April 11, 2023
294: Unlocking the Power of Vibrators: Dr. Soumyadip Rakshit's Medical Solutions for Women's Sexual Health

Dr. Soumyadip Rakshit co-founded Mystery Vibe, a leading sexual wellness brand that uses vibration frequencies to enhance sexual health. He has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and has worked with leading urologists, menopau...

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
iHeartRadio podcast player badge
Stitcher podcast player badge
Audible podcast player badge
Pandora podcast player badge
Podchaser podcast player badge
TuneIn podcast player badge
YouTube podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge
PlayerFM podcast player badge

Dr. Soumyadip Rakshit co-founded Mystery Vibe, a leading sexual wellness brand that uses vibration frequencies to enhance sexual health. He has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and has worked with leading urologists, menopause specialists, OB-GYNs, pelvic floor therapists, and more to create medically designed products.


He was inspired to develop medical devices to help couples in long-term relationships maintain intimacy after major life events. He worked with ophthalmologists to create the first vibrator, a device meant to replace the manual stimulation of a doctor's hands. Over the years, the device has been improved and perfected in medical trials and is now recommended by doctors for pelvic floor therapy and arousal. With the help of vibrators, Dr. Rakshit is helping people take charge of their sexual health and reclaim their intimacy.


In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. How a Doctor Originally created a Vibrator to Replace Doing it with His Hand

2. The Challenges of Accessibility and Usability with Wireless Charging

3. The Benefits of Keeping the Pelvic Floor Healthy to Reduce the Chances of Incontinence.



Crescendo Device




Visit Dr. Soumyadip Rakshit's Socials:

Website: https://world.mysteryvibe.com/

Email: soum@distribution.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mysteryvibe/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mysteryvibe/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mysteryvibe

Support the show

Connect with Us
Website: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions
Instagram: @healthylifestylesolutions
YouTube channel: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions
Subscribe to our newsletter: Our Newsletter
Leave us a message: Speak Pipe Voicemail
Rate Me: https://ratethispodcast.com/hls


00:00:00 Maya: So welcome to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm your host, Maya Acosta, and we are going to discuss various topics related to female health. Before I introduce today's topic, I want to give you a heads up. Okay, so we'll be discussing female sexual disorders and how vibrators can be used as a medical device to help enhance sexual health. So if this is a topic that is triggering for you, I will ask that you skip this episode and check out my Thursday Health tips where I discuss tips associated with the pillars of lifestyle medicine. However, it is a very important topic and I want to help normalize these conversations. So if you think you're comfortable with it, please tune in because in today's episode, we will be exploring the impact of sexual disorders on women's health and well being and how vibrators can be used as a therapeutic tool.  And we are excited to have Dr. Soum, the co-founder of MysteryVibe, join us today to share his experience on this topic. MysteryVibe is a leading sexual wellness brand that is changing the way people think about sex toys and vibrators with years of experience in sexual wellness industry. Dr. Soum is here to share his insights and topics on the topic of women's sexual health. 

00:00:53 Maya: You have more power over your health and what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm Maya Acosta, and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions to support optimal human health. If you're willing to go with me, together we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life and increase longevity in a big way. Let's get started.

00:01:45 Maya: And as always, the full bio and the links for each of my guests can be found on the website healthylifestylesolutions.org. And welcome, Dr. Soum.

00:01:54 Dr. Soum: Thank you so much for having me on for the introduction.

00:01:56 Maya: Yes, and I want to actually make sure that I pronounce your name correctly. So would you just kind of introduce yourself a little bit more, say a little bit more with my listeners about how you even got involved with MysteryVibe?

00:02:10 Dr. Soum: Yes, absolutely. My name is very easy, Soum. That's it. My full name Soumyadip, is a combination of two words in Sanskrit, Somia means calm and Dip means slide is because my mom wanted to call me Sami and my dad wanted to call me Dip and they couldn't agree and they said, "Okay, let's just call him two names." So that's why I have a long name. But I've been so ever since, really. So my background is biomedical engineering. So that's what I did my PhD  and this is 20 years ago. Back then it was working on Eyes with Ophthalmologists. But in biomedical generally, the work is very much… It's bringing engineering into medicine. So once we sold that business, which is back in 2009, then we… and I'm talking about my other co-founders as well, we really wanted to do something again in biomedical. And the topic that kept coming up was life events like childbirth, menopause, aging related issues, post cancer recovery, post chemotherapy, neuroscience, dryness issues, pain after childbirth. All of these things affected intimacy and sex life massively for everyone. There were no exceptions. 

