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My Pee and Me – Megan Henken – CoFounder of – Hot Flash Health Podcast #3


Courtney Mamuscia: Hi everyone. Welcome to Hot Flash Health Podcast, where we’re dishing out the unfiltered truths about menopause with a side of sass and a sprinkle of crass. Courtney Mamouchia. I’m one of the hosts. get ready to dive into the wild world of hot flashes, mood swings, and all the other joys of being a queen nature. I’d like to introduce my co host Don Fable, 

Dawn Fable: This is such a cool moment for me. , I’m so proud to introduce Megan Hankin, co founder of my U. T. I. Megan and I were introduced by several mutual friends and the universe works in such mysterious ways. And, you know, one of the coolest things about hot flash health is meeting incredible, inspiring, smart, bad [00:01:00] ass women like you. Megan has been an accomplished marketing leader, in women’s health and a lot of clinical diagnostics in urology. And she has really taken a lot of that knowledge, And her own personal experience to develop a very, very progressive platform and at home testing for urinary tract infections. So Megan, I’d love for you to share with us a little bit about how this all came to be and where you’re at with my UTI.

So welcome and thanks so much for joining us. 

Megan Henken: Well, thank you ladies for having me. I’d like to say my UTI is, is really like a culmination of my career. The joke is that I’ve pretty much spent my time in the same four to six inch region, both men and women for the majority of my career. So, have really talked about everything from like STDs to pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, UTIs.

 So I have covered the entire range of, topics that most people [00:02:00] find taboo, but I find to be very interesting. And if somebody is not willing to talk about it, then who is, and I might as well step through that lane. We founded my UTI in 2019. 

I have been a consultant in the space for, as I mentioned, quite a while. And I met my co founder Lindsey, uh, through mutual friends. They couldn’t believe that we hadn’t met before because we were both consultants in this space. She really had spent more time on prostate cancer side of things.

And I was on the women’s health side of things. And we met over the phone, got on our mutual soapbox about the huge gaps in care. And then decided we were going to create an educational platform and then COVID hit and we decided, well, actually the problem isn’t that, um, this type of technology doesn’t exist.

It’s just that people don’t have access to it. And if we can swab our nose and send PCR testing off to a lab, then surely we can pee in a cup at our own home and then send that off to a [00:03:00] lab. And We decided, well, let’s just build it. Like, since we knew how it works, I understood the technology and what I would want into a test.

And so we found a lab partner and, and launched it. 

Dawn Fable: What I love about your journey is you had personal experience, challenges and frustrations with your own. urinary tract infractions, right? I really admire your um, mission. It is to directly take the stigma, gaps, and fractured care models that exist for frequent UTIs.

Courtney Mamuscia: I just want to

Megan Henken: Yeah.

Courtney Mamuscia: I feel like UTI should not be taboo because who, any one of us has like not had a UTI and, or our partner know about it

like it is a term that we all know and care about. And if someone’s not getting sex on the other end, they’re [00:04:00] fucking furious. So they want to know why not.


Fucking get

Megan Henken: yeah, exactly. Well, and I think that’s a lot of it is because of the way, like sex is the number one trigger. My personal journey was that it started at a very young age, and so that whole shame around behavior and UTIs. very ingrained at a very, very young age.

You know, Megan, are you holding it? Did you go to the bathroom? Are you wearing a wet bathing suit? , are you wearing the right kind of underwear? And then as I got older, it was very much, you know, about sexual behavior, very embarrassing conversations with male doctors asking me about anal sex, masturbation, all sorts of things that were very, very uncomfortable.

And at the end of the day, it’s like, Um, does that matter? But okay, I guess you’re trying to figure out what’s going on, why I’m getting them so frequently and I’ve been through every procedure, all sorts of stuff and really at the end of the day, what they told me is that I just have [00:05:00] a short urethra and I’m like, okay, cool.

Well, so does every other fucking woman in this world . That’s really unhelpful, right? Through the whole process, it really became something that I had to self manage. There was really no advocacy. It was like, go get a culture, go do this. And if it didn’t work, you know, they were just constantly throwing different antibiotics at me. I think things really kind of transitioned when, 

I started doing things on my own. Certainly I don’t drink enough water and I drink way too much caffeine. Okay. So that’s never going to change, but it was just different things that I did from a behavior modification standpoint that worked for me. It wasn’t anything ingenious, right? It wasn’t as if like I was wiping the wrong way in my entire fucking life. Like I kind of have figured out. And I think that’s part of the problem with the healthcare system is sometimes you’re treated like you’re, crazy when and the

Dawn Fable: you’re doing something wrong.

