a letter from our Cofounder & CEO Lindsay Wynn (she/her)
This project is the consequence of curiosity and necessity.
I had been fighting recurrent bouts of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and Yeast Infections for about six months. As soon as I'd treat one symptom, the next returned, and then it would start all over again. I was dealing with physical discomfort as well as the associated quality of life and psychological issues: I felt self conscious, I was unable (or didn't want to) have sex—the list goes on.
I tried various over-the-counter and prescription medicines but found no lasting relief. Unfortunately, that really isn't that surprising. I later learned that the bacterial vaginosis recurrence rates range from 40%-50%.
The very thing I was using to treat my vaginal infections was actually exacerbating the problem. The antibiotics and anti-fungal medications marketed to people with vaginas are so potent that they damage important friendly bacteria (like L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. reuteri) that create protective biofilm on the vaginal wall, leaving me vulnerable to further growth of bad bacteria (like Gardnerella vaginalis).
So, with a situation that was not showing any kind of material improvement, my partner, Taylor, and I began a deep dive into self education on all things vagina related. Along with my determination to find a solution and Taylor's background in biology and his generally endearing curiosity, we zeroed in on a few take-aways:
Vaginal health issues are very common yet still taboo to talk about.
Did you know around ~30% of people with vaginas suffer from Bacterial Vaginosis and 75% of people with vaginas will experience at least one yeast infection in their lives. Half will have recurring infections, and once you get one yeast infection, you’re likely to get another. These are just two of the many vaginal health issues and conditions vulva owners regularly deal with, affecting not only our physical wellness, but our mental health.
Treatment normally involves a heavy dose of antibiotics.
Prescribed antibiotics or antifungals work in the short term, but leave the body more vulnerable and prone to future infection by damaging the body’s natural ability to prevent future infection hence a 40%-50% recurrence rate. Biofilm seems to be the reason why the bad bacteria are so resilient.
There are alternative herbal remedies
There are various natural homeopathic remedies that people have been using successfully for years. Some are available at high end and natural grocery stores, but we found that none are well branded or marketed for all people with vaginas without shame or stigma and none were as comprehensive or easy to use as we wanted.
So what did we do with this information?
After a long conversation about what to do, we decided to make our own solution—or at least something that would help my body in it's fight to recover. We envisioned a balm or Salve that would provide effective support while being discrete and easy to use.
I was done with feeling "gross" (which is what a lot of the femcare products on the market made me feel with the language they used) and I knew there had to be a simple and empowering way to feel better. That was the birth of Momotaro Apotheca.
Taylor and I spent several months prototyping products, speaking with experts, experimenting with ingredients and formulas, and expanding our understanding of the issues we were trying to support. When we shared this project with our friends, many of them expressed interest and began to openly share their own experiences—and their interest in trying our new product.
Eight months later, we're beyond excited to announce the launch of Momotaro Apotheca—a line of certified organic, plant-based, and pH balanced skin products for vulvovaginal health.
It's our hope to help you—society, the world—rethink how we talk about our sexual health issues, how we support each other in wellness, and how we understand our bodies.
The Salve offers immediate relief to itching and burning courtesy of Tea Tree Leaf Oil. A Coconut and Jojoba Oil base protects your skin’s natural moisture barrier and Beeswax slows the dispersal of active ingredients for moisture that lasts all day. It's 100% certified organic plant-based ingredients help balance pH and naturally supports your body’s ability to heal itself without disrupting hormones, pheromones, or medication.
Struggling with symptoms but not sure what you need? Take our quick quiz to get personalized product recommendations based on your lifestyle and your specific needs. Take the quiz.
Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.