Hello dear women,

Well…I have some bad news about this product. I hate to be the one to deliver it because I was thrilled there was something out there helping and had it in my mind that someone had already looked up the ingredients.

Apparently not because I just had a look myself and am horrified. Here are the ingredients according to Amazon – who must be selling a ton of this stuff:

Purified Water, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Polycarbophil, Carbomer 934P, Hydrogenated Palm Oil Glyceride, Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide.

Let’s just say it goes downhill after the purified water. There have been significant concerns about glycerin for decades, but now OSHA has gotten on board:

“Glycerin was long considered to be nontoxic; however, there are indications that the mist may be injurious to the kidneys at very high exposure levels (Campanacci 1965/Ex. 1-1047). NIOSH (Ex. 8-47) states that, at high concentrations, exposure may cause hemolysis, hemoglobinuria, and renal failure.
OSHA is establishing an 8-hour TWA limit of 10 mg/m3 (total particulate) and retaining the 5-mg/m3 (respirable particulate) limit for glycerin mist. The Agency concludes that these limits will provide protection against the significant risks of glycerin exposure, which include kidney damage and, perhaps, testicular.”

Granted, this is glycerin mist – but the exposure vaginal tissue is receiving from this product is possibly many times higher.

The Carbomer 934P may be a relatively non-toxic filler, but the solvent used in its manufacture is…BENZENE! Ask any chemist and they will tell you that benzene rings are one of the most deadly molecules on the planet. Some of this substance is made using a benzene free solvent – but we have no way of knowing which is used in Replens (probably the cheapest.)

Methylparaben is used extensively in the manufacture of food and cosmetics, but its safety is also being widely questioned – particularly because of suspected estrogenic effects.

Sodium Hydroxide is another term for lye and what lye is doing in a vaginal product is beyond unclear.

The transfat and mineral oil are relatively non-toxic if applied externally, but the whole “magic” about the polycarbophil molecule in Replens, and other drugs like laxatives, is that its electric charge is such that it forces both water and other substances deep into adjacent cells. That’s why Replens is such an effective moisturizer and also why it (polycarbophil) is being looked at as a carrier for all sorts of medications – including bladder drugs. Some of that hydrogenated palm oil may be getting into the blood stream as a result.

I do not know who manufactures Replens – their website is quite obscure – but it is a fact that there is a long history in this country of exposing women to shockingly poisonous vaginal products without a second glance from the FDA.

This certainly isn’t as blatant an exposure as a carcinogenic and illegal pesticide, but I would certainly question its use as a vaginal product.

Btw…isn’t anyone noticing any ill effects from the stuff?


Hi Christine, just had a minute to spend here this morning and saw your warning. You might find this information interesting:

I tried Replens two years ago and had the awful burning that Miss Judy describes. My body argues with anything that is not a natural substance though.

Surely wish someone would produce a product with the benefits of Replens without the chemical risk. We are so awash in chemicals. Surely something plant based would be possible. Kit

Hi Christine,

Well, this news is certainly not a good way to start out the day! I have been using Replens every three, four or five days, depending on the need, since my gynocologist gave me a sample supply over two years ago. Except for the cottage cheese type discharge in the beginning, which is suppose to be a cleansing of old cells at first (thanks Blue!) of dead cells, I have had nothing but excellent results from the product.

I have no idea what Methylparaben is (or most of the other ingredients for that matter) but you state that there is concern about it because of it's estrogenic effects.. Replens is supposed to be Estrogen free!

Not good news..that's for sure. It will be interesting to hear from other users of Replens. One of the women who writes into the Forum (possibly Judy?) complained about burning. Maybe she'll post again and go into more detail.

Thanks for the information Christine. I wouldn't have thought to look up the ingredients. I assume if the product is out there and being recommended so highly by the medical field, it must have been tested and approved for use.



The link I posted is dated 1995. It says that Columbia Labs first marketed Replens in the United States in 1989 as a cosmetic. They sought drug approval as they broadened their market to other countries. I did not find info on approval dates, if any.

Does the initial labeling of ‘cosmetic’ make sense to anyone?

Just a quick way of getting it to market?

It’s probably like most drugs. You have to weigh the benefit/risk factor.
Don’t most carry some risk? Kit

Just because FDA restrictions are more slack for cosmetics. Mae...we all must wake up to the fact that No One at the helm of our most revered institutions is looking out for our true health. xC.

I agree with you Kitt. One does have to weigh the risk/benfits factor, which I surely will after more research. So often these tests are done with large quantities of a substance and in my opinion, often there within lies the problem. Many of the products we use and/or consume would be harmful to us if used in the quantities they are often tested at and a lot of things we use do carry some risk at what is considered the proper dosage.



This one’s got me thinking, especially in light of the fact that millions of women could be affected.

Maybe lye is the PH manipulator, Christine?

Columbia has sold the US rights to Replens to another company---Lil Drug Store---that name just does not bring me comfort. They’ve also released a new vaginal moisturizer that is a mousse.