Megan Henken: exactly and the trope advice it’s we’re not idiots right like we’ve googled a thousand things to fix what’s going on [00:06:00] and i’m not here for you to just me to drink more water um

Courtney Mamuscia: is true to like, I feel like, I mean, I’m thinking back to your story and I feel like the first time I personally got a UTI, I was in 4th grade. So I was not having sex at that point. Um, and I was really, you know, my father basically raised me. So I was nervous. Like, I didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t tell him and it went on too long that it ended up giving me a kidney infection.

Right? So, you know, like, that is an interesting. point that you’re saying like it is taboo in a way. And I guess us as like women or men who are raising children, like should have no fear talking about the subject and making it more readily available and in over on the tail end talking about how many more we get now going through menopause.

So I’ll just shut up and let you talk, but that’s an interesting point. I forgot about that about

Dawn Fable: That is so, I mean, that is so true having had experience with [00:07:00] UTIs, the typical procedure for a woman who has a UTI is to call the doctor, see if you could get in like 24 to 48, 60 hours later, right? Which you’re in massive pain. of pain, then they have to do a culture, then they prescribe medicine, half of the time the antibiotics that they prescribe do not work.

So it’s a very frustrating process. So if I’m a woman who’s experiencing a UTI, how does it work through my UTI? Like what do you guys do differently? And because the process is very seamless from my understanding.

Megan Henken: Yes. So we are an e commerce solution. So very much like you would go on and shop for anything else online. That was the experience that was important to us. But we also wanted to make sure that we were giving you the most comprehensive test that you could get. And quickly, because we know, as you pointed out, Don, that you’re in a lot of pain.

 If you’re coming to us, it’s not because you feel good. And so for me, first and [00:08:00] foremost, it had to do with the technology that if, if you’re going to spend your money and trust us, then I want to make sure that we are providing the best service from that standpoint. So we do look at the top 12 year old pathogens as well as antibiotic sensitivities. So you order online. And then you can choose if you want it overnighted to your house, it generally will come ground, but then it arrives at your doorstep, you pee in a cup, it has all your shipping materials, you send it to our lab, and 96 percent of the time we report back in 24 hours. 

Choose to use one of our that’s cash based and get meds that same day, take it to your provider if that’s where you feel more comfortable.

Dawn Fable: brilliant. Oh,

Courtney Mamuscia: I have had this, this challenge to Don’s point that you, you’re in pain, you call, you can’t get into your doctor, , I mean, I wish the, the industry would change because us as patients, like, No, what the fuck we have?

Like, let’s be honest. You know, we’re like burning, peeing, like peeing every five seconds. [00:09:00] And like, we can diagnose ourselves and it’s like annoying. So I guess having, and you can maybe explain this to me, like, can we have some of your kits on hand? Right. So we don’t have to order them for you. We can like pre order

Megan Henken: Yep.

Courtney Mamuscia: just have them to like at the ready to go.

A frustrating part is the waiting time. Right.

Megan Henken: Yeah, exactly. Part of the misconception with UTIs, and this is a big thing as you age as well, is that it’s one infection, one bacteria. And while E. coli is the most common bacteria for urinary tract infections, do get more complex and complicated, which means there could be more than one that’s there.

So, your standard broad spectrum antibiotic may not be what you want to use. And I don’t know about you guys, but, , a lot of the time when you get those broad spectrum antibiotics, you should also be asking for some yeast infection medication because it completely blows out. Like, you’ve got diarrhea, a yeast infection, and a UTI.

The trifecta of everything that could go wrong below the belt, just to get rid of a [00:10:00] UTI. So that’s, that’s to me, one of the big things too, is that being tested is the only way you will know if A, you actually have a UTI, because it’s a bacteria and B, what is a antibiotic. , because as we move into menopause, there’s a lot of symptoms that mimic a UTI it’s not a UTI.

So that’s where testing becomes even more important as we age.

