Rory is an online resource and healthcare provider for women. It aims to demystify many of the basic, biological experiences women encounter throughout their lives in a judgment-free environment.
Launched in early 2019, Rory focuses on women between the ages of 45 and 65 who are experiencing natural but disruptive changes to their bodies, like menopause. Co-founder Rachel Blank hopes to give women a sense of control over their bodies through education, support and access to physicians and medications that can treat many symptoms related to aging.
Current medical services are aimed at menopause, weight management, sleep, allergies, sexual health and other, general health concerns specific to women.
- Convenience - the whole health care experience is completed online.
- No waiting - your online visit begins immediately after you sign up.
- Versatile solutions to frustrating, embarrassing and inconvenient health issues for women.
- All Rory doctors are licensed to practice medicine in the United States.
- Doctors are board-certified in family medicine, gynecology, women’s health and more.
- Personal medical data is protected.
- Free 2-day shipping with all orders.
- Rory is not covered by insurance.
- Non-prescription treatments do not require an online consultation and will take self-guided research. In some cases an in-person doctor’s visit may be better to explore these treatment options.
Overall, Rory is a trusted option for older women who want the convenience of managing many of their ongoing healthcare needs virtually. Rory is especially useful for women who are reluctant to discuss their symptoms in a face-to-face environment. While you can always speak to your Rory physician, it’s also not necessary to interact directly.
Women who prefer more personal, face-to-face service may not like the virtual experience Rory offers. But for women who want to manage their health quickly, without disrupting their day or having an uncomfortable real-world interaction, Rory is a great option.
In our testing, Rory’s free, online doctor visit took only minutes and prescriptions arrived at our doorstep within days.
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This review, like all medical-related content on Innerbody, is thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each medical service we review. We evaluate the entire experience from signing up to receiving medicine in the mail and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.
Rory, led by co-founder Rachel Blank and clinical director Dr. Melynda Barnes, is committed to creating an environment where women feel comfortable addressing their healthcare needs and providing equal access to treatments for all female patients.
Women are used to visiting the doctor regularly - especially by the time they’re in their 30s and 40s - and know all too well what they need. Rory allows women to avoid visiting the doctor or pharmacy on a regular basis by providing access to medications that often require an ongoing prescription, like the treatment for hot flashes, or that address potentially embarrassing concerns, like genital herpes or vaginal dryness.
Rory medications and over-the-counter treatments range from $9 to $35 per month (with the exception of Latisse® - $110/month - and Vaginal estradiol cream - $60/month), depending on quantity and frequency. Rory does not accept insurance at this time, but does list clear pricing that may be comparable or even less expensive than going through standard insurance.
What types of products does Rory offer?
Rory currently addresses 4 different health care areas for women:
- Menopause: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep.
- Sexual health: cold sores, genital herpes, personal lubricant.
- Eyelash care.
- Daily health: allergies, weight management, sleep, quit smoking.
Profile and questionnaire
Rory is easy to use. After you’ve selected the type of treatment you’d like to purchase, you will be directed to create an account by providing login information. You will then be asked to build a profile by answering routine questions you’d expect from a doctor, including questions about your symptoms and medical history. During the initial medical questionnaire, you will be required to provide a photo of your ID and a recent selfie. These photos can be taken directly from your computer or phone’s camera, or you can upload a previously taken image.
Get matched with a doctor for consultation
After your online medical questionnaire is complete, Rory asks whether you have a preferred treatment option or would like a physician to recommend a treatment plan for you based on your answers. You then chat with a qualified physician who is able to talk about potential treatments. It is convenient and fast - we were matched with a physician in as little as one minute after our consultation. After the doctor has accurately diagnosed your medical issue and you agree to a treatment plan, your prescription (if appropriate) is shipped directly to your door.
Your shipment arrives
The medications and dosages come highly protected in discreet packaging, individually wrapped or in a bottle.
The entire Rory process can be completed from the privacy of your home and the experience is also seamless on a mobile device. The end-result is typically the same as visiting a doctor and pharmacy, but in a fraction of the time.
Since every single woman will eventually go through menopause, it’s strange that many women feel so isolated when it finally happens to them. It most commonly occurs in your 40s or 50s, with the average age in the U.S. being 51.
Menopause is diagnosed after twelve months without a menstrual period. It’s a natural biological process that marks the end of your menstrual cycles.
Unfortunately, menopause is not usually an elegant transition into a new, more dignified stage of life. It’s often accompanied with some frustrating and potentially embarrassing symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness and issues sleeping.