00:03:30 Dr. Soum: And these are things that happen as a matter of time. Menopause is unavoidable after 50 or even earlier. Erectile dysfunction. Most men will have it as they age to a certain degree. Cancer, like prostate cancer, one in seven men will have it. Cervix cancer, cervical, breast cancer. When you think of the recovery, a lot of it is focused obviously on longevity of life. Let's get rid of the cancer and they can live longer. But what is often missed out is the quality of life is, say, chemotherapy gets rid of the cancer, but maybe you can't feel aroused or you get dry and maybe you're only 40 years old or 50 years old or not someone who is 100 and doesn't care about their sex life anymore. And that's where we come in, in the sense that how can we create devices which are very much driven by clinical research, vibration frequencies which are created to increase blood flow and create devices which bend and adapt to the body to deliver the right frequencies at the right points. So whether it's to alleviate pain, to improve dryness, improve reaction, whatever that issue is that we are trying to address, the fundamental is always the same, is the right frequency at the right point.

00:04:57 Maya: And so you've taken your background, like you said, in engineering to solve really to use the technology to solve medical problems in some sense, and you've pinpointed the struggles that women endure. I became interested in this topic now that I'm more involved in women's health issues, when I interviewed an OB-GYN, a gynecologist who works with people, women who are premenopausal, perimenopausal menopause. Either they're going to menopause or they're gone through the phase and have faced some of these issues that you've just addressed, which is like vaginal dryness and things like that. And she spoke about using a vibrator to help alleviate and that was the first time that I ever heard of this. Another thing that really surprised me is that women I think I read somewhere that 50% of women over 50 years old are sexual, which means that as we age, we're dropping off, we're becoming less sexual because of libido and probably all the other complications, vaginal dryness and all that. 

00:06:06 Maya: As I was preparing for this conversation, dr. Soum, I went ahead and I pulled up some stats that I'd like for you then to kind of expand a little bit about when we're talking about women's sexual health. So I found that female sexual dysfunction and I don't know if that's sort of like a large category, but there was a review of 43 studies that found that this female sexual dysfunction affects about 43% of women in the general population with rates increasing among menopausal impulse menopausal women. And there are other things that affect women like the hypoactive sexual desire disorder or maybe losing interest. So if you'd like to sort of address some of those things that we're talking about.

00:06:49 Dr. Soum: So beyond what let's say someone has in the early years, a lot of the issues in sexual health happen after childbirth, just because it is such an, in a way, traumatic event for the body. And especially with natural childbirth, there'll very likely be vaginal scar tissues, which means the vagina expands and contracts in order to pass the baby through. And that would lead to pain in many cases. In some cases they might heal naturally. But what we see is 50% of mums after two years still have pelvic pain, and that is not normal. What should happen, ideally, is whenever they feel comfortable, a few weeks or a month after childbirth, to  go see a pelvic floor therapist who will examine and massage the pelvic floor. And this is where the vibrators become really essential. And this is what we designed as our first product nine years ago. 

00:07:59 Maya: It's a device that mimics two fingers bends to reach exact points on the vaginal wall to deliver vibrations where you need them. So the therapist can do that, but also, and this is the most important bit, hand them to the patient to take home to then do it on themselves as many times or whenever they can. Because the biggest challenge, especially for new mums is time. They really don't have time to go to a therapist, which might be a two to three hour thing, going there, having deployment, coming back, but equally, it's not cheap. And having that every week might end up costing thousands of dollars over six to twelve months. So we got together with pelvic photos to create this device, which now has been around for a long time, and then go through clinical trials and perfected it. And that's what the OB-GYNE uses now for pelvic floor. So just as a wider topic. So that's where a lot of the sexual health issues start.

00:09:08 Maya: And as you can imagine, if 50% of mums after childbirth after two years still have pelvic pain, that itself is a massive number because probably 60% or 70% of adult females will have one or more child or children. And then again, with aging, it will only get the sexual health issues. Sexual dysfunction generally will only add up with menopause with the lack of hormones, which would normally create arousal and wetness without going through HRT. And maybe even then it's not enough to recreate the natural lubrication. So that's where having access to good lubricants, good vibrators, which are medically designed, is really key, because otherwise it's very easy to give up on your sex life just from fear of pain. And even beyond sex life, just having pain throughout the day, from having dryness, right ? And that's even if you don't care about having a sex, maybe you're single and you're not looking for improving your sex life, even for yourself. As individual, alleviating that pain is essential. 