Courtney Mamuscia: Maybe we can dive into that. Right. Like how, what are these things that are happening to us?

Megan Henken: , well, vaginal dryness is one. And then so the way with the shift in hormones and everything that’s working is that it does change. , the balance of your vaginal microbiome and the bacteria that the good and the bad supposed to be there and kind of living in harmony, so to speak. So that’s why when you’re having the shift in hormones, you kind of see this imbalance.

Why you start to potentially get like a lot of the vulva dryness. , you see a lot more BV, you could be getting yeast [00:11:00] infections. You’re itchy. And because of that, it does make you more susceptible to infections. And because your anus is so close to your urethra, it makes it very easy for things to make its way straight up there and into your bladder and give you issues.

So that’s for, you know, UTIs. But a lot of those other symptoms can be managed with a vaginal estrogen instead of taking an antibiotic.

Dawn Fable: , so that’s crazy. And I love that we’re all talking about this so openly. And you actually, your shirt is perfect for this conversation because you sort of look like one giant vagina with your shirt and you’re saying like all of us. With that being said, you talk about vaginal estrogen, , tell us more about this.

Megan Henken: What I like to say is there’s power in a negative. So if you’re getting tested with a PCR test, which is the technology that we use, it’s the best that’s out there. so if you get a negative and one of those 12 [00:12:00] pathogens don’t pop up, you can be pretty positive. You don’t have a UTI. And so then at that point, you’re actually equipped with more robust information to have a conversation with your doctor to be Let’s get moving on some vaginal estrogen to help with the thinning of the tissue down there and helping with the balance of what’s happening and the bacteria and things. That to me is probably one of the biggest misconceptions is that you always need an antibiotic when anything is burning down there and that’s not necessarily the truth.

Dawn Fable: Fascinating. And that’s so good to know. And why isn’t it spoken about more often? Are we just in the business to like, just prescribe, prescribe, prescribe and antibiotics are the first go to?

Megan Henken: I think unfortunately there’s not enough clinicians that are educated on the power of vaginal estrogen. And so I love when you see, you know, on Instagram, a lot of these female urologists that are really taking this on. I think there’s also a huge gap [00:13:00] with clinicians, especially around primary care. And I’m going to say it and be controversial, but I also think OBGYNs are not talking about menopause care in a way that they potentially should be. And so they’re rushing you through the door and they’re really not connecting all the dots with all the symptoms that can be a part of perimenopause and menopause.

You know, not just UTIs. When you look at perimenopause and menopause, like it’s the top demographic for taking antidepressants.

They just get brushed off. Oh, anxiety, depression, all these other things. Um, there you go, brain fog. See? 

 A lot of us just think, Oh, menopause isn’t until you’re in your fifties. This, this can’t be what’s going on with me. So that’s why I love what you guys are doing.

And I think it’s really important for women to understand that like this phase of your life, doesn’t just like happen overnight. And there’s [00:14:00] so many different things that happen, through the process and that we really shouldn’t be scared of hormone therapy. 

Dawn Fable: Thank you, and thank you for bringing that to all of our attention, because I think it’s an important topic. And I think you’re right. As a middle aged woman, there’s so many shifts going on in our life as it pertains to our sexual wellness pillar, our physical wellness pillar, mental. spiritual, hormonal.

And so many of these things play on to conversations as middle age women and what we’re experiencing yet. It’s so very difficult to find a physician, to find an expert, to find anyone who is willing to take the time to really get to the bottom of the issue and help Women understand and treat that while and being empathetic and proactive to those situations.

So we really appreciate what people like you are doing with my UTI, not only talking about a stigmatized topic and who would have [00:15:00] thought that a UTI. Is considered stigma or taboo, but you bring up some really interesting points. And with that being said, you said something interesting before, and that is how sex is a trigger for you. And when you go to a doctor’s office, so often they assume that it’s because of expand on that for us.

Megan Henken: Yeah. As you kind of look at your life as a woman, right? When you, when most tend to get these UTIs, it’s in your twenties and thirties when we’re all having a really good time, right. And having a lot of sex. And so yes, right. The math there makes sense and that’s fine. But then there are other triggers like dehydration and constipation and birth control.

Right. And hormone changes. So, where you really start to see this shift as we age with hormones, why women are more susceptible. There’s also, people have incontinence [00:16:00] and bladder leaking maybe is an easier term for some people to manage, but it’s very common, especially after you’ve had kids.

