Oasis Intimates Products for Vaginal Renewal
The Oasis Intimates Wand Vibrators are a new and exciting way to experience pleasure. But they’re not like ordinary vibrators. Specially designed by Ellen Barnard MSSW, the Oasis products are part of a unique Vaginal Renewal Program, which can help women who have experienced vaginal thinning due to menopause, chemotherapy or other factors. We asked Ellen to tell us a bit about these innovative products and her program.
What makes Oasis products different from other vibrators?
These vibrators were designed with some specific functions in mind. First, they had to be made of the highest quality, non-seamed, medical grade ABS plastic. This type of plastic is more dense than other types of ABS plastic, and is less likely to crack or become brittle.
Second, the quality had to be very high. We are continuing to improve the design so that these products will last longer than the typical inexpensive vibrator. Many little details come together to make these more reliable.
Third, we had identified the need for a very slim (one-finger wide) vibrator with a fairly robust vibratory frequency, but there was nothing like that on the market. There are slim vibrators that are very “buzzy”, but none that offer a wider frequency that has been found to encourage blood flow more successfully.
Fourth, in the midi & maxi sizes, we needed a very “throbby” vibration, low noise, and good length (not too short, and not too long). There are some very poorly made vibrators with some of these features, but none with all of them, and none in the quality that we wanted.
Fifth, they had to be quiet, and stay quiet. Most inexpensive “slim” vibrators get much noisier over time, and we had to be sure that these would not do so. So the design and testing had to be done to make sure these did not become irritating to users who were not open to using a noisy product.
Finally, the Oasis Wands come with information to help the user achieve her goal, whether that is to prevent or address vaginal atrophy or scarring, or to increase her pleasure and ability to enjoy orgasms. We are in the process of developing an informational web site that will offer supplemental educational materials to help insure that the users can enjoy the intimacy they desire, despite menopause, cancer scarring, or other concerns that get in the way of pleasure.
Can you tell us a bit about vaginal renewal and why some women might need to know about it?
Every woman who lives long enough will need to address the vaginal changes that happen during menopause, called vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy means that the vaginal skin becomes thinner, more fragile, dry, and less flexible. This makes it uncomfortable to have pelvic exams, and can make penetrative sexual activity uncomfortable or even impossible due to the pain women experience during penetration.
Vaginal Renewal is the process of reconditioning the vaginal skin through moisturizing and massage, to reverse the vaginal changes after menopause or after cancer treatment that produces vaginal scarring. There are very few choices to address the way that the vaginal skin changes after menopause or cancer treatment, other than topical hormone treatments that many women are not comfortable using. The Vaginal Renewal Program was designed to provide a non-medication-based alternative for these women to increase their comfort during pelvic exams and penetration-based intimacy.
If women massage and moisturize their vaginal skin during their transition into menopause (starting as soon as their periods begin to be irregular) or soon after cancer treatment, and do so on a regular basis using a smooth vibrator with a “throbby” type of vibration, they will keep the skin from thinning and will help maintain the flexibility of the skin so that they don’t experience pain during penetration.
What should someone look for in a lubricant for this purpose?
The thing that all postmenopausal women want to look for in a lubricant for regular moisturizing and massage is a lubricant that is moisturizing. This would include lubricants that have aloe vera, carrageenan, parabens, and propylene glycol (yes, those are “chemicals” but so is everything else, it’s just that some things have other names). Lubricants that have plant cellulose or hydroxyethylcellulose or glycerin as their main ingredients will not be moisturizing, though they feel slippery and provide some cushion. For women who are sensitive to any of these ingredients, coconut oil will work as a moisturizer (but is not a very good lubricant for sexual activity), and can work with the Vaginal Renewal program.
Is this something that women can self-diagnose? Should they see a medical provider first?
Women do not need to see a medical provider, but many will not really put all the pieces together until a health care provider says something like “you have atrophic vaginitis” or “you have thinning of the vaginal walls” , or they have a painful pelvic exam or notice that intercourse is painful. Some women will wait until penetration is so painful that they cannot have intercourse any longer, and these women may find that using topical estrogen and doing the Vaginal Renewal program will yield excellent, quicker results in terms of increasing the thickness and flexibility of the vaginal skin.
If a woman wants to be pro-active, then she can start doing the Vaginal Renewal every two or three days as soon as her periods become irregular. This will maintain her vaginal health, and won’t require any consultation from a health care provider. This frequency should continue as long as she is able to do it. (I have this great vision of women in nursing homes asking for privacy so they can do their vaginal massage!)
What can women’s partners do to be helpful or supportive? How can couples incorporate this into their sex lives? (both for new couples and long-standing couples)
I love this question. Partners can actually help with this as a part of intimacy, if the couple wishes to do so. A partner can do the vulva and perineal massage and then hold his/her partner during the vaginal massage. They can then pursue other intimate activity if they wish.
Or a partner can be supportive by understanding that this may not be a sexual moment, and respecting her/his partner’s privacy while she does the massage, without expecting any kind of sexual follow-up. Some women have told us that they put a “do not disturb” sign up so that they have privacy they want to do this.
You can visit our website to purchase the Oasis Intimates Wand Vibrators.