00:10:29 Maya: So that's why one of the big conferences we go to every year is NAMS - North American Menopause Society. And we are happy just to be able to talk to people because it is shocking how many women in their 50s or 60s who come there who have never, ever heard of or considered a lube such a simple thing, costs $5 for a small bottle. It's so cost effective. It's a medical product. Obviously, it's regulated by FDA. And that one small thing can change their bedroom completely. Right. And that's really our ultimate goal, is bring awareness to people about solutions that are simple and exist and that they can do in their own privacy in a very discreet way. When we do, we keep in touch with all the people who buy our products, and we ask them for feedback. And normally the feedback is, this has completely changed my relationship with my partner. And that's the overall goal. 

00:011:32 Maya: You know, when we started this nine years ago, the goal was, how can we help couples in long term relationships keep that mystery in the bedroom, especially after something major happens to them. Even though that's the factual... sorry, that's the established number. I am sure that number is much bigger. The statistic is much higher because most sexual health issues go unreported. People just don't talk about it.

00:12:00 Maya: Well, it's interesting. I was running this topic by a listener of mine, thinking, well, we're both adults. The individual is actually a little older than myself. And I thought, well, what do you think about this being that it could be used as a medical device to support now this person is on HRT, and she immediately shut down, didn't want to hear more about it, was repulsed by the whole idea, and then went on to talk about her faith. And that would not allow that her faith would not allow for this even to contemplate this idea. And so it saddened me. And I think that's part of the reason why I want to help normalize these topics is that even women, when they're in their younger years and are going through the whole menstrual experience of it, the cramping and spotting or whatever it is that we're going through when we're young. We shy away also from telling people it's almost like these things are happening in our body and we don't know how to have a safe conversation about it. You're offering a resource that many shy away from because of the stigma, and maybe we can talk about that, too. So, for example, you mentioned lubes, the fact that many women are not aware that maybe they should be using a lube. So lubes and vibrators have been associated with a different type of lifestyle and with other adult content, and not necessarily as a way to facilitate as the body's transitioning from hormonally transitioning. Do you want to talk to us about some of that stigma associated with vibrators?

00:13:34 Dr. Soum: No. Absolutely. And the reason we created the brand the way we did is the first thing you'll see on our website is it's created by doctors, and by doctors, I mean our chief medical officer is the head of urology at King's College, which is the biggest hospital in UK. We work with Dr. Rachel Rubin in DC, who is a leading urologist and she's given us so much feedback over the last five years on constantly improving our products, various menopause specialists, OB-GYN, pelvic floor therapist. And that's what constantly improves every single device over the last nine years. That's the first thing we tell people is, yes, we want to make it fun. Yes, we want to make it very approachable and nice. We don't want it to be scary looking clinical devices. But fundamentally, these are FDA registered doctor created products, and that's the reason why we want you to try it, right? Then that takes away the stigma of it's not a toy. If you want to use it as a toy, that's totally fine. But it's designed for very specific, everything is designed for very specific sexual health issues. Then they go through medical trials, then they get published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which is the most important journal in our field, and then doctors recommend it. 

00:15:07 Dr. Soum: So I think that is the best way we think to normalize it is to make it science based, because then that's not about opinion, it's just facts. This is science based. This has been created, gone through trials, been published, has FDA and that's what it is. It's very tricky, because if you think much wider in terms of the whole world. So my sister lives in Dubai, and if I try to talk about sex toys as a topic in Dubai, I'm pretty sure it's illegal. And it's not something that we can change. I have no idea how we would be able to change that as a society where there's a fundamental belief in certain things, and it's not our position to change that, because that's their belief system and we respect it. 

00:16:07 Dr. Soum: But even in a place like Dubai or Middle East generally, if you go with this approach that these are medical devices, they're created by doctors, they go through trials, their FDA, and then obviously, whatever their local regulatory body is, then the doctors will be very happy to try it, and if they think it's effective, recommended. So, to me, that is the way to normalize it. That's the easiest way to normalize it is based on signs and going through it. And vibrator as a device was originally created by a doctor to replace having to do it with his hand. And there's a movie about it called Hysteria which talks about it. 

00:16:52 Maya: Please tell us about it.

00:16:53 Dr. Soum: It's a brilliant movie. It is an absolutely brilliant movie.

00:16:56 Maya: Yeah, I'll start over because I'm sorry, I interrupted you. As soon as you said that I saw the movie, I found it fascinating. So if you'd like to tell our listeners a little bit about that, of how these kinds of massages once took place and why developing the vibrator was important, I find it fascinating. 