 So, If you’re wearing pads, that also can make you more susceptible to getting UTIs. And I was just going to say that there’s nothing that infuriates me more than those like stupid fucking pad commercials that show those pad underwear, like, and the woman is acting like she feels sexy.

I do not know a single person that wears those looks at themselves in the mirror and is like, Oh my God, I can’t wait to wear these under this black dress

 there’s so many conditions that as women, I think have become normalized that we just like suffer through it instead of speaking up.

And drives me a little bit crazy. You know, because we’re used to feeling a little wet down there because of our periods and all these other things and being uncomfortable. And yeah, you are a little uncomfortable after sex sometimes if you’ve had a little bit of a good time but I think we sometimes forget to speak up about [00:17:00] like what isn’t quite feeling right. And then it just gets swept under the rug because is so common and sometimes these doctors do hear it again and again. It’s important that we kind of shift the idea that just because it’s common, it’s normal and I just have to deal with this. , And there’s so many elements in women’s health that are that way.

Dawn Fable: You’re so right. You sent me something so funny, Megan. I thought all of us could really brainstorm on like the, menopausal outfits of the Met Gala.

Megan Henken: Oh.

Courtney Mamuscia: That’s

Dawn Fable: It was, it was hilarious. Megan recently did a Pub crawl with her girlfriends where she dressed up, they dressed up as the most hilarious old women and it looked like the best time.

I was thinking in my head, I was like, God, wouldn’t it be fun to do like a menopausal woman pub crawl, but like, what do you dress up as? Like a huge dry [00:18:00] vagina, 

Courtney Mamuscia: like crazy hair.

Dawn Fable: yeah, horrid bitch, like, resting bitch face, you know, like a, a, a fuckin gorilla where you’ve got, like, you know, all of a sudden you’ve got a, a man beard, we should actually do that and sort of brainstorm, what would a menopausal woman pub crawl look like?

Megan Henken: I know. I know. What would I wear? What would my choice be? I think I would be a Like a split personality because I feel like one day I’m calm as hell like and then I’m like, who is this person? I don’t even recognize myself and I’m like, oh, yeah, there she is. Okay.

Courtney Mamuscia: love it.

Megan Henken: Got it

Dawn Fable: Yeah. Yeah.

Megan Henken: Jekyll

Dawn Fable: would probably, we joke, I would, I think my vagina is falling down. So I would just carry like something, I would carry my vagina around in a, in a little red wagon. It’d be great.

Courtney Mamuscia: I’m curious too, and I think we touched upon this a little bit earlier, but why is it, , that I feel like women in the, Going through menopause, it just seems like we get [00:19:00] more frequent UTIs and, but is it just our bodies are changing and there’s just different hormones happening?

And, you know, are there three things women can do to better improve their health or we’re just fucking in it to win it and just deal with it and get these kids. So they’re on hand.

Megan Henken: We are more susceptible because of the hormone changes. And so because of that, it shifts your vaginal pH. And so when you have this shift of the vaginal pH, that’s when you can get bacterial overgrowth. So that’s a big part of it that can be the correlation with urinary tract infections. So, , it just makes it easier for, bad things to grow, honestly, and then different things, but beyond just E.

coli, right? So E. coli is a gut bacteria. It’s standard. It’s, it’s gonna be there in your feces no matter what, and no matter how much you wipe. It’s really then more about [00:20:00] understanding that that’s just That’s naturally always going to be there. So a lot of times there’s this misnomer that you have some sort of hygiene issue and that’s just not accurate, right?

 There’s part of that, which the change is there. And then naturally that tissue down there is thinning more susceptible as well to different fissures and tears during sexual intercourse. So again, that can make you feel like you have a UTI. So the best battle, hopefully. lubricant Get a good lube and one that doesn’t have a bunch of sugar and crap in it, right?

Courtney Mamuscia: That you recommend over anything?

Megan Henken: Well, it depends if you’re using toys or Something else but yeah, I like uber lube. I think is good Good clean I think is good. Stay away

Dawn Fable: Uber lube

Megan Henken: Yeah

Dawn Fable: shout out to shout out to Uber lube.

Courtney Mamuscia: We can’t wait to have you on as a sponsor. Uber loop.