These and other symptoms can even start to manifest before menopause during perimenopause (the stage leading up to menopause when periods start to become irregular) and can last for many years.
While perimenopause and menopause can both result in a variety of undesirable symptoms, this review will focus on the symptoms Rory treatments can alleviate: hot flashes, vaginal dryness and trouble sleeping.
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause. Over 75% of women will experience this sudden, intense episode of heat in their head, neck and chest, often accompanied by a red face and the sensation of an irregular heartbeat. Both uncomfortable and socially awkward, hot flashes are no fun.
Rory offers two different prescription treatments and one over-the-counter treatment for hot flashes.
Both prescription treatments, paroxetine and venlafaxine, are recommended by the North American Menopause Society to treat hot flashes. However, prescribing these medications to treat hot flashes is considered “off-label.” Physicians have the authority to prescribe medications off-label, but it means the drug has not completed the FDA’s clinical testing process. If you have questions, make sure to discuss them with your Rory physician or family practitioner.
- Paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is typically used to treat anxiety and depression. However, in lower doses there’s evidence that it can relieve the frequency and severity of hot flashes and, since it’s non-hormonal, can be an effective alternative to more aggressive treatments like hormone replacement therapy.
- Venlafaxine, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. However, in lower doses there’s evidence that it can relieve the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Like paroxetine, since it’s non-hormonal, venlafaxine can be an effective alternative to more aggressive treatments like hormone replacement therapy.
If you prefer to try over-the-counter remedies, Rory also offers a vitamin E & black cohosh pill. Studies have been inconclusive, showing mixed results when it comes to how effective black cohosh is in reducing symptoms of menopause. Vitamin E can offer some relief. As with any supplement, make sure you understand and follow appropriate dosing. If this treatment works for you, you should start to see improvement in about 4 weeks.
Vaginal dryness can be a concern during perimenopause, menopause and beyond. It’s a topic many women have difficulty starting a conversation about. The status of your vagina is a sensitive and personal matter that can affect how you feel both physically and emotionally, and these feelings can be difficult to explain to someone else, even a physician.
Rory allows you to address your concerns with an online medical questionnaire instead of an in-person visit. For those of us who are reluctant to have this conversation face-to-face, this is a huge benefit.
After completing your medical history and describing your symptoms online, Rory physicians will recommend one of two courses of action:
- Vaginal estradiol cream, which requires a prescription, is a topical estrogen therapy that helps relieve itching, burning, dryness, pain and irritation associated with vaginal dryness. Applying this topical, estrogen-based cream helps replace some of the estrogen lost as we age and promotes a healthy vagina.
- Rory’s all-natural personal lubricant is a two-in-one combination of lubricant and moisturizer. This hypoallergenic, 100% vegan, glycerin-free personal lubricant is meant for use during sexual activity and mimics your vagina’s natural moisture. It’s also safe for use with condoms and toys.
Unfortunately, menopause doesn’t just affect our body temperature (hot flashes) and vaginas (vaginal dryness), it can also affect our sleep. Over 60% of post-menopausal women are less satisfied with their sleep than they were prior to menopause.
To combat this, Rory offers Melatonin tablets. Melatonin is a non-habit-forming, over-the-counter sleep aid that helps regulate your internal clock. Our bodies naturally produce the hormone melatonin to control our sleep-wake cycle - it increases when it’s dark out and decreases when it’s light. However, our body’s ability to produce melatonin decreases with age, so melatonin supplements have become popular. They are widely considered safe because:
You’re unlikely to become dependent on them.
They do not produce the “hangover effect” common with other sleep aids.
Their effectiveness does not diminish with continued use.
Although quite common, cold sores can be annoying (at best) and mortifying (at worst), especially for women. Also called “oral herpes,” cold sores are a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). There’s no cure for HSV and, once you’ve contracted it, the virus lies dormant in your system and can recur at any time.
HSV-1 is highly contagious, even when cold sores are not visible, which is why 70% of the world’s population has it.
Since cold sores will clear up and heal on their own, treatment is not required. However, this often takes several days and can even take up to a few weeks for the blisters to completely disappear. Because of this, many people opt to treat symptoms when they arise.
Rory’s solution is the antiviral medication Valacyclovir, the generic form of Valtrex®, which, when taken as you feel an outbreak coming on, has been proven to prevent outbreaks before they start, or minimize the severity of an outbreak that has already occurred.
Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that, according to the CDC, affects 1 in 6 people in the U.S. between the ages of 14 and 49. Almost twice as many women contract gential herpes than men. Both oral herpes, or cold sores, and genital herpes are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Cold sores are caused by HSV-1 and genital herpes are typically caused by HSV-2, however it is possible to contract genital herpes from HSV-1.
Many people with genital herpes have very mild or even no symptoms, so it’s possible to be unaware that you’ve even got HSV. However, genital herpes typically manifests as blisters on or near the genitals or rectum. When the blisters break they can leave painful sores that take upwards of a week to heal.
Although there is no cure for herpes, there are medications that can prevent or shorten outbreaks - and make it less likely that you will pass the virus on to a sexual partner (although using a condom is the best form of prevention).
While contracting an STI can be embarrassing for anyone, women in particular may be more reluctant to be tested based on the social stigmas surrounding STIs.
Rory allows women the comfort of a discreet, online consultation with a physician who can prescribe the FDA-approved, antiviral medication Valacyclovir, the generic form of Valtrex®.
When taken as you feel an outbreak coming on, this medication has been proven to prevent outbreaks before they start, or minimize the severity of an outbreak that has already occurred.
And no - you won’t need to send a picture of your symptoms. Completing a medical questionnaire will provide the physician with the information she needs to make a diagnosis.
Whether you suffer from vaginal dryness or not, personal lubricant is a “must-have” for any sexually active women. Our vaginas are naturally lubricated thanks to the hormone estrogen, which maintains a thin layer of fluid on our vaginal walls and also keeps our vaginal lining healthy, elastic and thick.
Estrogen can decrease in a woman’s body over time due to giving birth, the onset of menopause and age in general, not to mention a variety of other factors.
Although sexual stimulation does enhance our natural vaginal lubrication, it’s not always enough to make sexual activity enjoyable or even comfortable. Luckily, a little bit of lubrication is often all you need to fix that.
Rory sells a two-in-one combination of all-natural lubricant and moisturizer. This hypoallergenic, 100% vegan, glycerin-free personal lubricant mimics your vagina’s natural moisture and is safe for use with condoms and toys.
Rory offers a proven solution for women hoping to enhance their eyelashes: Latisse®.
Also known as bimatoprost ophthalmic solution, Latisse® is an FDA-approved treatment for growing thicker, longer and darker eyelashes. Bimatoprost solution was first used to treat glaucoma, but when patients began reporting longer, fuller eyelashes, Latisse® was born.
In a clinical trial of the prescription medication, 78% of participants saw a significant enhancement in their eyelash prominence after using Latisse® for sixteen weeks. However, continued use is necessary in order to see lasting effects.
Runny nose, watery eyes, itchy skin, sneezing - many allergic reactions manifest in similar symptoms, but they shouldn’t all be treated with the same products or medications. Rory offers personalized treatment based on your unique symptoms. After responding to a medical questionnaire, a licensed physician will evaluate your responses and determine a treatment that’s right for you from the following options:
- Azelastine (generic Astelin) is an FDA-approved antihistamine nasal spray that treats the symptoms of long-term and seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, like watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. While this nasal spray produces results within 15 minutes and is safe for everyday use, it can cause fatigue and drowsiness so you should not use it while operating a motor vehicle.
- Fluticasone propionate (generic Flonase) is an FDA-approved, non-drowsy corticosteroid nasal spray that relieves stuffy nose, irritation and other symptoms of hay fever and other allergies. This prescription medication is safe for daily use.
- Levocetirizine (generic Xyzal) is an oral antihistamine that reduces watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and itchy skin within an hour. This FDA-approved, prescription pill works for up to 24 hours.
- Montelukast (generic Singulair) helps reduce symptoms of short-term or long-term nasal rhinitis, or hay fever, like nasal congestion, mucus production, sneezing, itching and wheezing. Montelukast is also used to treat and prevent asthma, but should not be used if an asthma attack has already started.
Although not available as of February 2020, Plenity™ is a weight management capsule that will be available through Rory soon.
Plenity™ was approved by the FDA in April of 2019 as a weight loss treatment. It comes in the form of capsules that you swallow with 16 ounces of water about 30 minutes prior to a meal. Plenity™ consists of cellulose and citric acid, which, when exposed to water, will expand in size, taking up space in your stomach and making you feel full.
Once the capsules absorb water, they become gelatinous. The enzymes in your intestines will begin to break down the gel, allowing your body to absorb the water and excrete the remaining cellulosic material.