00:17:15 Dr. Soum: And it's well done. It's proper entertainment,  even though it's basically a documentary from what the movie says is obviously more than 100 years old. And I'm sure there's a little bit of storytelling, but often women, as they got older and probably didn't have sex orgasms for a long time, they would be diagnosed with this thing called hysteria, which obviously didn't exist. There's no such thing in that setting about a woman just being restless and maybe upset generally. And then this doctor figured out that all they needed was an orgasm. And then he made it into a very clinical thing so it doesn't look like it's a sexual thing. And then he would  use his hands to stimulate them and give them orgasms, and then they'll be very happy and they're like, "Oh, you've cured hysteria." And then they'd be back every week. The whole thing was hilarious. And then he started to get a lot of hand pain, like all his muscles with ache, and he was really struggling. So he had an engineer friend and he asked him, can you make something which will automatically do this? And they got the steam engine and a little piston and then all of that. The contraption is... very scary looking contraption they built. And that was the first electromechanical vibrator, and it worked. And the patients were very happy with the machine and the doctor's hand was saved. 

00:18:45 Dr. Soum: So it's a hilarious movie, but it is based on a true story. And that's how vibrator started. So vibrator has actually started as a medical device. And even for the first 50 years of the 20th century, they were advertised on newspapers as therapeutic use. So there are ads from New York Post or one of the old newspapers, printed newspapers, which showed vibrator ads with lots of benefits of using vibrators for health reasons, has a lady holding a cup of tea is like, "Oh, after you finish a cup of tea, you should use the vibrator in the morning to have a great start to your day."

00:19:28 Maya: Well, in many ways, that's not a bad idea, because, again, when we think of these devices, and I'm generalizing, but we always think of someone else wanting to use the devices on ourselves. And in many ways, of course, I checked out MysteryViBe, your website, and these devices are beautiful. They're non threatening, and they really are designed to be flexible and bendable into shape to one's body so that you as a woman can take control of your health and use it in the best way possible.

00:20:02 Dr. Soum: Let me show you the one I was talking about because it's easier. Okay, so, you know, here, this literally matches two fingers in width and in depth, and is designed by a pelvic floor therapist, literally to bend. And then you hold it and you deliver. Exactly, very precise. So there are six models. So it delivers very precise vibration frequencies, around 100. As a therapist, you can do that, or as a patient, you can do that. Yeah, to yourself. And this is the same device that is also for arousal disorder. So the Crescendo device has two papers, one on pain relief and one on arousal. And the fundamental is very easy is how can we deliver the right frequencies at the right point, whether it's inside or outside. And because it's long, you can make it very specific and the vibration will be delivered wherever you need. So that's why this is our very first device which has gone through nine years of improvements.

00:21:08 Maya: And this one's called Crescendo?

00:21:11 Dr. Soum: Yeah.

00:21:12 Maya: Okay.

00:21:13 Dr. Soum: And the idea is take it to a peak to improve your health and get you to peak health. Because Crescendo in music means the peak of music. So our goal is with this, we want to take you to your peak sexual health.

00:21:25 Maya: I love that you really put some thought into all of this and how you name just everything. You're very deliberate. So I've heard you also say, oh, I probably read in one of the articles that it's also useful for menstrual cramps. And now I'm past that phase of my life. But I recall the cervical pain, tremendous, tremendous pain that I had every single month. Can you tell us how that is? How does it alleviate some of the pain?

00:21:50 Dr. Soum: So it's a slightly different shape. So you'd have to bend it like this shape, so it's a curve, and then place it on the lower abdomen at a low frequency. So the main difference is for arousal, it's a much higher power. So there are 16 levels. So you would set it to whatever you are comfortable and is arousing. And then for pain relief, especially on the lower abdomen, you would just literally place it like this on your tummy and then at a low intensity over a long time. And then the vibration will reduce the pain. And this is not anything new. So, for example, Theragun is basically a big vibrating machine. And if you use it on your back, it will alleviate back pain. The vibration generally is used for any pain relief.

00:22:41 Maya: Yeah, well, I had never thought about that. I remember the heating pads that I would use and all of that. I never thought about vibration. But it makes sense if we do that for other areas of our bodies, like our shoulders or back, then why not like the belly or that cervical pelvic area? That is awesome. 

00:23:03 Dr. Soum:  Exactly. The fundamentals are really simple.

