Meet Pam. She Reinvented the Ice Pack to Relieve Vaginal Inflammation.
I believe that “necessity is the mother of invention.” I invented She*Pak out of my own need and from my knowledge as a PT and Clinical Wound Specialist. I invented it after a series of awful yeast infections. Even though I knew how to treat my yeast infection with medication, I needed relief in order to fall asleep. The symptoms were over the top and very stressful. My early solutions for cooling this area gave me relief of symptoms and allowed me to relax and fall asleep.
How did your training as a wound specialist prepare you to develop the She*Pak?
As a PT, I knew icing inflammation would help the healing process, as with chronic pain and sports injuries. If you sprain your ankle, you RICE. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. So why would clinicians recommend a warm sitz bath to me for my yeast infections? As a Wound Specialist, we learn, research, and discuss how staying in the inflammatory phase for too long is bad, and doesn’t get tissue repair into the proliferation phase. Chronic inflammation keeps any kind of tissue from healing, and contributes to chronic pain cycles. We need to break the chronic inflammatory pattern, and ice these tissues to provide relief and to heal.
Why do you think the medical world has been reluctant to use ice compression for vaginal tissue inflammation?
While I have seen references and citations for ice being recommended after vaginal child birth and with pelvic and sexual pain conditions, I don’t think that it has been fully adopted by the medical community. There is a lack of communication between the physical therapy/tissue repair world and the OB/Gyn world. There also hasn’t been a clean, safe, easy to use option for vaginal icing. I have heard of women using regular ice packs, frozen maxi pads, frozen gauze packs, and filled frozen condoms. While they would all work, they are messy, not reusable, and don’t address both the internal and external discomfort.
Who do you think will most benefit from your product?
Not every woman will need a She*Pak, but She*Pak is well suited for women with yeast or bacterial infections; who have had vaginal child birth (women with sutures will need a clinician’s approval); soreness/pain after sex/intimacy; postmenopausal pain with intimacy/sex; sexual pain conditions/disorders; and surgery with a vaginal approach.
Would you be willing to share a formative experience that prepared you to launch your own company?
As I was sharing my idea with some friends and family, they said they wished they had had something like this at different points in their lives. Their responses were always very emotional. They wished they had this after child birth, during and after menopause, and after intercourse. Their experiences motivated me to develop this product.
What women entrepreneurs or leaders inspire you?
Oprah, Dr. Northrup, the character that Tia Leone plays in the Secretary, inventor of Go Girl, Lady Diana, and working mothers!
In the next five years what innovation do you hope to see in women’s personal care/ health?
I want to see the adoption of “good” lubricants, and the decline and/or eradication of “bad” lubricants. I want there to be lubricants that also provide therapeutic benefits using natural and organic ingredients. I also want to see a test and complimentary products developed that can identify and help balance the microbiome and pH of a woman’s vagina. There also needs to be more products that treat pelvic floor and sexual pain issues.