Plenity™ has been shown in clinical studies to be safe and well-tolerated. Due to the way it works, Plenity™ is considered a “medical device” as opposed to a drug and is indicated for overweight and obese adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 - 40 kg/m^2.
People suffer from insomnia or have trouble sleeping for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, those reasons are out of your immediate control: age, anxiety, menopause. Although it’s important to understand the underlying cause of your sleeplessness, there are solutions to help you fall and stay asleep.
Rory addresses sleep issues with over-the-counter Melatonin tablets. Melatonin is a non-habit-forming sleep aid that helps regulate your internal clock.
Our bodies naturally produce the hormone melatonin to control our sleep-wake cycle - melatonin increases when it’s dark out and decreases when it’s light. However, our body’s ability to produce melatonin decreases with age, so melatonin supplements have become popular. They are widely considered safe because you are unlikely to become dependent on them, they do not produce the “hangover effect” common with other sleep aids and their effectiveness does not diminish with continued use.
Rory does not directly offer treatments to quit smoking, but the healthcare service directs you to its sister company, Zero, also a member of the Ro platform.
Zero works similar to Rory, with an online doctor visit, personalized physician recommendation and treatments shipped directly to your door.
Bupropion is commonly used to treat depression in patients with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and is also often used to help people quit smoking. The drug has a black box warning about the possible side effects of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, so it’s important to be candid with your physician about your medical history and other medications you’re taking.
As a Rory customer, you do not actually “speak” to a doctor. There is no video chat or phone call. But each treatment plan, if it involves a prescription, is reviewed by a real doctor. Here’s how it works:
Complete a relevant online questionnaire about your health.
Indicate whether you would like your doctor to recommend a course of treatment, or you have a preferred treatment option.
Review options and select a preferred treatment
Indicate shipping frequency (monthly or every three months).
Chat with a doctor who reviews your treatment.
Pay with a credit card and have your treatment shipped in the mail.
There are differences in your questionnaire based on what medical need brings you to Rory (e.g. menopause questions are different than allergy questions) but the overall process is similar across treatments.
Based on your responses, Rory may also recommend that you see a doctor in person.
Overall, Rory is a high-quality, trustworthy online healthcare provider for women. It allows you to treat a variety of common, female medical issues quickly and easily. For busy women who want to avoid the time, embarrassment or headache of an in-person medical visit, Rory is a significant improvement to the status quo.
Rory sets up a subscription for your ongoing prescriptions or treatments, so there’s no need to keep calling in your refill, and they offer monthly or 3-month shipping options.
If you have an idea of the treatment you need and are looking for quality and convenience, we recommend Rory.
We customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related, sometimes known as “telemedicine” service. For most online healthcare services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: Are the doctors on the service licensed to practice in the US? Are the physicians board-certified in the relevant practice areas? Do they have a high-quality medical review board with oversight? Are their treatment options FDA-approved?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the provider offer discounts or free services to our readers?
Customer Support: How well does the healthcare provider help you choose the best treatment? How clearly are the options presented? How well does the healthcare company help you understand options and get treatment if necessary?
Privacy: Are all treatments sent in discreet packaging? Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?
Speed: How fast will you receive your treatment from the moment you click “buy”? Are doctors and medical professionals responsive to your questions and needs when you are messaging them? Are the waiting times stated by the telemedicine provider accurate and consistent?
Rory branded products, including menopause, sexual health and allergy treatments, will not be covered under insurance. However, Rory products have clear pricing, free 2-day shipping and the online physician consultation costs less than most co-pays, making them more affordable than alternatives for many consumers.
Personal medical data is protected according to Rory policies. All data is 256 bit SSL/TLS encrypted and fulfills SOC2 security requirements.
Many of the products Rory sells are sold as a subscription. For example, candidates for hot flash prevention prescriptions will purchase a recurring monthly subscription based on the dosage that is right for them after consulting a doctor.
It’s convenient for many women to have their treatments shipped to their home automatically and, since most Rory treatments are ongoing, a subscription is often preferable - you don’t have to call in your refill each month. However, if you’re not good at managing subscriptions, you may want to sign up for a short term plan to try the product and then cancel.
With Rory, you can cancel your subscription anytime and, in our testing, we found customer service adequate. You can call or text Mon – Fri from 9:30am – 6:30pm EST or send an email. The real-time “help” button while placing an order did not work in our testing.