00:23:05 Maya: Yeah, well, it sounds here, for example, I wanted to go over some of these, how even Crescendo can support all of this. So there are a couple of things that we're looking at. We're looking at blood flow, but we're also looking at it as the muscle. And I didn't know this. So if you want to say more, I didn't know that we could atrophy down there.

00:23:27 Dr. Soum: Yeah, but the thing is, atrophy is basically dryness. So it can happen for various reasons. For example, one of the studies we are currently running in Berlin at Charity Hospital is about to help women post chemotherapy recover arousal and address dryness. So that can happen as a result of chemotherapy generally, which can happen as a result of loss of hormones from menopause. It's quite common actually. It's probably almost always as a result of menopause. But equally, the pelvic floor can get weak over the years unless you exercise it, which not many people do. It's not that common thing for people to do exercise the pelvic floors, which obviously you'd be told if you go to a therapist, but not many people go to a therapist and that can lead to incontinence. It's a very different issue from, say, pelvic pain from childbirth, but both of them kind of come from the same thing in terms of pelvic floor getting weak. 

00:24:50 Dr. Soum: So you will see there's a lot of discussion now about how women can keep their pelvic floor healthy or improve their health if it has deteriorated in order to reduce their chances of incontinence as they age. So there's quite a lot of discussion now, luckily, which didn't happen when we started nine years ago. It was like you'd have to educate everybody about even little things in sexual health. But it's changed a lot . I must say that in the nine years we've seen a huge improvement in the conversations that are happening across the world in female health.


00:25:34 Maya: Yeah, I think also just sort of like how we're starting to have more conversations about mental health that perhaps that also helps us with our overall wellness, which includes sexual health and exactly. There is a lot of trauma that you probably are familiar with that women have undergone when it comes to their sexuality that could cause them to want to just run away from all of this overall. So we still encourage people to do the best that they can or to work with a coach to help them through some of those issues. But you've also said your medical devices can help people in relationships or not in relationships. As a matter of fact, one thing that is important to your company is inclusivity. So I was wondering if you can talk about that. Have you been able to create products that work for everybody in every shape?

00:26:29 Dr. Soum: That's such a good point. So I'll talk about something very simple to start with  to explain. When we first made Crescendo, we made the buttons flush because it looked pretty. And then a lot of people emailed us, a lot of the customers emailed us saying it's quite difficult for me to use it because the buttons are too small, I have dexterity issues, my fingers shake and can you do something about it? So now all our products come with big raised buttons where you can feel them even in the dark and you can press them really easily with very easy to click. So something as simple as accessibility. The other thing we changed is we made it all USB connected charging because we used to have wireless charging before and it was not usable at all. Wireless charging hasn't really caught on. Even Apple has made it magnetic because you know how to attach it and it attaches. Otherwise what would happen, and it's happened to a lot of my friends, is even their phone, they would keep it on the wireless charger, but it's not aligned and they'll wake up in the morning and the phone has no battery. Wireless charging, from a usability perspective never really got there and we had exactly the same issue. 

00:27:52 Dr. Soum: So we're constantly looking for UX things in every way we can make it easier for our users, especially our 70 year old customers who don't want a lot of tech, they just want something to work, press a button, turn it on, use it, benefit from it and then that's it. So that's one part of it. The other part is just generally how can we focus on solving problems and be anatomy specific, not gender specific. So this device, for example, all it does is mimics your hand. So just like you could use your hand for any part of your body, whether it is to simulate the labia or valve in order to create arousal without inserting anything because of dryness or to reach much deeper inside where you have pain, but you can't with your fingers or stimulate. One of the studies we are working on is spinal injury where the vagina and the clitoris is not aroused by stimulating them. But how? The doctors are testing local induction where they're stimulating the breasts, which is still connected by nerves and feels arousal and at the same frequency stimulating the genitals and then creating that loop so that the breast arousal can infer an arousal into the vagina and create wetness. But to go back to the point that this device can be whatever you need your fingers to be an extended version for any gender and orientation because all we focus on is the anatomy and the biology of things and how effective can we be at delivering the right frequencies.

00:29:51 Maya: That makes a lot of sense to make it focused when it comes to the anatomy and how it can help a body, for example, achieve orgasm. I wonder if you could tell us if you know the statistics of how difficult is it in general for women to achieve orgasm.

