If Gweneth Paltrow’s interest in menopause is any indicator, the 43 million American women currently undergoing “the change” will soon feel more catered to and less ignored. One new business on the scene trying to address our needs is Rory, a telemedicine health platform (companies that provide remote medical care) targeting women 45 to 65. Rory just launched last month, and the basic idea is inexpensive, accessible medical consultation, and treatment for menopause. Their goal is to treat it as a normal biological change (which it is) and not as a sickness (which it can feel like in the traditional medical community). In the screwed-up world of the American health system, doctors spend an average of twelve minutes with each patient, and they are so strapped for time that they focus more on mammograms and Pap smears and less on the subjects that take more time to tease out.

If you’re a woman in this demographic, you surely know the problem all too well: perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms vary widely from woman to woman, and they come and go with irritating irregularity – you might have mild hot flashes, then insane hot flashes, then no hot flashes. I couldn’t sleep for three months when I was 46 and then things got better, and now at 49 I can’t sleep at all again. Your vagina might feel totally lubricated and “normal” and then one day you’re having sex and experience searing pain. Which leads to a fear of sex, which leads to trouble in your love life, which leads to depression. Your hair suddenly starts falling out even though your period is still regular as clockwork. I could go on and on, but the point is this: you can’t predict this shit, it’s a nightmare, and doctors hardly ever talk about it.

So unless you have great insurance and a unicorn of a doctor who happens to know all about hormonal disruption in middle age (few do) who is also willing and able to listen to your litany of disparate miseries, and a lot of disposable income to throw at acupuncturists and naturopaths and blood tests and supplements, and the type of pushy unafraid demanding personality to insist on getting answers, chances are high that you’ll suffer in silence and get no relief for a good part of your menopausal journey.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report that a whopping 55% of women going through menopause don’t do anything to address their symptoms.

Enter Rory. You can go on their website and read helpful articles about what’s happening to your body and why. You can buy lube, melatonin, and black cohosh mixed with vitamin E. Over-the counter-treatments start at $13 and if you need stronger stuff, you can complete an online doctor visit to see if prescription medication is right for you.  And prescription meds (for vaginal dryness or hot flashes) start at $30. They also offer, slightly incongruously, Latisse! I mean, why not? I’m sure I’m not the only woman out there who finds that longer lashes take a smidgen of sting out of aging, right?

For those of us who are too shy to talk to our doctors about vaginal discomfort, or who can’t get to a doctor easily, or who have crappy insurance, or who just want the ease of doing every possible thing from our laptops, Rory might be worth checking out.

*** Paid partnership***

Nina Lorez Collins
Nina Lorez Collins a lifelong New Yorker, born there in 1969. She graduated from Barnard College in 1990 and got a Masters in Narrative Medicine from Columbia in 2013. She has four kids who are mostly launched, is the founder and author of WWVWD, and serves as a trustee on the board of the Brooklyn Public Library.