Could a smart tampon help to predict your fertility?
Today, if you want to figure out where you stand with regards to fertility, your only option is to go to a clinic. The procedure varies from clinic to clinic, but generally speaking, fertility tests for women involve hormone testing and ovarian reserve testing, and possibly a pelvic ultrasound as well.
Now, imagine a world where you don’t have to make a trip to the clinic, and you can get an accurate snapshot of your fertility simply by using a tampon. That’s what NextGen Jane, a startup that aims to track women’s health and fertility through smart tampons, is working towards.
What, exactly, is a smart tampon?
While NextGen Jane is still in their product development phase, their goal is to create a tampon that can test a woman’s blood for a range of biomarkers and send this data to a database that allows the user to track their fertility and reproductive health.
Here’s how the tampon would work: you’d wear this tampon for two hours or so, then place it inside a test tube provided by the company, and send it to lab techs for analysis.
The story behind NextGen Jane
Ridhi Tariyal, co-founder of NextGen Jane, came up with the idea for her company when she was refused an ovarian reserve test from her doctor.
Here’s the backstory: When Ridhi turned 33, she decided it was time to plan for her future, and she wanted to get an idea of where she stood when it came to fertility. However, her doctor did not allow her to undergo an ovarian reserve test – on the grounds that she wasn’t actively trying to conceive at that time.
This struck Ridhi as problematic. Essentially, doctors act as gatekeepers to information, and women typically do not have access to information about their reproductive health until something starts to go wrong (for instance: they find that they’re unable to get pregnant, or they start to feel pain and/or other symptoms).
How NextGen Jane aims to help women take ownership of their fertility
As NextGen Jane puts it: every single month during your period, your body is providing you with a “natural biopsy” when it sheds your endometrial lining. Now, all that there’s left to do is to develop the tools to listen to the molecular messages transmitted from the tissues of our bodies.
In a nutshell: with NextGen Jane, you’ll be able to keep tabs on their ovarian reserve (and other data relevant to fertility), and use that data to better guide your planning and decisions.
This way, you won’t encounter a situation where you head to the doctor after months (or even years) of trying to have a baby, only to realize that your ovarian reserves are exceedingly low, and you’ve completely missed the boat.
Learn more about NextGen Jane at NextGenJane.com. If you’d like to take a fertility test ASAP, and can’t wait till NextGen Jane is officially launched, there are other home testing kits available in the market, including Modern Fertility and EverlyWell.