Megan Henken: The other thing is vaginal estrogen. I think people are [00:21:00] really scared of the word estrogen, but that is something that so many women Even like women that are breastfeeding, you know, because you have like that vaginal dryness as well, it could be a lifesaver. So I highly recommend that as well. 

Dawn Fable: ,vibrators and such, as I like to refer to them, my ex boyfriends on life support,

Megan Henken: well, there’s so many

Dawn Fable: well, are there correlations? Oh my gosh. I went to, , fascinations the other day to get a friend a toy and it’s like going to the apple store these days like everything is super Progressive and very nice and like glass cases and you know So many different features and benefits of all of these things One nice salesman told me many many years ago As we were sorting through there vibrators.

He said girl This thing will make your toes throw gangsta And all of us were like, Oh, that’s [00:22:00] amazing. But speaking of masturbation and, sexy time that we’re having with ourselves and our toes during gang signs because of all of these progressive electronic devices,

there a correlation between UTIs and masturbation?

Megan Henken: Do you know what’s so funny? Do you want to know what our number one blog is on our website? Can masturbation cause a UTI?

Dawn Fable: So it’s like a common, I mean, there are a lot of women out there who want to please themselves. Go girls

Megan Henken: and really there’s not. I think the correlation is, you know, keep your hands and your toys clean and, and you should be good, and then do a little cleanup afterwards. And I think a lot of times the other thing that we think we’re doing ourselves some good is that you clean up with those wipes. but actually because of all the chemicals and alcohol that’s in those, they actually can create more irritation. So you’re better off just using soap and water and a washcloth. So clean your toys, clean your hands, and I think you should be fine. Yeah, I 

I [00:23:00] think the other question that we get a lot is around oral sex and U. T. I. S. And, you know, just make sure that somebody doesn’t have a sinus infection when they’re going down or something like that. But

Courtney Mamuscia: breathe. It’s

Megan Henken: I don’t

Courtney Mamuscia: for both of

Megan Henken: exactly, but, but also like sometimes the like sugary stuff isn’t always great down there.

So make sure that you clean up. Okay. Right. I think some of this stuff is, is a bit intuitive, but if you are more susceptible and prone to them, it’s just be mindful of some of the like cleanup afterwards, or I guess the term is aftercare. 

Dawn Fable: So let’s, so let’s recap. , three most common misconceptions about UTIs,

. So the biggest misconceptions about UTIs, I would say, that any antibiotic will work for what’s going on. that you don’t need to be tested when in fact you need to understand the bacteria that is causing your infection. And number three, that you did something [00:24:00] UTI. You’re just a woman and it goes with the territory.

Awesome. What are three preventative? Things that we as women, especially in our middle age, can do to prevent UTIs because we are more susceptible to them.

Megan Henken: So from a preventative standpoint, I would say get yourself some vaginal estrogen. Course, the classic drink more water. None of us are going to give up our caffeine. So I’m not even going to go there. And then I, I would say the last one is having my UTI kit on hand. So then if you do start to feel those burning symptoms, you can pee in a cup and send it to our lab and have answers as fast as possible.

Courtney Mamuscia: Comfortable in the comfort of your own home.

Megan Henken: Yes.

Courtney Mamuscia: coming up with marketing slogans for you.

Dawn Fable: totally, so if you go to my UTI and want to order some of your kits, what are our options there? What’s the pricing? What’s the option?

Megan Henken: Sure. So if you’d want to buy the test and the kit [00:25:00] at one go, it’s 199. If you just want to buy a kit to have on hand, uh, under your sink, then it is 30. And then when you do have symptoms, you can go back to the website and then buy the lab testing service. So we tried to keep it as easy as possible.

Dawn Fable: That’s amazing.

Courtney Mamuscia: With the, the lab, do you need to like go into a lab every time to get blood drawn? Or you just ship it in?

Megan Henken: It’s urine, so you just ship it in. So urine is a very stable specimen type that we say in the lab world. So, once you collect your sample, ship it and it goes through, 

Courtney Mamuscia: had one more question I like historically the percentage of UTIs for women versus men. is significantly higher, but men can get UTIs too,

Megan Henken: Yes. Yes. What is interesting is that 15 percent of our customers are men and our website was originally set up and geared straight for women. And we’re seeing men of all ages. And the biggest thing [00:26:00] for men that we’re starting to understand is about convenience. A lot of them, have the desire or the time to seek out a specialist and a urologist.

