The XX Factor

Going Through Menopause? Spend Money on Stuff You Don’t Need!

Ready for her second talk

Menopause isn’t generally known as a period of great fun, but one of the serious upsides is that it means no more having to squander your hard-earned money on endless boxes of tampons, pads, and other period-related products. But now even that freedom is disappearing. Poise, makers of those pads that absorb your leaking urine, has realized there’s a whole segment of women to bleed for cash during their menopausal years.

Later this month Poise will debut a line of products designed for menopausal women. According to the AP, the company came up with these items after interviewing 11,000 women in the United States and elsewhere. The three main symptoms they faced were vaginal dryness, odor, and hot flashes—and now, voila! You will be able to buy special lubricants to treat vaginal dryness, panty freshening stickers and feminine wash to mask your odors, and cooling towelettes and roll-on gel to ease those pesky hot flashes.

Poise is no stranger to transforming female unpleasantness into something that can be neatly handled with the right product. They are, after all, the company that managed to rebrand wetting one’s pants as “light bladder leakage”—or, even better, LBL. Interestingly, they’re opting to be a bit more direct with marketing these menopause products, and saying that they want to give women a forum to openly discuss menopause. To that end, they will be focusing their ads on “the second talk,” which is a follow-up to the “first talk” girls have with their mothers when they get their periods. So the old “mom, come to the bathroom, quick!” is now the Poise advertisement’s “It’s like someone put a hot frying pan on my face.” I’m sure it’s nothing a little roll-on cooling gel can’t handle, hon.

Doctors say that these products aren’t likely to be that useful. For instance, gynecologist Dr. Lauren F. Streicher told the AP that feminine washes only mask the problem and don’t get to the root of it. She says, “The idea of covering it up with a freshener is an inappropriate approach. I’m thrilled people are paying attention, but I don’t want to see people taken advantage of.” And, indeed, it’s very hard to believe that a few cooling towelettes are going to do much in the face of a ferocious hot flash or that  special menopause lube is any different from the tube you already have.