They seem to be looking for global domination with these products. And while we surely need companies looking to our needs, we also need to know what the risks of their products truly are. On one site it says that Replens is safe for oral sex for males and females. While that thought turns my stomach, someone thinks it’s safe or else they just want us to think so.

Christine, would you mind if I copied your concerns to both Columbia and Lil Drug to see if anyone is willing to define/defend the ingredients in these products? We might get someone’s attention being that it’s an active online conversation, and not some lone customer tucked away by herself at home.

The big worry, Mae, is that we don't know who to trust in regards to the testing. And in the cosmetics industry, I don't think they are policed much at all. At least with most drugs they are required to tell us how many ways a particular one can kill or harm us. All we can do is make the best choices we can with what's available, while being mindful and alert to what we're doing.

Thanks for bringing this to conversation, Christine. Kit

Hi Kit,

Sorry I misspelled your name before. I have a dear friend close friend, Kitt Kelleher, the author of This Time, Last Year and as you can see she spells her name with two t's. Forgive me if I make that same mistake in the future. Old habits...

I think your idea about sending Christine's concerns to Columbia and Lil Drug is a great one! Surely they won't mind addressing these issues if they have no reason not to. Of course, I am really hoping there is some good reason for all of this and that they can put our fears to rest. I'm glad Christine brought this information to light because it's pretty important stuff! As you said, it affects millions of women.

I would love to know if any long term studies have been done on this product. I am not sure how long Replens has been around, but I've been using it for 2 years. I only had a chance to check briefly on the internet, but the testing I did see was done at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Not very long term in my opinion. When I have time I'll have to check further.

I hope this is not another case of...if it seems to good to be true....



Replens is way too expensive for me to use on a daily, every other day or even every third day basis. I only use it once in a while when I have something big coming up and I feel like I want a little extra lubrication. Everything in moderation is my motto for just about everything is life - what I eat, what I drink, using Replens, etc.

In my opinion, KY Jelly works the same as Replens, it just doesn't last as long. Ingredients are: Putified Water, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Chlorhexidine Gluconate, Gluconolactone, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide.

I've used KY all my married life, obviously before only when DH was involved. Now I use it every day because of my POP - no side effects, no burning EVER.

Actually something amazing has happened that I wanted to write about in another thread, but I'll say it now. It will be 1 year in July that I've had my POP (UP). I have been practicing WW posture now for all of that time. No more back aches or pains - it has become second nature. As some of you might remember, I had a very hard time at work with my chair, and got some wonderful advice from the members here. However, in January '08 my office moved to a new location, another building that my employer owns which happens to be in the same town where I live (good for commuting now!). Everyone in the office has the same chair - and the chairs are Wonderful! Firm base, I don't need to lean back to feel comfortable, and my WW posture while sitting has greatly improved.

I can honestly say that for the past 1 1/2 months, I have hardly known that I have a POP at all. It is still in the same place - hasn't moved up at all. But it's as if my body has adjusted to the POP and also to my new posture. Everything seems to have settled in. With the daily application of some KY jelly, I can make it through the whole day with no problem. I had a dinner party this past weekend - was on my feet most of Saturday getting ready, shopping, cooking, cleaning. Then Sunday, the day of the dinner, I was literally on my feet all day - almost exhausted by the time my guests arrived. And I never once felt my POP. It was like it wasen't there

I attribute this to the WW posture, clothing choices, and the KY jelly all combined - obviously the posture probably has made the most difference. (Thank you Christine)!

But I'll never give up using the KY. It is affordable for me, easy to use, portable, my husband likes it and it makes me feel normal.

I guess as someone else said, you have to weigh the pros and cons of anything. I can live without the Replens, but not without the KY.


'Life is not holding a good hand; Life is playing a poor hand well'

Hm-m-m…I knew there was a reason I never used K-Y – lol. Thanks so much for your perspective, Goldfinch. I guess I just grew up with the whole ‘natural’ movement and try only to put organic in and on my bod.

Kit…thanks anyway, but I really don’t want to take that company on in any way. It is completely naïve to think they will change their multi-million dollar practice for the health of women. They know exactly what's in their product and will defend the ingredients completely. The best we can do is be informed consumers. Sorry if perhaps I made a mountain out of a mole hill - but I do think we need to consider that some of these products have been around for decades and formulated with ingredients that by today's standards are deemed toxic.

Hi Christine

Thanks for doing the research and bringing these substances to our attention. It is always useful to know more, rather than less, about what we are using on our body, particularly substances which are manufactured only (ie don't occur in nature), even though the info you present does not specify which substances could theoretically be part of the natural world. In any case, there are many substances made in nature that are terribly toxic, so I don't know that existing in nature is a particularly good recommendation in itself.

Could you please provide some references for the hazards of the substances in question, so that we can take a look ourselves?

Every breath we take, every step we take, we take risks along with it, and there is little point in taking unnecessary risks. The difficulty is in deciding what is acceptable risk, by the information we can dig out, and weighing up the alternative risks against each other.

