Meet MD Mama
Dr. Clare Bertucio MD - Medicine Mama’s Apothecary CEO
It’s 2021 and women shouldn’t feel awkward or embarrassed talking about their vaginas and vulvas. Dr. Clare Bertucio (Medicine Mama’s Apothecary CEO), wants to empower women to become more familiar with their bodies and to feel comfortable asking questions about their vulvar health.
As a wife, mom, and board-certified radiation oncologist for over 20 years, Clare understands the complexity of a woman’s health during each stage of her life. She first learned about Medicine Mama’s Apothecary eight years ago, when her family had the opportunity to be early investors in the company.
“I quickly fell in love with the small batch, all-natural and organic products,” Clare says. “Women can feel good about using our Vmagic products which are designed to replenish moisture, balance pH, and rejuvenate intimate skin.”
In her work as a radiologist, Clare became familiar with uncomfortable vulvar skin reactions caused by radiation therapy.
“Loss of estrogen, tight clothing, and certain soaps and bath products can also cause itching and irritation in the vulvar area,” Clare says. “Sadly, since many women don’t feel comfortable discussing feminine health, they aren’t getting the relief they deserve.”
Clare feels very strongly about helping to remove the stigma surrounding vulvar health and encouraging women to practice self-care. To accomplish this, she has started leading a series of Instagram Live sessions on the Medicine Mama’s Apothecary account (@TheVmagic), to discuss common vulvar problems experienced by women and answers any questions they might have regarding intimacy and vaginal/vulvar changes. In addition to offering this safe space, where women can gain information, she says Medicine Mama’s Apothecary is committed to supporting charitable women’s health organizations and making information available on the company blog that helps women to better understand their bodies.
“We want to provide women with solutions for the changes they experience in their vulvar skin throughout their lifetime,” Clare says. “No one should ever feel embarrassed to talk about common vulvar symptoms, such as itching, stinging, or irritation, or feel they need to suffer in silence, when solutions are readily available.”
Empowering Women to Feel Comfortable Talking About Feminine Health
While the words vajayjays, girly bits, and lady garden are often used in popular culture, it’s rare to hear an honest conversation that references vaginas or vulvas. Just this month, Instagram received criticism for banning educational illustrations about vulvas in a new project, entitled We Need to Talk About Vulvas.
A study conducted by an independent party, found 46% of 16-24 year-olds didn’t know the difference between the vagina, the inner muscular canal that extends from the vulva to the cervix and the vulva, the external organs, including the clitoris, labia, opening of the urethra, and opening of the vagina.
“It’s so important for women to feel comfortable taking about their vulvar health,” Clare says. “As a doctor, I’ve seen so many women who have been embarrassed to ask questions about their feminine health and as a result, have lost interest in sex because they’re reluctant to talk about symptoms such as vulvar pain and irritation.”
Clare believes all women should be able to talk unapologetically about their bodies with their partners, doctors, and to also empower and educate their daughters about feminine health.
“Historically, women have never been given permission to ask questions about their bodies,” Clare says. “A woman’s body changes as she goes through life and it’s important for women to know how to evolve and work with these changes.”
Getting to Know Your Vulva –Examining your vagina and vulva should be a natural part of self-care.
“As women, we often put ourselves last,” Clare says. “A vulva/vaginal self-exam using a hand mirror, can help women better understand and know their bodies, and identify any problems that might require medical attention.”
While we’re taught to take care of the skin on our faces and bodies, we’re not taught the importance of giving equal attention to our vulvas.
“As we age, hormonal changes can lead to irritation, discomfort, and loss of sexual desire,” Clare says. “Menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding and even hormonal imbalances can lead to a dry, irritated vulva.”
Since Vmagic balm is natural, organic, and free of dyes, hormones, fragrances, synthetic preservatives, parabens, and petroleum, it’s safe to use on the delicate vulvar area.