of antioxidants, amino acids, minerals and vitamin E, works by supporting the hypothalamus to improve this communication. That way our ovaries know when to produce more estrogen and when not to. Put simply, Amberen helps relieve so many symptoms by helping to restore your hormonal balance. 

THANK YOU MARY LOU!

Before saying goodbye, Mary Lou asked me to convey a message to my readers.  

“I want to make a difference in women’s lives. I want my daughters to be aware of menopause, so they’ll be able to deal with it successfully. I want women to know that menopause can span over many years and doesn’t necessarily start with hot flashes, but can be a combination of symptoms that can change your life. That’s why it’s so important to look for clues that your body is sending and to get relief, especially in the early stages. I put my name behind Amberen because women deserve the relief this great product provides. I feel fab over fifty, thanks to Amberen. I’m proud of my age. We all should be!”

Available at Costco.com & Your Local Warehouse

_____________________________________

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

◊ Mary Lou Retton is a paid spokesperson for Amberen.

*Individual results will vary. Mary Lou Retton’s testimonial is based on results after 30 days of use and after continuing to use Amberen for 90 days. Every woman’s experience with Amberen will be unique. Amberen’s 12 menopausal symptom relief benefits are supported by the results of two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical trials, involving 102 and 125 menopausal women, aged 42-60 years, with mild to moderate menopausal symptoms over the course of 90 days.

**No adverse side effects were observed during clinical studies. Caution: Amberen is not intended for use by pregnant or nursing women. Do not take if you have severe hypertension. If you are taking prescription medication or have any medical condition, consult your doctor before use. Discontinue use and consult your doctor if you have any adverse reaction.

≠IRI US MULO 52 wks 3.24.19 by UPC.

Persona Personalized Supplement Winners Give The Program “A”Assessments

Most of us absolutely require nutritional supplements as we age, for everything from sleep issues and brain fog to digestion and decreased energy. But, it’s downright bewildering and annoying to hear the constantly changing and contradictory reports about what’s beneficial, and what’s not!

Persona is a new online supplement service that makes it super simple to get personalized, doctor-approved vitamin recommendations (its Chief Medical Officer is Dr. Michael Roizen from the renowned Cleveland Clinic). Premium supplements are delivered right to your house in convenient daily packets with instructions when to take each one. And, they’re 30 percent less than other premium brands. Brilliant!

Two FOFs recently won three-month supplies of Persona personalized supplements: Michelle Price is 54 years old, from West Allis, WI. “I just turned 54 and I’m trying to be over all healthier. I have tried a variety of different vitamins and I’m looking for the right ones for me,” Michelle wrote when she entered the giveaway. 

Freya Paccione, from Brooklyn, NY, is about to turn 44. “Ever since I had a minor health scare last summer, I’ve been very interested in vitamin supplements but I’m a bit overwhelmed by all of the choices available. I would love for the process to be simplified and have exactly what I need to take every day,” Freya said. 

Learn what they thought about their Persona experiences. 

What did you think of the 5-minute assessment that helped Persona determine which vitamins you’d need? 

Freya “It was pretty thorough and I actually enjoyed filling it out.” 

Michelle “Easy and it took very little time.” 

Did you feel that the recommendations addressed your concerns? 

F “Absolutely! The recommendations were spot on and I’m very satisfied with them. I really appreciate that Persona also offers recommendations for additional vitamins/supplements that would be beneficial to me and I have the option to add them to my monthly pack without having to worry about any interactions.”

M “Very much so.”

How was the experience receiving the supplements?

F “Excellent!  I received my first shipment rather quickly (via FedEx) and I was so impressed with the packaging! I keep the box right on my kitchen counter so I’ll never forget to take my vitamins. The box is very compact and I love how it dispenses the packs!”

M They were delivered USPS directly to my door.” 

Did you get enough background info on the contents of the pack and how it would benefit you? 

F “Yes! I really appreciate the information, which is easy to understand. Everything comes inside a  professional-looking folder with my name on it.”

M “Yes, actually I was given more info than I expected.” 

Did you find the packs convenient? 

F “Very convenient! I’d been wanting to add more vitamins and supplements to my health regimen but I was overwhelmed by all of the choices on the market so I ended up settling for a basic women’s multivitamin but felt as if it wasn’t enough for my needs, which is why I’m so happy to have found Persona!” 

M Yes. I don’t have to put any thought into my vitamins now. All I have to do is grab my morning pack and begin my day and my evening pack at the end of the day.” 

Do you travel with the packets during the day or take them only at home? 

F “I mostly take them at home but there have been instances where I’d have to take a pack or two with me.”

M Yes, I take them to work with me.” 

If you had concerns about sleep, energy or digestion, are you feeling any different?  Those are things you typically feel pretty quickly.” 

F “OMG Yes!  I was surprised how quickly I felt improvements. I’m excited to experience even more improvements in the weeks to come!” 

M “I do feel my energy level has increased. I will relate more at my next assessment.”