Your balms seem to have pretty good credentials, and I feel safer using just the WW Balms. However I am going to try the Replens, just to see what it is like for myself, then measure up all the products against each other. Tweedledum and Tweedledee have given me a research trial, so I must deliver or lose face forever!

I do like Goldfinch's idea of only using these potentially 'more risky' products on an as needs basis, rather than regularly. Sometimes there situations in life when only a big gun will do, but most of the time we can just use a flyswat like mine, made out of a piece of used dowelling with a swatter made from stiff leather from an old handbag I used to the point of destruction about 20 years ago. It is wired on to the dowel with a length of recycled tie wire. BTW, many years ago I stuffed this scuffed and worn out handbag in my vinyl, animal skin and leather scrap bag for just such a use! My kids will have a field day when I die. It will make up for all the 'junk' they have stashed in their rooms since early childhood. Oh well, one human's meat is another human's dead animal. ;-)



Hi Louise,

As I said, I took a peek at the situation the other night and once I saw the ingredients – some of them like glycerin and the parabens I’ve been trying to avoid for years – I googled a bit more (not exactly in-depth research lol). Just google an ingredient and maybe another keyword like “Carbomer 934P benzene” or “Methylparaben estrogen” and you will probably come up with what I was reading. And yes, I agree with what you say about natural substances – but it’s so different when something like paraben molecules are isolated from soybeans and then used in concentrations not found in the foods and herbs we put in our body.



Hi Louise,

As I am sure you have read, I am most disappointed to hear about Christine's findings. I am also disappointed that she doesn't want Kit to address the issue with the companies using those findings and her opinion since this may affect the health and well being of millions of women. I think they would take all of this a bit more seriously if it came from Christine. Of course they would defend their product, but I think we are all smart enough, especially as a collective group, to decipher the truth.

As for you using the Replens..please don't if you are at all uncomfortable with it after Christine's findings. We promise not to ask you to leave the play group! LOL!

As to are right once again! I am naughty...but nice! You forgot that part!! :-)

Dry, but not giving up yet,


Hi Christine

Yes, I have now seen the google hits you are talking about. It is very difficult for a lay person to be able to interpret much of this technical data, and the exact amounts of these substances in products is never listed. I operate on the principle that it is the first three ingredients that are significant, but with substances where only a trace is needed, this means very little. So I am no better informed. <:->

However, I just did a quick squiz around the bathroom and found that none of the products I use regularly contains either carbomer 934P or anything like it, or parabens either. If I used heaps of creams, lotions and makeup I might be worried, but I don't use any regularly, except for your lovely balms, so I figure that less is better than more, and none is probably best of all. However, there are lots of other scary looking ingredients in some of them. Where do you stop?

And why is it that there are so many ingredients in some products, while some equivalent products have few ingredients?

Christine, I too am sorry that you are not encouraging Kit to investigate further. I feel that if you have a problem with something a company is doing it is important to express your dissatisfaction. It is hard work, and they usually just give back a predictably sales-oriented answer, but if people don't speak up the company cannot hear any customer dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, I know you pick your battles. Ultimately it is up to the consumer to choose. Nobody makes us buy products with ingredients that are potentially hazardous. We do it willingly, or else we find alternatives that we think are more acceptable. So be it.


Dear Christine,

I am so glad you posted this information. I thought I did last year when Replens first came up but cannot find it now. Maybe I didn't post it thinking it might not be well accepted.

All chemicals have an MSDS sheet required by law that is supposed to give all information about the chemical and it's effects. An MSDS sheet is a "Material Safty Data Sheet". Carbomer 934P is not classified according to European Union regulations (which includes the US) and also claim some information is "not available". Believe me, it's available, been tested, and the results are known, they just don't want us to know all the facts because we would not buy the product, although some will.
Go to the webpage listed below for MSDS information for Carbomer 934P. I don't know how to make it show up so you can just click on the link. So copy and paste into your browser. For those of you who decide to read this, please read it all and don't skip over any of it including the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

They do not even list the LD50 results saying it's unavailable. Of course, it's available. Carbomer 934P is a polymer - it's plastic, and is also used in hairsprays. And don't forget chemicals are bioaccumulative in the body. The LD50 formula: a formula using a chemical on rats in incremental amounts until 50% of the rats die. The maximum amount is then what is considered "safe" for humans. Resource: Professor at CSU.

Another place you can check ingredients is Unfortunately, chemical companies are trying their best to NOT let us know what the chemicals do, so use the phrases, "may cause", "unavailable", "unknown". One of my sons is an Environmentalist who works for companies who clean up chemical spills and even some of the seemingly innocuous ingredients require hazmat clothing when around it!

At the moment, I don't need any lubricant but if I did, there is no doubt in my mind that I would order your balms.

