According to BIS Research, the global femtech market, previously valued at $560.5m, is expected to be valued at $4,692.3m by 2030. Among the experts in the research stated that, due to its current rate, the femtech market’s “challenges due to lack of awareness and societal taboos will outweigh the challenges due to lack of digital infrastructure in a few years.”
The femtech market includes products such as mobile apps, smart devices, reproductive health care information, and others, with the end-users being individuals, hospitals, fertility clinics, and research institutes. With an expected CAGR growth of 17.18%, the femtech market has more potential than previously imagined.
The most painful part of menstruation is the cramps that come along with it. While there are available devices that alleviate dysmenorrhea or period pain, this time around, we want to focus on the overall menstrual health care package that every female must possess.
Menstrual health mobile apps
2021 has been a good year for femtech apps such as Flo, a women’s reproductive health app, as it was recently valued at $800m. Another such app called the Lowdown is a unique review-based platform where people can post reviews of the birth control methods they found effective.
I have been using Period Tracker by GP International Inc. for many years now. It is a pretty simple app and I use it to keep a log of my menstrual cycles. I usually forget to do this, but you should remember to enter the start and end date of your cycle. The app will then maintain a calendar of your cycle. The app is free and available for both iOS and Android, and its deluxe version costs $5.99.
The company says that their app icon looks “discreet” because it reads ‘P Tracker’. I opted to change its name to ‘period tracker’ because I saw no need to be discreet. You can also share the details of your cycles with your partner.
Wear your wearable as jewelry
San Fransisco-based Bellabeat brings to the femtech market smart jewelry that sends data to their Bellabeat app. The company’s mission is to empower women globally by providing them with data about their reproductive health and wellness through a wellness tracker. These trackers that gather data such as hormonal cycle tracking, menstrual cycle phases, and mood changes, are made of crystals such as rose quartz and onyx. The crystal fits into a frame that is made of hypoallergenic stainless steel and non-allergenic silicone rubber.
Their latest range is called Ivy and is available for preorders. “Self-care shouldn’t be a burden for us; it should be simple and fun for anyone who wants to practice it. This is why Ivy is such an important addition to our line,” says Urška Sršen, co-founder and COO of Bellabeat. The crystal jewelry can either be hung on your clothes or can be worn as a bracelet, or a necklace.
The device uses a low-energy Bluetooth signal to transfer data and does not emit any electromagnetic radiation. Ivy’s battery will last you for 8 days on a full charge in 90-120 minutes. The device’s compatibility is iOS 11.0 and Android 6.0.
When my smartwatch asked me if I am a female or a male, I was a little offended. But I later realized that it uses gender classification to track menstrual cycles, which was the primary reason for buying Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Band 5 which costs $29.98.
Its battery lasts about a week and runs with the Mi Fit app. Xiaomi’s latest MI Smart Band 6, priced at $42.50, can run for two weeks and apart from tracking menstrual cycles, it also includes SPO2 tracking. You can also change the background of the Mi Band 6. These bands work on both iOS and Android.
Reusable period panties
One of the leading players in the global femtech market is the NY-based Thinx Inc. company. Carrying the company name, Thinx is reusable period underwear for females of all shapes, sizes, and ages.
Every pair of Thinx is made using their patented design with an absorbent gusset technology that absorbs all the menstrual discharge and is laundry-ready. The panties are made of cotton, nylon, and elastane, and do not leave any stain on your other clothes. They have a whole range of underwear and are priced starting at around $14.
Good practices to prevent vaginal infections
In a survey conducted by my.Flow, the company found that 70% of the menstruating people used tampons in the US. So they designed a tampon monitor that lets you know whenever the my.Flo tampon is full. Their tampons don’t contain any circuitry. This is the company’s prototype, with the device connecting to your tampon’s string and sending data to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
The misunderstood period blood is not just blood but also the necrotic or dead endometrium layer of the uterus, one of the leading factors for pain. Whenever there is dead tissue, there’s bound to be an infection if the waste isn’t quickly disposed of. The idea of the dead tissue lying in menstrual cups for hours does not seem right. Since the vagina is most vulnerable during menstruation, the chances of infection are higher than usual.
The best way to prevent vaginal infections is to use something that can be discarded right away such as sanitary napkins, or tampons. However, if you use menstrual cups, you must own a sterilizer as well. If you don’t own one, you can check out RosaCleaner’s menstrual cup steamer. China-based RosaCleaner provides a Menstrual Cup Steamer that costs $26.98 is a sterilizer that uses steam to disinfect the cups.
Whether it’s napkins, tampons, menstrual cups, or even period-absorbing panties, it’s great to know that femtech has come a long way and is continuing to improve. This way, it gives us ladies more options to pick out the best one for ourselves and makes periods less painful than it already is.