00:30:11 R: Statistics in sexual health are so underreported and also it varies so much between demographics. Like the data that you would get in North America because people are more willing to share will be way better quality than the data you get in Asia where no one wants to share generally, you know, like India, no one would talk about this. But I think generally the stat that I know of is nine out of ten women need literal stimulation in order to orgasm. And that has been documented in quite a lot of diverse journals. So I think that is a stat that we generally look to as being reasonably accurate. And it's really that 10% who can orgasm through vaginal stimulation alone. So what happens as a result of that is the orgasm gap, where because the penis can orgasm purely through the stimulation of the glands. So during intercourse, the penis gets stimulated and it would orgasm generally, whereas the penis stimulating the vagina is generally not usually not enough to create an orgasm. That's where the gap comes from in the 90%, the 90-10, right? 

00:31:52 R: What that led to is one of the devices we created which was for the penis to wear it. Let me see. I have it here. So imagine this is the penis. So it's a device which is stretchy. It's made of stretchy material and it's just sit on the penis. It's designed for erection. It first sits on the head to create an erection and then the penis slides in and it sits on the base to constrict the blood flow so the erection stays. And then the front has a lot of this very powerful 360 simulation. So that goes on the labia, then clitoris and creates that arousal for the partner. So this device is very popular amongst our menopause couple segment because the guy would wear it and the lady would get the stimulation during intercourse, which they need even more as they age.

00:32:58 Maya: Yeah. Fascinating. Is that  the same device that helps men with erectile dysfunction? 

00:33:04 Dr. Soum: Correct. So this device is designed for ED, but with the secondary effect of stimulating the partner. So this is published in the journal as an ED device. So that's what its main purpose is. But its secondary purpose is to create the arousal. So it's called Tenunto.

00:33:28 Maya: Yeah. Fascinating. I love this. I can see how both how your devices can help a couple enrich their sexual life. I mean, they do say that many people  are sexually active when they get older, but maybe they could enhance their experience with your devices as well so that they can reduce some of that pain that can be prevalent at an older age. I don't know if I covered everything else in terms of other conditions, but mainly you have the pelvic floor issues, you have vaginal dryness. What other things do women deal with?

00:34:09 Dr. Soum: Period pain. Obviously you talked about incontinence as well, which is a different so we haven't done any studies on it. So what we can talk about when it comes to externally, in marketing, et cetera, is what we know works and is proven and it's published. So, for example, the spinal cord injury when I was talking about that's still research in progress and it will probably take another year or two years. And till we know for sure that the local loop theory works, we don't really know whether it's stimulating one part of the body which is connected to the brain and is erogenous would infer stimulations on another part which is not connected to the brain. So the other thing we haven't talked about is vulvodynia and vaginismus. So vulvodynia is pain of the Vulva, which we are running a study on with NHS, which is the National Health Service in UK. It's a very long trial, it's been three years and it should finish this year. And it will be a very exciting study, where it's the first time that vibrators have been used to address vulva pain. And that paper should be published later this year. That's one topic. 

00:34:09 Dr. Soum: Other topic of vaginismus, it's not something we work on because it's a very different issue, especially when it comes to dilation. Dilation falls under a different category, which is quite intrusive and it generally needs prescription from a doctor. And you can't buy it or you can't just decide to buy it over the counter. So that's a very nuanced area of sexual health, because normally with sexual health, most things are OTC including tablets like Viagra. You can buy them online, filling up a questionnaire, but with vaginismus, because it is not that well understood. Obviously, there is quite a lot of literature out there, but by the public, when I say well understood, something like ED erection issues, the person experiencing it will know they have it and they want to do something about it. And there's enough awareness, they know where to find sedations. 

00:36:36 Dr. Soum: But with vaginismus, the person might not really know, one, what is vaginismus, and two, that they have it. They might have painful sex for reasons they don't understand, and unless they go to the right specialist, because they might go to someone who isn't trained in sexual medicine and they might not diagnose correctly. So vaginismus is very complicated and creating dilators is also very complicated. So that's an area we haven't done any research in. What else? In female sexual health, I guess female health generally. There's a lot of stuff around fertility, around pregnancy, post- pregnancy care, and there's a lot of good work going on in that segment when it comes to fertility, childbirth and post childbirth breast bumps. How can they be better in terms of reducing mastitis, for example, or better education so mum can figure out when there are things they need to do to look after their breasts better, reduce the chances of pain, which actually is not that dissimilar to prostitutes and obviously that's a big issue. 