Posted with love,
Grandma Joy

Way to go Grandma Joy! Nothing like competence when you need it…many thanks and love back! Christine

I remember your posting that

Hi Wholewomen

GrandmaJoy, I applaud the research you have done, but I don't think what you have quoted The Professor as saying is quite what it seems. My research of LD50 testing is that it is far more complex than The Professor states, partly because there are oral, dermal and respiratory tests for different types of chemicals, so there is no single answer for LD50 for one chemical. The LD50 test is not used much in Australia these days because of the animal welfare concerns. Not sure about elsewhere. There are now other tests which indicate toxicity that use far less animals. Go figure. My understanding is that LD50 is a relative test, ie for comparing chemicals to each other, rather than an absolute test. This is because the species used, rats, mice, dogs etc are not comparable to humans because of size difference.

I don't really trust anything that has been processed, like Christine's example of the parabens that exist in soy beans, but are extracted and used in very small quantities in their concentrated form. This is especially so with new products which don't even have a use history with consumers. We have seen a few devastating examples of this, eg thalidomide and stilboestrol. Funny how they are both to do with pregnancy and reproduction. Women are the bunnies again!

On the other hand, you can get paranoid about anything if you want to. We take risks every time we get out of bed in the morning.



I've just now read the posts - been busy with kids - and I want to report that the burning never did stop. I used the Replens for about a week trying to stand the burning, and then gave that up for spot applications hoping the discomfort would stop eventually. The discharge never did stop. At one point it was so profuse, it made me kind of sick, and I've had kids vomit in my hands, so I have a really strong yuck bank.

So I did some reading and found out that olive oil has been used for years as a lubricant. I haven't used it yet, but plan to. Christine, do you know anything about olive oil?

So far, the very wet sponge seems to be all I need these days. Yesterday was the best day with the sponge so far - I used an applicator which worked sooooo well.

Thank you so much for this warning, Christine. I appreciate it so much.


Hi Judy

We have used olive oil as a lubricant for sex in the past, and still do sometimes. I find that Bliss Balm is better though, because it is so user-friendly, being solid or semi-solid, depending on the ambient temperature, so it is easy to get it to where you want it and avoid spillage. I think it is slipperier than olive oil. It is quite persistent too, just like olive oil. Bliss Balm is just fine for daytime application.

Not being users of condoms or other latex goods, DH and I prefer oil-based, over water-based lubricants. We have used them for several years, with no apparent problems.

I purchased a small pack of Replens to try, just so I knew what you were all talking about. First gooey day today after putting it in last night. After doing Replens for a week I'll do olive oil, then Bliss Balm, and see if I can work out if there is a significant difference.

However I am probably not a very good example, as I am still menstruating (I think. Last bleed 28 April). I suspect that I will experience further vaginal drying when I stop menstruating.



No worries Christine, I understand. You have more than enough to sort through already.

Judy, I tried Replens a while back and it burned like fire. It was like having acid inside of me. I decided to try it again this Wednesday, sort of my own 'acid test' to see what condition I am in now. I was braced for burning but it caused none. Just a little warmth on one spot near my urethra for a few minutes. So I think the initial burning was caused by the condition of my vaginal skin and not the Replens itself. You and I seem to have similar experiences in regards to medicines. This may be the case here too. If so, you might find that you can aid your healing with supplements like I have. I would be happy to share with you what I'm doing if I haven't already. I still have a ways to go but after my tortuous year I will always be hyper-careful now.

You know, even hand lotions burn our hands if our skin is red and dry. It makes sense that vaginal skin remedies would, as well. I don't think you should continue to use Replens if it burns you so much. I think olive oil might burn you too so take great care at first. Have you tried organic Coconut Oil? I haven’t but I want to as some point.

The discharge you are experiencing is most likely dead skin cells from overly dry skin. The drier you are, the more discharge you will experience. That is my understanding of Replens anyway. I had the discharge before. I’ve had none this time as yet. I’m not going to continue using it, so I won’t really know how it affects healthier skin.

Mae, I feel for you each day because I know you are worried now. I wish I could offer you a safer solution. I have searched and searched and it seems that Replens is a unique product. It affects healing deep in the vagina. Does it hurt more than heal? That is the question. Yes, the chemicals are troubling, but I know what you are going through and you need something. Please don't stress overly-much. Worry and stress are so damaging to the body--all negative feeling are. They are bad mojo! LOL So, please, go back to playing with Blue as you sort this out. I wish for every 'don't do' a 'do this instead' could be offered. Sadly, that is not the case. Still, it is vital for us to know the dangers so that we can be alert to changes. Then we weigh the risk/reward. Like Louise said, there is risk everywhere.

Goldfinch, so glad to hear of your great progress! You are an inspiration as, like Miss Judy, you go off to work each day and handle your issues with grace and strength.

Louise, pace yourself with that 'clinical trial' now. (smile)

GrandmaJoy, thanks for the great information. I am trying to learn all I can right now. I am finding that my creative brain is ready to tackle a little science.

