Amaryllis with Raindrops © lynette sheppard

Dryness afflicts menopause goddesses everywhere – now there’s a new help. I got to try some Luvena products and loved them. I especially like the personal lubricant and daily wash. I asked Anna Marie Houston to share her personal story with Luvena – it’s poignant, smart, and funny. Enjoy!

A Love Note to Luvena

by Anna Marie Houston

As a fairly young Brand Manager for a successful Fem/Hy range that addresses feminine dryness, I am often questioned as to what I really know about this all too common issue women go through, most notably during ‘the change’.  And whilst I appreciate and understand the skepticism, I simply laugh and say ‘you have NO idea’. So here is a little about me…

When I was 19, I began experiencing significant pain during my menstrual cycle. It quickly escalated into some pretty terrifying bouts of bleeding, bladder infections, kidney infections and more pain—so much pain. After lots of investigating and no real diagnosis, we operated and discovered that I had endometriosis. I was given three options: get pregnant, have a complete hysterectomy or chemically induce menopause for six months. Whilst no option seemed particularly appealing, I chose to start the six-month program that entailed a monthly slow release injection in my tummy to try and ‘jump start’ my system. It was here that I had my first real introduction to what we women go through during menopause. It kickstarted a lifetime obsession with wanting to know more and wanting to help.

The symptoms of menopause made themselves known very quickly. I would walk into a room and COMPLETELY forget what I was doing. I had mood swings so vicious I didn’t recognize myself. I often woke up in a pool of my own sweat only to be freezing seconds later. I experienced flashes so hot I thought my clothes would spontaneously combust. Whilst I did my best to take these things in stride, one of the most difficult symptoms for me to handle was the dryness. And hey, I know it’s not glamorous to talk about, but that soreness and itching was NO joke. I used lubricants every day, drank so much water I felt semi-amphibious and you bet I became a master of the discreet ‘wiggle’ to get a moment’s relief from the itching. I felt distracted and off ALL the time.

This experience sparked something in me. I grew intrigued by the lack of information available and frustrated that the only real relief offered to me was Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). I tried HRT and let me tell you, it was NOT a viable option—it only made my mood swings more powerful. After one particularly embarrassing moment of flinging the TV remote at my then-boyfriend because he was ‘breathing too loud’, I decided to stop taking them. (N.B. No boyfriends were harmed in this journey).

As a huge advocate for natural wellness and a big believer that all things happen for a reason, I made it my mission to research effective, natural remedies that actually offer relief WITHOUT compromising long-term wellness. A few years later, I stumbled across the LUVENA product line and knew this was the path for me. I thought to myself ‘Finally! A product line formulated with US in mind’.

I approached the creator of LUVENA, Michael Pellico, and asked for more information about its formulations and the reasoning behind them. I learned that Pellico started his one-man mission to reduce symptoms of systemic dryness in 1979 after his father suffered horrible dry mouth due to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He used his love of conscious chemistry to create an oral care line that went on to become #1 in America. Pellico knew, however, that dryness is rarely localized, so he developed LUVENA to offer women effective relief that doesn’t compromise health. He created paraben- and SLS-free formulations using careful combinations of natural enzymes and a unique blend of moisturizers. Since Pellico knew that oversaturating cells can cause damage, he ensured LUVENA had one of the lowest osmolality factors available on the market. This means we can use LUVENA as much as needed, without fear of disrupting the natural balance.

I am now blessed and proud to be able to travel the length and breadth of the US, educating women on this product line and offering them the choice to use something better.

I hope that in sharing just a little of my story with you, you will feel understood and know that you aren’t alone. Whether you are right in the thick of post- or perimenopause, taking medication, have compromised immunity or are even just stressed, dryness will most likely affect you. Whatever your age or current situation, there are products available that alleviate symptoms of dryness, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.

**I am not a doctor and these comments are all based on my own opinions and experiences. This post is not paid for or sponsored by Luvena or its parent company, Laclede.

Luvena products can be found at Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, and Amazon as well as on the Luvena site. And we’ll have links in the Menopause Marketplace to Luvena.