They may have already tried to see a PCP and urgent care, , And just not really getting any answers because what’s frustrating when you have UTIs is that you go into the office, you pee in a cup, it gets sent off to a lab and they’re like, nope, it’s negative. And then there’s just nothing else that they go off of.

I think for the male population, that’s, that’s probably what’s going on. They tend to be the most vocal also on our customer service line. , because It hurts when they pee, right? It’s not as, again, it’s like that tolerance level that I was talking about with women where women,

Courtney Mamuscia: flu.

Megan Henken: yeah.

Where women were kind of like,

Courtney Mamuscia: Yeah.

Dawn Fable: imagine there’s a lot of talk around or fear around STDs and UTIs. Like, is it an STD or is it a UTI?

Megan Henken: Yeah, . There’s overlap in symptoms [00:27:00] for STDs and for UTIs. And so for men, I think that’s, that’s a part of it. There’s other conditions for men, which is why it’s really important they actually go see a provider in person, right? Things around their prostate, BPH, I don’t know if you guys have ever heard of that, prostatitis, which is an infection of the prostate.

, Sometimes it can be bacterial. And then there’s anatomical things that could be going on. So it generally speaking men, it’s considered more complicated if you are getting UTIs are UTI like symptoms that you should go in and see a physician.

Dawn Fable: Yeah, Megan, you’re smart. You’re cool. You’ve created an amazing mission and service and product for so many women and men out there who have experienced UTIs or who are going to experience UTIs. You yourself had a problem and you found a solution, which kudos to you. There’s so many people that [00:28:00] Don’t act upon this and you did and so my uti You can go get your test kits at my uti.

com you have an amazing profile of social channels and education and Informative information about those tell us what those are

Megan Henken: let’s see, you can find this on Instagram, TikTok . Pinterest. 

Dawn Fable: Hot flash listeners, about your vision, your mission, , urinary tract infections. I’m a big proponent of the word moist. , I’m surprised that hasn’t come up. No, I’m just kidding. I hate the words moist, pamphlet

Yeah. Are there better panties to wear to prevent UTIs? Cotton, silk,

Megan Henken: it’s, it’s kind of a fallacy, honestly. There’s, it’s, it’s, it’s anecdotal, there’s really not any scientific evidence that says the type of underwear that you [00:29:00] wear. Now certainly underwear can be more irritating. And then a lot of synthetic fibers don’t let things breathe down there. And if you’re wearing yoga pants all the time, it can trap in a lot of moisture.

So it’s more about like what’s

Dawn Fable: moist,

Megan Henken: yeah, I know. It’s happening down there. You know, it’s if it’s giving you swamp ass. It’s also

Courtney Mamuscia: That’s called summer.

Megan Henken: So and actually a fun fact so summer UTIs are at their highest, you know, sometimes infections trend get the most UTIs in the summertime because you’re drinking more alcohol. You’re dehydrated. You’re at the pool and

Dawn Fable: maybe more sex sometimes.

Megan Henken: more sex actually more sex

Courtney Mamuscia: bathing suit, you’re more naked.

Megan Henken: Yeah,

Courtney Mamuscia: to have sex

Megan Henken: true. Easier access. But actually what we find is there’s more sex around the holidays. That’s actually when we’re seeing more people having that [00:30:00] kind of a thing going on, which is why there’s so many September babies. If you think about it.


Courtney Mamuscia: Give

Dawn Fable: I’m so glad that both of you guys were born. It’s been such a pleasure having you, Megan,

Megan Henken: thank

Dawn Fable: and Court, as always, my incredible friend, co host, speaking about all of the interesting things as middle aged women and Queenagers, as we like to call it, if you would be so kind to follow us, subscribe to us, , there’s very exciting things coming up on hot flash health.

com. And these podcasts will soon be consumed anywhere. You can get your podcast. So like, subscribe, follow us and don’t forget shameless plug for my UTI. If you have an itch or a burn court,

Courtney Mamuscia: you go.

Megan Henken: Thanks, ladies. [00:31:00] I appreciate you.

Courtney Mamuscia: Yeah.




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