Good day to you all. I’m going to go and care for my children’s great-grandmother today. She will be 95 years old on June 18th. I love her to bits and she is a great inspiration. Kit

Judy --

I was interested in your comment that you used an applicator with the sea sponge. What kind of applicator is that?

Many thanks,


I tried and tried to get the sponge where it should be. Can't figure out why I couldn't do it. Then I picked up one of the plastic tampon applicators from the Playtex Sports tampons and used the applicator. I wet the sponge and stuck it in the applicator. I "applied" and found that it worked great.

I've had trouble getting the sponge high enough. When I use my fingers, the sponge seems to find its way south, and then balls up on the threshold of my vagina, and I can feel it scrape and irritate. The applicator helps me to get it high.

Today I took 50 kids to Louisville KY about 2.5 hours from school. I had to insert the sponge 4 times before I got it right. Darn near drove me crazy. I thought, I can't possible walk the zoo like this, so I kept trying. It managed to work and I was not uncomfortable.

It's not hard to feed the sponge into the applicator. It takes a few tries.



The discharge I experienced couldn't have been dead skin. There was enough of it to fill a tablespoon. I think it's more of an inability to absorb it. It seemed to be a kind of rejection.

I usually do well with natural things. I'll give the olive oil a try this weekend. It's hard to try new things when I'm out of the house all day. I've been pulling 12 hour days on concrete this week, and it's just too iffy.


Judy, thank you for replying. Thinking back now, I don’t see how mine could have been just dry skin either--seemed to be Replens curdled up. I was going through so much then, it was hard to keep up and impossible to sort through it all at the time. Any clarity was out of the question. I do wonder why this Wednesday’s dose did not produce any discharge at all though. I’m not going to use it again, so I may never know.

I am so thankful that this was brought to conversation. It has cemented my desire to find safer solutions for something that most, if not all, women will eventually face. In this big, beautiful world there have to be many answers. I am going to set about finding at least one of them.

While researching yesterday, I saw that Dr. Andrew Weil had recommended Replens to a reader of his site. Now, that is just mind-blowing. He will be my first contact. No worries, Christine, I am in this solo.

Good luck with the olive oil Judy. I may try the coconut. Kit

Hey listen ladies

This may seem a weird thing to say, but have any of you tried Christine's balms?

As far as I know, dryness of the vagina, vulva and perineum were some of the reasons why she developed them. Sure they are more expensive than the oils you are talking about, but they have very good accreditation re the quality of ingredients, which is something that cannot be guaranteed by generic oils.

If what you put on and into your body is really important to you, then why not just use products that are high quality, and help Wholewoman to pay its bills??



I have all three Balms. Which one should I try for a daily application in place of KY jelly - for deep relief in the entire vagina?

I'll wait for your reply, and then give it a shot.

My only problem is the expense, depending how much balm I'll have to use to last all day. Thanks.


'Life is not holding a good hand; Life is playing a poor hand well'

Thanks for thinking about me Kit. I appreciate your concern. I'm O.K. with all of this now that the initial shock is over. I elected not to have surgery because of the potential risks, but unless I discover that the risk of harming myself using Replens is high, I intend to keep using it. The benefits are too great for me to just give it up. I will however, in light of this discovery, use it more sparingly and like I said, if I find the risk is great when I have some time to really research this, I will certainly stop using it.

I am already mending (Louise would like that word!) my ways with the Replens. When I heard this news, I immediately went back to my "very healthy" eating plan. That helps my prolapse tremendously. I have been a little lax about that lately, I think in part because I know I can use the Replens if I cause a problem by not eating as I should. So, there is somewhat of a silver lining here...I'm eating better, using less Replens and I just might shed a few pounds along the way!!

Have a great weekend and again, thanks for your concern!



Christine, thank you for the alert about Replens. I had no idea and will definitely give more thought to its use after reading all that you shared about it. It never dawned on me to question the safety of the ingredients in products that are manufactured for personal care. Naive am I for thinking manufacturers/distributers might have the consumer's best interest in mind when it comes down to the bottom line. *blush* Thank you for the heads-up and the reminder that we, as consumers, need to become more aware and informed so we can make educated choices.

I also want to apologize if I might have stepped over the site's line in going on as I did about a product. I look forward to trying your balms, that's for sure - they sound wonderful... and safe! = : ) Thank you again. ((WWHUGS))


I was just going to ask the same question, as to which one...
After reading the many recommendations for Christine's product line, I am saving up and look forward to trying one or more of those wonderfully sooth sounding balms, to be sure. = : ) So, I wonder too, which of Christine's balms is recommended for moisturizing the dry and thinning vaginal lining (or as a prevention) for us peri/menopausal women? Also, are there any concerns to consider when using a non-water based product for internal moisturizing?


Blue...just about to post about this in the pelvic health forum...xC

Thanks Christine; I'm looking forward to reading about it. I have to hop off line for a spell, but I shall return!

Hope your weekend's off to a good start.


