Don’t work so hard that you start to lose sight of the big picture because building a company is really hard work. Sometimes you’ll come home feeling like you have been fighting a dragon with a pastel pool noodle.
MaryEllen Reider is the co-director of Yarlap, the FDA cleared pelvic training device to treat urinary incontinence and improve sexual performance and experience through muscle control at home. If you’ve ever tried to strengthen your pelvic floor but unsure how to do them — Yarlap does the entire process for you. MaryEllen strives to empower women by improving pelvic floor muscle tone for women of all ages. She enjoys inspiring people about why the Kegel exercises and Yarlap are so important.
Thank you so much for doing this with us MaryEllen! What is your “backstory”?
As a college student, I worked in Kosovo on an international project to empower women helping them take financial control over their lives. Having access to a checking account or small business loan can make a lifetime of difference for women and their families.
Paying it forward, I’ve continued my work to improve the quality of women’s lives simply but significantly. Pelvic floor muscle toning to improve sexual wellness and urinary control is so easy and it can make a radical difference in the quality of a woman’s life. Again, pelvic floor muscle tone is Homeric for its ability to influence wellness.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
- Do your Kegels correctly without using your abs, rear-end, or thighs.
- Stay active and be sure that your workouts are appropriate for you. Remember, repetitive impact, like running is hard on your pelvic floor. It is a little known fact that incontinence is very high among female collegiate athletes — repetitive impact and tense pelvic floor muscles need Tender Loving Care. Make sure your pelvic floor workouts include the ability to relax your pelvic floor muscles with control as well as your ability to clench on command.
- Be nice to people. Use your energy to bring happiness. Judicious acts of kindness bring wellness to everyone involved.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Things seem to happen in threes. Fortunately, that includes good things. Pelvic floor muscle tone is integral to a woman’s (1) continence, (2) posture and (3) sexual response. We have women of all ages contacting us with their intensely personal success stories with Yarlap. They want to share their joy with someone, and they trust us to remain confidential. However, I have permission from a licensed healthcare professional in her eighties that I can confirm: she regained her freedom to travel without being anchored to a bathroom. This kind of confidence is what we are working to build. Having that kind of confidence is immeasurable.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think a big mistake that we all make when we first start out is not taking time for yourself. You dive into your business and give it everything you have. You spend 24/7 answering emails, taking phone calls, etc. and it is all consuming. If you do not take time for yourself, you will burn out. When I finally took my first long weekend, I came back to work completely energized and ready to conquer the world with new ideas.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Healthy women means a healthier society. 1 in 3 women in the USA suffer from some form of urinary incontinence. That statistic is mind-blowing. My first reaction was, “how is nobody talking about this all the time?!” So many women have this issue and suffer from it. The treatment is simple if you have the right resources and tools, like Yarlap, to get you back your bladder control.
Since it is a stigmatized conversation, most people do not want to talk about it. With Yarlap, we are opening that conversation up in a friendly way. We are telling people that there is a treatment you can do from home that is FDA cleared and effective. It is simple. You are not alone. I think for all women, it is really important to know we have your back and we are here to help you.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Kari DePhilips founder the Content Factory is a real hero. She understands the importance of helping others judiciously and her thoughtful guidance has been meaningful to me. She seems to know everything and be so happy with a pinch of sass. She is fantastic. She has helped me laugh and launch a few ships for good!
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would love to do a movement about the importance of the pelvic floor. It deals with bladder control, sexual pleasure, and overall wellness. But most women do not know about these delicate pelvic floor muscles or they have a very vague idea of what a Kegel exercise is. I think if we had a movement of women’s pelvic floor health, that would benefit every single woman. We all have these muscles. We are all susceptible of them becoming weakened over time. We all need to know about them and how they link all parts of our wellness together!
What is your “3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Prioritize the high value tasks We made every effort to exceed FDA guidance to make sure the product is easy to use and effective and it has paid off with excellent customer reviews. Yarlap is safe and effective.
- Technology is always new and shiny, but be aware and vigilant. While there is an allure to technology, including convenience and power; patient data should be strictly private and safe. With the Yarlap, your pelvic toning data is private and safe; it cannot be stolen and there is no possibility of thermal runaway as with some other devices.
- Don’t work so hard that you start to lose sight of the big picturebecause building a company is really hard work. Sometimes you’ll come home feeling like you have been fighting a dragon with a pastel pool noodle.
Do you have a “girl-crush” in this industry? If you could take one person to brunch, who would it be? (Let another “woman in wellness” know that you respect her as a teacher and guide! )
When it comes to opening up conversations of stigmatized women’s issues, I think that women like Cindy Gallop has made women’s sexual pleasure an open conversation. Healthy sexual pleasure is healthy. We need to be able to talk about it openly and be empowered by it.
Marcia Cross is another woman I admire. She recently came out with her diagnosis of anal cancer from HPV. She even stated that she struggled saying the phrase “anal cancer” because it was so stigmatized. But people have it. We need to be able to talk about it openly! I think it is fantastic of her to use her platform to bring anal cancer into the spotlight.
Honestly, every woman who has tried to help other women improve their heath is my crush.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
All four are very important topics, but the one most dear to me would be mental health. Every day I talk to women who talk to me about how their lives have been altered because of incontinence. It has been researched that urinary incontinence leaves women with a higher chance of suffering from psychological distress than women without incontinence. You have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. It has a big mental effect on the way you look at yourself and the world. The treatment for incontinence is easy once you have the right resources, tools, and support. Finally, with devices like Yarlap and conversations, those tools and support are becoming easier and more readily available. But your physical health ties in so closely with your mental health. Mental health is very personal to me.
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