Femtech company Lady Technologies today announced the launch of its FDA-registered fertility tracking and pelvic floor exercising device called kegg.
Along with the product release, the company also announced it completed a seed funding round worth $1.5 million. Investors include Crescent Ridge Partners, SOSV, Texas Halo Fund, Fermata Fund, MegaForce and several angel investors.
Kegg is shaped with an oblong ball on one end and a tail on the other. Users connect the device to the accompanying app when they are ready to test their fertility. The ball is inserted into the vagina with the tail sticking out, facing forward.
Once inserted, kegg uses impedance technology to measure changes in the electrolyte levels of cervical fluid. It senses when the user's hormone levels switch from estrogen to progesterone, which signals a woman's fertile window and ovulation, and displays the results as a predictive graph in the app.
Users are prompted to activate their pelvic muscles prior to the test by doing kegel exercises, which can promote natural lubrication and move the fluids downward, making it easier to collect data collection, according to the company.
The test in full takes two minutes to complete and is intended to be completed daily. The device is available in the U.S. today and costs $275.
Lady Technologies has plans to expand beyond fertility tracking, according to its founder and CEO Kristina Cahojova.
"In future, we want to look at other use cases that include infections, fertility tracking during postpartum, and perimenopause," she said in a statement. "The nature of cervical fluid had previously made it very expensive to study on a large scale. In the future we aim to help the research to answer some very important questions, such as what can positively impact the quality of fertile cervical fluid."
WHY THIS MATTERS
About 12% of U.S. women between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulty getting or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most common cause of infertility in women is a problem with ovulation, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Some common forms of infertility testing include measuring progesterone levels, thyroid function, prolactin levels and the ovarian reserve, according to the ACOG.
Kegg uses the fertility tracking system known as the Creighton Model, which observes a woman’s cervical fluid to signal changes in hormone levels and signs of fertility. This family planning method was found to help 76% of couples achieve pregnancy after one month of use and 98% after six months, according to a study in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.
THE LARGER TREND
Femtech is a quickly growing space within digital health, and particularly for fertility tech. Between 2014 and 2019, fertility tech startups raised $2.2 billion in investments according to an analysis completed by venture capital firm Octopus. Their success comes from declining fertility rates and increasing demand for accessible fertility tests and treatments, the report said.
Following this trend, MFB Fertility recently signed a deal with the U.S. Air Force to provide military members and their partners the former’s home fertility tests.
Fertility isn’t just a woman’s issue either, and earlier this year the male fertility startup Legacy raised $3.5 million for its mail-order kit fertility test capable of preserving a semen sample for up to 48 hours.
Still, there is space within femtech for products that don’t deal with reproduction. More than 60% of femtech funding has gone to companies targeting fertility, pregnancy or motherhood, according to Rock Health. Meanwhile, less than 45% of the female population in the U.S. is of reproductive age.
ON THE RECORD
"We have created the first easy-to-use modern medical device to help women manage their fertility with actionable data,” said Kristina Cahojova, the founder and CEO of Lady Technologies, in a statement. “Cervical fluid is a standard for determining women's conception probabilities on a daily basis, and kegg is the most convenient way to measure it."