Am not supposed to mention this kind of stuff anymore, as my 'team' gets very mad at me when I do - ha - but love to share with my wwsisters!!! We're shooting my little firebreathing program today and tomorrow - dh bought an outrageous camera last studio looks like Cecil B. De Mille's-lol! Wish me luck!

Louise, I have all three of Christine’s balms and use at least one of them everyday.

A young gyn that I became friends with told me that the inside of the vagina can actually turn white from atrophy. I know this is true because my oldest sister, who had a hysterectomy when she was in her thirties, had a bladder lift (sorry Christine, I don’t have time to look up the proper name for this hideous procedure) a couple of years ago. Her vulva and vagina were white and lifeless. She is 70 years old.

My gyn friend told me that severe atrophy can develop quickly, within 3 months of the last cycle. She has seen it happen.

We need a balm for the vagina. A safe, nurturing, healing, protective balm for deep vaginal health. Kit

Judy, thanks for your response about how you used an applicator for the sea sponge. That is ingenious. I will probably not try the sea sponge again, as, when I did, it caused considerable pain and seemed to attach itself to the inner tissues in a way that made extricating it very difficult. But I'll file the applicator idea in my mental file in case I want to try it again some time.

About which WW balm to use for vaginal dryness, I've used the Bliss Balm on my cystocele bulge for months now and it is lovely stuff. It also seems to last a VERY long time. I carry some in tiny travel jars for purse and travel, don't want to be without it.

I have wondered whether there would be a way to use an applicator to get a small amount high up into the vagina to allow it to coat the tissues all the way down. There are vaginal applicators of different types available on-line, but it might be counterproductive to use a plastic applicator to avoid using a plastic product.

The only thing I've had to learn about using an oil-based product for lubrication is to remember to wear a pantiliner. It is possible for the oil to come through clothing and onto furniture. Not good. But easily solved.

Thanks to everyone for good discussion!


...Ooo, mum's the word, Christine. We won't be tellin' the 'team' that you've let the cat out of the bag, but may I say one thing?... Wahooo!!! = : D

It will sure help being able to actually see the firebreathing exercise in action as I'm always wondering if I'm doing it quite right. Is this the new workout video you've been talking about? How exciting! Best wishes to you and the 'team' then, C! -Thanks for sharing! (((WWHUGS)))

- Lights. Camera. Action! = ; )

Move, breathe, and be good


Scarlett is still waiting for the director to get everything just so...he had to go out shopping for more lights and spaghetti wire. This is just the little yoga program...the one I do each morning and have found so very helpful. The WWWorkout will be shot in July. That's the Fun one and includes five women, great music, and a circle dance! We had our first rehearsal last Thursday and it was a blast...thanks so much for your well-wishes!

Hi All

I am going to let Christine do her post on it, cos she designed the balms. I use Bliss Balm anytime, vulva balm when I vulva discomfort, and I haven't used the peri balm a great deal.

Re applicators, What about just putting some in a normal plastic, single use syringe, and working out how far you have to push it down to get the right amount in the vagina. I would suggest a 10ml syringe cos it is about the same length as a vagina (penis?), but the smaller 5ml syringe is not a lot shorter if that is what you have, or can purchase from your local pharmacy, vet etc.

Re Replens, has anyone else read the fine print? Applicator holds 5.9gm, delivers 2.5gm. Once the applicator is in the vagina it is only really possible to squeeze the squishy bulb thingy. That leaves 3.4gm of this expensive goo still in the applicator. What a rip off!!! I have kept the second half for another 1 1/2 applications. This will reduce the cost considerably.

BTW, I was speaking with a woman the other day who is 58 and had a hysterectomy about ten or fifteen years ago and never even started HRT. She is wondering when menopause is going to hit and is a bit worried. She has hormone levels levels monitored regularly and her doctor says her oestrogen levels are still very high, which seems odd to me at her age, even if her ovaries are still working despite the surgery. She does look very young for 58 years, and is not taking any hormone replacement therapy (or that's what she told me anyway). Maybe the relative levels of oestrogen production between the ovaries and the other sources in the body are more variable between individuals than thought? Maybe there are women who produce more oestrogen from the other parts of the body, so castration and loss of oestrogen producing capacity from the ovaries has less effect after menopause for them. After all, not all women seem to have serious vaginal dryness problems after menopause.

Do we have any members who are past cessation of menstruation who do *not* have vaginal dryness problems.



My quoting of the Professor was in simple terms. It would take mega pages to go through all of the complexities of it and I didn't think it necessary to do so here. The Professor is a multi degreed professional with an impressive track record in teaching around the world, who is a Fulbright Scholar and someone whom I've consulted many times over the years.

The definition lf LD50 or Lethal Dose 50 can be found here: and here:

LD50 or Lethal Dose 50 means the single dose of a toxic substance administered by any route (other than inhalation) that causes the death of 50% of an animal population. I included that information in the context of the paragraph where it states companies list it as "unavailable", one among many that they list that way. It is archaic, may not be considered by some as definitive but it very definitely is STILL used and has been since the 1920's. Comparing the body weight of mice/rats and humans using the LD50 test ratio is still used even though it is not exact. Patients are given chemo according to their body weight - that ratio still comes from the LD50 test. It is another factor used in determining how much toxin to give without killing the patient outright.