00:38:01 Dr. Soum: And one of the devices we are working on, which will come out later this year, is to help urologists reach and stimulate prostate to release secretions because men above 50 are suggested that they should go for annual prostate checkup, but not everyone does. So one of the things we are creating with the urologist now is something which is very simple, very slim, small, easy to use, not scary, because that's the biggest problem in prostate is men are scared of going for a prostate exam and they just avoid it. And sometimes, sadly, they only detect cancer when it's too late. So if we can make it, one, explain why it's important and two, make it pleasurable so they actually want to look after their prostate and just generally improve prostate health, then hopefully, we can reduce this reduced chances of prostate cancer. But obviously that needs to be proven to studies. But that's the theory that if you improve your prostate health generally you should have lower cancer.

00:39:11 Maya: Yes, thank you. Thank you for sharing that. And also, I sort of wanted to add that in terms of an overall sense of wellness, is that one of the benefits of having an orgasm, at least for women, is the release of the feel good hormone, right? Yeah. That we just have a sense of just kind of being releasing some of that tension that can help us. You said earlier about that advertisement you saw about the woman drinking the tea and talking about using the device. It's a good way to start the day.

00:39:47 Dr. Soum: That's so true. There's so much research on this like on Mayo Clinics website, WebMD headline on all the scientifically proven benefits of orgasm because of exactly that, the hormones it releases oxytocin and endorphins and it helps not just with improved mental health, which obviously does, but improved immunity. It makes you healthier and less likely to get ill, improved sleep, improved mental health. There's just so many true clinically proven benefits to orgasms and why it is a health, it's equally a health thing as it is a pleasure thing. There is some really interesting research on how orgasms can help someone struggling with depression, get over depression. Fascinating research. And it's kind of tricky because when you're on antidepressants, your desire goes down really a lot and you don't want to have anything fun and you don't want to orgasm. But the reverse is if you do, it might actually help you get over depression. So orgasms have such massive health benefits. And again, that is another way to really make all of sexual health less seedy and more scientific and more approachable where even something which seems to be frivolous orgasms is actually not and very health driven.

00:41:47 Maya: Yes. And Dr. Soum, I was also wondering, we've touched on these topics throughout the conversation, but if you could speak about any challenges or obstacles that the sexual wellness industry is facing and how MysteryVibe is working to overcome them. And even so, even with healthcare providers, which we also already spoke on, but how healthcare providers and clinicians can better address the sexual needs of their patients. In other words, how can we get this conversation going with our doctor so that it's a little bit more comfortable? I know that they sometimes ask are you sexually active? And so are you using contraceptives or birth control? And that's it. Then you wonder why did you even ask that?

00:42:38 Dr. Soum: Yeah, I'll answer the second question first. A lot of the doctors we work with have become educators. And the reason they have done that. And I'm talking about sexual health doctors who are very well trained in all of these sexual health issues, whether they're OB-GYN, serologists, andrologists, pelvic floor therapists, menopause specialists. All of them have now expanded their scope of their day, which is already very busy from not just looking after the patients, but also going out and educating people generally and doctors as well. And the way they're doing that, apart from some sessions, formal sessions is social media. So many of the doctors, particularly in sexual medicine, are on Twitter, on TikTok, on Instagram, doing videos, explaining really complicated topics in very simple ways, making it approachable, not just to other doctors who are not from sexual health. So that when like general medicine, so that they know what to look out for and to refer to the right people because that's really all we need from the first point of contact but equally teaching the public like the topic of vaginismus, how would you even know that you should go to a doctor? How do you what are the things that can possibly be causing that issue? And again, doing all of that from a very approachable way that you don't need a medical degree to understand. So that's the key.

00:44:21 Dr. Soum: I think it has to come from the experts to the masters for one to be taken seriously and to get the right information. And then the first question is about I think the biggest challenge in sexual health is funding generally because it's still a very nascent industry , it is still quite unknown as a sector. There hasn't really been many big companies. There has been Hims & Hers, which is Unicorn or WAS and ROE similar company. Also Unicorn. So there has been a few now in the last five years. But basically, if you think of it in the last decade, there hasn't been that many that much stuff in sexual health. It's still a nascent industry. Investors are starting to understand it better. They still need a lot more knowledge and to see a lot more success for them to invest as much as they invest in a banking company or a finance company. 

00:45:28 Dr. Soum: So I think that is the biggest challenge, especially in devices, because devices is one of those areas where you need a lot of investment for a long time before you can sell anything. So you need to design it, build it, manufacture it , get compliance electronic, get medical compliance, get registrations, do your medical studies, get the trials, do the publication, and that could easily be five to six, seven years, right? And once you get to the point, you then you can sell and be profitable. But till then, you need to raise a lot of money to build devices. So that's probably one of the main reasons why there isn't much in terms of medical devices in sexual health is because you need significant capital to get to the point where it can reach even one customer. And that mountain, overcoming that mountain is impossible without capital. Unless there is, like, say, $10 million of seed capital for a medical device company. Which is fine if you're in most sectors, let's say you're doing something in heart disease. You go to someone, if it's legitimate and you have the right people on board, it shouldn't be a problem raising money for heart disease. 

