I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Nicky Gaylor, a director of the company called Sylk that produces a fabulous hormonal and paraben free moisturising lubricant - an essential item for the peri and post menopausal woman!
I recently asked her a few questions to hopefully give an insight into this topic.
1.What led you to becoming a director of Sylk & how long have you worked with Sylk
My Dad set the company up over 20 years ago. His retirement coincided with the arrival of my children so it made sense for me to come on board as my background was in Marketing and I could work at home. I've been a director of Sylk for around 8 years though remember having to stuff envelopes for Direct Marketing campaigns for Dad when I was in my early 20's and home from Uni/London.
2.Have you seen attitudes changing over the years - would you say women are more open and aware nowadays or do you still come across a large percentage of women who find it difficult and embarrassing to talk about intimate topics?
I think a lot of women are more open about talking about intimate issues like menopause which has been driven by celebrities like Andrea Maclean and Meg Mathews being so vocal about their own experiences. However, I do still think we have a long way to go particularly getting women to talk about issues like vaginal dryness. I also think we need to make sure health professionals are open and informed about having those discussions!
3.Do you have a larger proportion of younger to older women buying your products or just a good cross section of ages?
Traditionally our market was very much older, post menopausal ladies. Probably because even when you come off HRT, vaginal dryness is one symptom that won't go away. However, the last few years has seen a big increase in women around 35 + buying our product because I think women are more aware of what vaginal dryness is, that it is often linked to hormones, stress, drug treatments so can happen at any time during a women's life and that using simple over the counter, good quality lubricants can make a world of difference.
4.Would you say that the recent increased awareness about the menopause and the benefits of using products like yours has increased the amount of older women buying your products?
I think it has increased both older and slightly younger peri-menopausal women buying it.
5.Do you have an idea of whether women are buying your products more for lubrication reasons, to help with intercourse or for moisturising reasons to help with vaginal atrophy symptoms like dryness and irritation…or just a balance between the two
I think both. Some buy it because they don't want to go down the HRT route, others to complement HRT particularly for sex and others who are purely using it as a sex aid to make everything more comfortable.
6.I’m sure you find it a very rewarding business to be in - do women bother to get in touch to let you know how well your products work?
Yes. We have the most wonderful letters, phone calls and emails. Sometimes it is very humbling as people talk of not having had a love life for years and then they discover Sylk and they are having sex again.
7.Are your sales focussed mainly in the UK or worldwide and if yes which countries have your largest sales.
We sell purely in the UK but there are distributors in New Zealand, Australia, Germany and USA.
8.Which direction do you see Sylk going in the future - helping in areas of education?, I know you have done a lot of work helping to raise awareness about gynaecological cancers by supporting the Eve appeal and raising awareness about the menopause in the past
Yes and we are going to build on that next year. We have always supported grass roots menopause education with our Sylk Bursary and we are going to increase the funding and ensure more nurses get the training on menopause they need.
For more information about Sylk go to : https://sylk.co.uk
Any information is as accurate as possible at time of writing and is for information purposes only. The information and support that Let's Talk Menopause provides is for your own personal use. It is not intended to replace or substitute the judgement of any medical professional you may come in contact with. You should always seek advice from your healthcare professional regarding any medical condition.
Eve Appeal : https://eveappeal.org.uk
Sylk : https://sylk.co.uk