I still have to commend Christine for posting the alert about Replens whether anyone heeds it or not. It certainly does not imply either one of us is paranoid about it. OSHA is a watchdog and governing body here in the US in place for the safety of humans and I for one, choose to pay attention to them and other organizations who have the safety and well being of humans as a priority.

Again, thank you Christine for posting it - hopefully more people will really take a long look at the ingredients in products they use, then choose to find a healthier alternative. I'm heading out for two weeks of intense physical therapy and will check back later.

Love and Blessings,
Grandma Joy

Hi GrandmaJoy

Don't get me wrong. I am *not* for one minute saying the Professor is wrong. The way I read your words sounded as if he gave you (and us) a very simplistic description of something that, as you say, is far more complicated than the words you used. Thanks for posting the links. I think the information at both those links demonstrates that the LD50 test is indeed blunt and inexact re human toxicity. It is still, however, useful as a comparative measure.

It sounds to me as if the situation in The States is quite different from Australia. Australian sites gave me the impression that LD50 tests are no longer regarded as the benchmark unless it is not possible to test any other way. It is recognised that figures for mice and rats have very limited application to humans because of the differences in bodyweight, and because of the animal cruelty issue where large numbers of animals are killed and sickened to get meaningful data.

However, as a person who is not trained in hazard measurement I find all the figures Christine gave as almost meaningless. It is so hard to look up each ingredient and understand the figures, and the significance of them. I do accept that some of the substances in Replens are associated with damaging effects but I have no way of assessing that for myself, in the absence of mg/kg (or whatever) of substance in the product. That's why we have organisations such as FDA and OSHA and other equivalent organisations. We have to either accept their endorsements of the product or distrust their endorsements and use alternative products that do not have substances that don't occur at the same concentrations in nature.

I am not saying that Christine in wrong in her conclusions about Replens, but I am not saying she is right either, cos sit is so complicated, and mg/kg are not listed on the label. I too really appreciate her pointing out that there are potentially harmful substances in there, which lazy old me had not checked out for myself.

I would much rather trust Christine's Balms for my own use! I cannot see that trying a three pack of Replens, for the sake of having my own experience to relate to, can be of much harm in the long term. I am in the middle of that now, and am finding out what it is really like.

So far I have found that the effect comes on quickly and goes away after a few days, so every day is different, which is a pain. Their applicator doesn't deliver the full contents without a lot of mucking around, which wastes expensive product. I have yet to try a little bit each day, which might even out the effect a bit. I haven't yet tried it on the vulva. I haven't had a lot of discharge, and haven't had any burning. I have yet to contact the manufacturer to answer my questions, but don't hold up a lot of hope, cos I don't think they designed the product. There are risks everywhere. The jury is still out.



I found what I believe to be an organic option for Replens.
I am going to try it and then come back with a review. There
are a couple of us onboard already. Email me if you'd like
the link to the website. It would be good to have our own little
test market. Kit

Thanks Kit! Will do. Always looking for a new and, perhaps, better product!!

Warmest regards,

Hey Blue! This could be the answer we have been looking for! ((Hugs)) Mae!

I am new to this site and the forums, and have taken some time to explore what's been written. My last real period was early this summer, though I have had some more or less monthly spotting since then. Since the birth of my child many years ago I had a slight cystocele, which suddenly became much more dramatic earlier this year, probably due to the hormonal changes of perimenopause. I now have a major cystocele which I hope I can manage to improve without resorting to surgery. This year I also became dryer vaginally than I used to be, and this in combination with the prolapse was a real annoyance.

I would like to add to the discussion on vaginal lubricants like Replens. I don't know if speaking about a different product is allowed here, but in the event it is, I would like to mention what I have been using. It is an herbal tincture which is swallowed rather than anything which is applied externally. The herbs involved are oat milky seed (oat seed harvested at a particular stage of "slipperiness"), white pond lily root, Chinese astragalus root, and licorice root. It also contains vegetable glycerine. All of these ingredients are in an alcoholic suspension, and the recommended dosage is 40-60 drops three times a day. This would not be appropriate for somebody who must refrain from alcohol altogether, and it is also not right for anyone with high blood pressure, as the licorice can raise BP. I don't know if it would work for everybody or not, but I have had good luck with using this product. It worked for me within a week or so and has made a difference both in daily life and very notably also when intimate. I am not affiliated with the company that makes this stuff in any way and have nothing whatsoever to gain by this endorsement. I just thought it might help someone else. It is called Replenish and is sold by If I have overstepped in mentioning this I apologize.

I look forward to reading the rest of this site and hope that I can find something here which will help me to raise back into proper position my prolapse. It is upsetting. I would also like to ask the ladies here if using the Gyneflex device is recommended?