00:46:50 Dr. Soum:  But if you're in sexual health, you kind of have to explain the whole journey, just like a doctor has to explain to the masses or to other doctors who are not from sexual health. You have to explain why it matters and how many people does it even affects. So there's a very simple path, which is 86% of... 86% of mums have pelvic pain, new mums, which is literally pretty much everyone and most the investor you're talking to, either if they have a kid, is a mum or is with a mum, right ? So it's not that far off to relate. But the thing is, and that's the job of people like us is to tell the story and explain why it matters. There's 1.2 billion women in the world with menopause. That's a huge population, and that's why it matters. 50% of men above 40 have ED, again, talking about billions of people. So that's why it matters. But I don't think people realize it 'till they learn it. If you don't tell people, they just don't know it's irrespective of gender, because you might have experienced pelvic pain, but maybe you thought, "Oh, that just me, doesn't happen to anyone else." Because if you don't talk about it, you would assume no one talks about it, which means no one has it.

00:48:22 Maya: Right. Which is the problem with having some of these topics become so taboo, is that we don't talk about it. And it also is a change in how previous generations have endured a lot of hardships and pain because they don't share these things. So, for example, what you shared about women who have given birth having pelvic pain, that's new to me. And it's new to me because no one talks about it, just like you just said. So I'm so happy that you were here on the show to talk about this. And hopefully we can help normalize and give women the tools that they need to overcome some of this pain. Could you share with us, Dr. Soum? What's the best way for women to learn about your devices? Are you available, reachable? And do you have an Instagram account or social media?

00:49:12 Dr. Soum: Yes, everything. So it's all MysteryVibe. Very simple. Mystery as in M-Y-S-T-E-R-Y bringing the mystery back in the bedroom. mysteryvibe.com. MysteryVibe on Instagram, Facebook, everywhere. All social media is the same for us. So all the information that I was talking about, we write it as very actionable content like bullet points, which is on our blog, again, on the MysteryVibe. So it's on our blog. The devices have lots of explainers. There's doctors videos, general diagrams to explain what each of these are. And yeah, if anyone wants to contact me, my email is soum@mysteryvibe.com. 

00:49:56 Maya: Wonderful. We'll add all those links in the show notes. And also I'm going to include some of those articles that your team shared with me because I think those also help to see how important it is that we just kind of normalize this and see that there's a medical aspect to it. And also, your website is beautiful. The devices, again, are not nonthreatening, colorful, very appealing to women, I think, and just people who just like to have fun and enjoy devices in various ways. Thank you again, Dr. Soum, for being with us today.

00:50:29 Dr. Soum: Thank you so much for having me.


00:50:31 Maya: Thank you. 

00:50:34 Maya: You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast with your host, Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening. 

00:50:58 Maya: Well, friends, that is all for today's episode on women's sexual health. We hope that you enjoyed learning about how vibrators can be used as a therapeutic tool to support women's sexual health. A big thank you to Dr. Soum, the co-founder of MysteryVibe, for sharing his knowledge and expertise with us. And if you want to learn more about MysteryVibe's products and how they can help you with sexual wellness, head on over to his website. Again. It's mysteryvibe.com. And if you enjoyed this episode, make sure that you subscribe and leave a review so that other people can learn about it. And we'll see you soon, again, with more episodes related to women's health. Again, thank you for being a listener.

Dr. Soumyadip RakshitProfile Photo

Dr. Soumyadip Rakshit

Dr. Soumyadip Rakshit co-founded Mystery Vibe, a leading sexual wellness brand that uses vibration frequencies to enhance sexual health. He has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and has worked with leading urologists, menopause specialists, OB-GYNs, pelvic floor therapists, and more to create medically designed products.

He was inspired to develop medical devices to help couples in long-term relationships maintain intimacy after major life events. He worked with ophthalmologists to create the first vibrator, a device meant to replace the manual stimulation of a doctor's hands. Over the years, the device has been improved and perfected in medical trials and is now recommended by doctors for pelvic floor therapy and arousal. With the help of vibrators, Dr. Rakshit is helping people take charge of their sexual health and reclaim their intimacy.