The more people we meet on this podcast, the more unmet needs in the field of women’s health emerge, and the number appears to be infinite. Vaginal dryness and painful sex have been prominent topics for some time, but we are now approaching these issues from a new angle. These issues, in particular, can be very common and very debilitating for women who have survived breast cancer and have been thrown into instantaneous menopause with sudden vaginal dryness. Recognizing how concerning this was, our guest decided to change the paradigm for treating vaginal dryness by providing a medical device solution to a problem that has previously only been served by pharmaceuticals.
Holly Rockweiler is the co-founder and CEO of Madorra, a company that aims to improve the quality of life for postmenopausal women and breast cancer survivors by giving them the power to choose the non-hormonal treatment option they want to treat vaginal atrophy. Holly’s education and training were primarily in biomedical engineering, so she decided to apply that knowledge to create a device that will hopefully solve the problem that so many women face as they enter premature menopause. If you want to hear the story of this women’s health maverick, take a listen and enjoy!
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- Meet Holly Rockweiler, the co-founder and CEO of Madorra.
- Holly was trained in biomedical engineering, and we learn that grew out of Stanford University’s Biodesign Program.
- While interviewing numerous patients and healthcare providers, Holly’s team discovered a significant number of breast cancer survivors suffering from vaginal dryness.
- As hormone replacement therapy was not an option for all of them, the patients were left behind.
- Rachel asks Dr. Dweck to elaborate on the hormone-related issues, as there is a lot of debate around them.
- According to Dr. Dweck, breast cancer can cause instant menopause, as opposed to the standard gradual transition into this stage of life.
- Holly emphasized that patients often feel ill-equipped to make health-related decisions, so they rely on their healthcare provider.
- Holy’s team discovered that vaginal blood flow was critical for lubrication, so they decided to develop a device that would stimulate blood flow in the vagina.
- The team decided that the device would be non-invasive and simple to use at home based on data gathered from patient interviews.
- Dr. Dweck brings up the FDA’s special program for helping expedite innovative devices and technologies, and learns that Madorra was indeed granted breakthrough status in 2021.
- Dr. Dweck’s next thought-provoking question seeks to determine whether there were any incidental benefits of using this device.
- Rachel’s question leads us to the next topic: When will the product be available?
- The device is not yet available for purchase, but they are definitely getting there.
- Those interested in contacting Madorra or simply keeping up with the latest news can do so via their website, as well as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Since devices of this type are typically expensive, and not all patients can afford them, Dr. Dweck wonders how much this device will cost once it is released.
- When it comes to payment, there will be some out-of-pocket expenses at first, but the goal is to develop reimbursement so that the product can be paid for by insurance.
- Rachel is impressed by Holly’s strength and courage, and she would like to hear some advice for people who are going through a difficult time.
- The key is to stay motivated and focused on your goal at all times, even when you’re having a bad day, because your goal will help you move forward.
- HOT FLASH: Those undergoing certain treatments for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer may find themselves in instant menopause.
“Breast cancer survivors had this problem with vaginal dryness and were feeling really frustrated because they felt like the healthcare system was kind of leaving them behind.” (Holly)
“We found that there were so many other women who didn’t have a cancer history, but felt uncomfortable using hormones for a variety of reasons, and they too felt like they were being left behind.” (Holly)
“I consider Alyssa a global menopause whisperer.” (Rachel)
“We found that patients were feeling ill-equipped to actually make the decision themselves and were wanting to rely on their healthcare provider.” (Holly)
“I think that the comfort level around speaking about vaginal dryness, using the word vagina and talking about painful sex is much more acceptable than it once was. The conversation around this has just grown so much and that’s part of the success.” (Dr. Dweck)
“We did a bunch of research and determined that one of the key aspects to vaginal lubrication is actually vaginal blood flow.” (Holly)
“We’ve started to see through our clinical work that over time not only are we increasing lubrication, but it is also leading to improvements in the tissue health itself.” (Holly)
“Our goal with this commitment to clinical evidence is to develop reimbursement so that the product can be paid for by insurance.” (Holly)
“What I think is your superpower is no matter what is going on in your professional and personal life, at least on the surface, you look unflappable.” (Rachel)
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