From MPowder and KaNDY Therapeutics, discover five female-founded startups easing the menopause transition for women.
Being a woman comes with its fair share of challenges. From puberty and the discomfort of periods to pregnancy and eventually menopause, everything is accompanied by hormonal changes that affect women’s day-to-day lives. Of these life phases, one often left undiscussed is menopause. Menopause refers to the period of 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual cycle. However, for years leading up to it, women experience symptoms like hot flashes, changes in the period cycle and vaginal dryness.
Fortunately, women no longer have to deal with menopause-related problems alone. A number of female-founded startups have created products that can help ease the transition into menopause.
MPowder: UK-based startup offering dietary supplements for menopause
UK-based startup MPowder has created a range of dietary supplements aimed at helping women tackle the challenges of menopause. Founder Rebekah Brown came up with the idea for the products when she first started experiencing menopause herself. Back then, her doctor urged her to go to a health food store and pick up some dietary supplements, and she found herself surrounded by supplements meant for women much older than her. These supplements also lacked information on the ingredients used to create them and how said ingredients would help with her symptoms. Hence, she decided to take things into her own hands and started making supplements for women going through the same problems.
Today, MPowder creates two separate supplement powers—PeriBoost Daily for women dealing with premenopause symptoms and Meno-Boost Daily for women over 45 who have already undergone menopause.
Alloy Women’s Health: A U.S.-based telehealth startup for menopause Treatment
Founded in 2021, Alloy Women’s Health is a U.S.-based telehealth startup offering an innovative solution to the age-old problem of menopause treatment. The idea for the company came to co-founder Anne Fulenwider when she witnessed her friend struggling to find a doctor to help her with the symptoms of menopause.
Alloy intends to solve this problem by easily connecting women with doctors that specialize in menopause treatment. Women can go to Alloy’s website and fill out a medical form which is reviewed by a menopause expert, and based on their needs, medication is delivered right to their doorsteps.
Joylux: Seattle-Based menopausal wellness platform
Seattle-based Joylux is a menopausal wellness platform that provides women with at-home medical devices to address menopause-related issues. In 2013, Collette Courtion founded Joylux with the goal of helping women strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. In 2020, the company expanded to target menopause problems, and in 2021, it launched the vFit Gold Controller, an app that tracks menopause symptoms.
The app connects to the intimate care device, vFit Gold, which uses red light, heat and sonic technology to restore vaginal tissue. As per Joylux’s website, regular usage can improve natural lubrication of the vagina, increase sensation and create a feeling of tightness.
Caria: AI-powered app for personalized menopause care
Caria is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered app that provides personalized care to premenopausal and menopausal women. Founded by Arfa Rehman and Scott Gorman, Caria was created with the intention of guiding women to understand menopausal changes.
The app allows women to chat with an AI to get a look at where they are on their menopause journey and receive tailored solutions to tackle menopause symptoms. The app also connects users with dieticians, fitness instructors and life coaches for comprehensive mental and physical care. By logging symptoms and tracking progress, women identify the most effective therapies for their unique needs.
KaNDy Therapeutics: UK-based biotech company offering non-hormonal menopause drug
KaNDy Therapeutics, a UK-based biotech company, has created a non-hormonal drug to provide relief to menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. Founded in 2017 by Mary Kerr and Mike Trower, KaNDy Therapeutics intends to treat debilitating conditions caused by the imbalance of female hormones.
Their drug, according to a clinical trial, reduces the number of hot flashes by an average of eight per day after 12 weeks of treatment. The company was acquired by the German multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer for US$425 million to expand on KaNDy’s drug development pipeline.
These female-founded startups are paving the way for the future of menopause care. MPowder’s dietary supplements, Alloy Women’s Health’s telehealth platform, Joylux’s at-home medical devices, Caria’s AI-powered app and KaNDy Therapeutics’ non-hormonal drug are just a few examples of innovative solutions available. As of 2022, the global menopause market is worth US$16.9 billion, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.3%.
The staggering productivity losses and healthcare costs associated with menopause amount to US$150 billion annually. Shockingly, nearly one in every five women considers retiring or quitting their jobs because of a lack of support during menopause. Startups like the ones we talked about can help women cope with the physical and mental challenges associated with this life phase. As more entrepreneurs and investors recognize the opportunities in the sector, we can expect to see even more innovative products and services designed to address the specific needs of menopausal women.
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