Kimberly-Clark, the owner of Poise brand is initiating a “second talk” with women — this time, about menopause.
Poise on July 23 is rolling out a line of products that targets 50 million American women who are or will soon go through menopause. Priced between $3.99 and $7.99, the line includes a lubricant for vaginal dryness, panty freshener stickers, feminine wash for odor, cooling towelettes, and roll-on gel for women having hot flashes.
Feminine washes are usually not recommended by many doctors, says Dr. Lauren F. Streicher, a gynecologist and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. And products that mask vaginal odor could cause people to not treat what is causing that symptom in the first place, she added.
“The idea of covering it up with a freshener is an inappropriate approach,” Streicher said. “I’m thrilled people are paying attention, but I don’t want to see people taken advantage of.”
Beginning in 2009, about 30 people at Kimberly-Clark, two-thirds of them women themselves, began to research what types of new products they could develop and promote under the Poise brand, aimed at women 40-plus. They interviewed 8,000 women in the U.S. and 3,000 people outside the U.S. during the process, asking questions about their needs and testing products and advertising concepts. They found that women faced three main symptoms of menopause — vaginal dryness, odor and hot flashes.
Kimberly-Clark says the campaign and the products — the company is waiting for Food and Drug Administration for the vaginal lubricant — are an attempt to open up a dialogue about menopause. That’s something the company says women long for.
“There’s not a lot of conversation happening about menopause,” said Jay Gottleib, vice president of Kimberly-Clark’s North American adult & feminine care business. “Women very much want to have conversations but don’t have the forums.”
Watch for these new and innovative products but remember, talk to your practitioner first if you have any signs of a vaginal infection or for expert advice on recommendations of particular products to relieve your menopausal symptoms.