Hi Deepest

There is no harm in mentioning products by name as long as it is not an advertisement. We can learn so much from each other's experiences that can save a lot of money and time. Even if somebody does post an ad, it soon becomes obvious if they are not prepared to answer questions and engage in productive discussion. That's how the whole Replens discussion started. Feel free to start a Replenish topic.

Perimenopause is a time of learning for all of us, and I think that, for women, it needs to be added to death and taxes as the third certainty of life! It is great that we have this Forum to put our discussions about menopause-related topics out in public for younger women to read and learn from. Their time too will come. Earlier generations of women never had the Internet to help them in this way. We are so lucky.



Thanks Louise for your response! I'm glad my post was not out of line for this forum.
The only downside as I see it to using Replenish is the cost. It is more expensive than K-Y or any of the topical products I have looked at. But, it does work well for me. Anyway, it's good to have options.
I did pick up a lubricant a while ago which had good reviews, but found that it was silicone-based. Somehow the idea of that made me uncomfortable. I am at ease using silicone-based makeup primers and hair glossers, but the idea of it was to me too industrial and fake to use vaginally, even though to the touch it was silky.

You are right, we are very lucky to have the internet.
I am having an easy time with perimenopause in comparison to many women, with the exception of the cystocele. I have had some hot flashes but no wild mood swings or tears. I do wish I would just continue having my period until I was at least in my 60s, and that I could keep dewey skin and all of the other hallmarks of youth. But it seems to be out of my hands.


I've been using olive oil for about six months, and I've found it is a wonderful lubricant. I talked to my new doctor who said she thought I should use KY instead. So I dutifully went out and bought KY and it burned me so that I was on fire for two days. Gladly went back to the olive oil. She, the doctor, said it was not as sterile as KY, but you can eat olive oil; you can't eat KY. So I think I'd prefer the olive oil than KY. I've used Replens and thought I was being eaten by termites. I use the olive oil every day and have never had a problem. The cost is nominal. Actually, I've begun using it on my face as well, and it's great as a moisturizer.


It may not be sterile but it is awesome! Antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial-
Some of these are published studies in medical journals- I bet if you wanted to you could find more creditable sources- but hey it controls yeast growth- kills herpes-it is amazing stuff. I really like the idea of only putting products on my body that I could eat.
I only use organic virgin oil- the pure and light have been messed with.
And if you put a little tea tree oil in your mix I don't think you would ever have a vaginal infection.
The fruit and leaves of the olive (Olea europaea L.) contain a series of compounds that represent multichemical mechanisms of defense against microbe and insect attacks. There is clear evidence concerning the antimicrobial activity of compounds contained in olives, olive oil, and leaves and vegetation waters. In particular, the possible use of O. europaea biocompounds against human pathogenic bacteria has been suggested (4, 5, 9, 17).
The survival of foodborne pathogens in aqueous extracts of olive oil, virgin olive oil, vinegar, and several beverages was evaluated. Vinegar and aqueous extracts of virgin olive oil showed the strongest bactericidal activity against all strains tested. Red and white wines also killed most strains after 5 min of contact, black and green tea extracts showed weak antimicrobial activity under these conditions, and no effect was observed for the remaining beverages (fruit juices, Coca-Cola, dairy products, coffee, and beer). The phenolic compound content of the aqueous olive oil and virgin olive oil extracts could explain their antibacterial activity,

Polyphenols are a broad class of antioxidants including flavonoids and catechins which are found in red wine, chocolate, tea and many other foods. Antioxidants help slow the ageing process. Olives are high in polyphenols. These substances are water soluble so are mostly found in the waste water after olive processing. The levels are so high that they represent one of the biggest problems in disposing of olive waste. The phenols have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activities so can disturb normal wetland or treatment pond ecology. The oil retains a small amount of the polyphenols. The altitude of the olive grove and the ripeness of the fruit help determine the exact type of polyphenols.
The olive tree has been called The Tree of Life. The low incidence of cardiovascular disease in many Mediterranean populations has been attributed to the benefits of an olive-oil rich diet. In investigating the cardiovascular benefits of olive oil and the olive, many researchers have virtually ignored other components of the olive tree which have been shown to inhibit viruses and pathogenic bacteria including herpes, influenza, malaria and of particular interest recently Anthrax, smallpox, botulism and the plague.
Using Candida albicans in broth cultures and a micro dilution method, comparative efficacy of origanum oil, carvacrol, nystatin and amphotericin B were examined in vitro. Origanum oil at 0.25 mg/ml was found to completely inhibit the growth of C. albicans in culture. Growth inhibitions of 75% and >50% were observed at 0.125 mg/ml and 0.0625 mg/ml level, respectively. In addition, both the germination and the mycelial growth of C. albicans were found to be inhibited by origanum oil and carvacrol in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the therapeutic efficacy of origanum oil was examined in an experimental murine systemic candidiasis model.