Three femtech products that could improve the lives of many women
Previously, female health issues have been overlooked in this market, but these gadgets are putting it back on the agenda, says Liz Connor
If you're the type of person who likes to keep an eye on the latest wearables and gadgets, you'll know that femtech is one of the fastest-growing trends in the medical industry today.
If you're still in the dark about what the term means, femtech is essentially any type of technology that's designed to improve women's health.
It's all about using software and algorithms to solve female problems - from apps that track your period, to connected devices that resolve pelvic floor issues.
According to market analysts Frost & Sullivan, the female health industry is forecast to be worth $50bn (£38.5bn) by 2025, so the buzz around this sector doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. Here, we've rounded up a few of the smart, female-friendly products that are making noise right now.
1. Elvie Pelvic Floor Trainer, £169, johnlewis.com
One of the lesser-talked about side effects of childbirth is a weakened pelvic floor, which can lead to urinary incontinence - an embarrassing but common condition that many women don't realise can be reversed by exercising your pelvic floor area.
Dubbed the world's smallest kegel floor tracker, Elvie is a discreet wearable product that uses force and motion sensors to measure pelvic floor movement. Handily, it connects to an accompanying app, which guides you through simple five-minute exercises, while giving real-time guidance on your technique.
2. Ava Fertility Tracker, £249, avawomen.com
This discreet wearable bracelet helps you to track your cycle, fertility or pregnancy, depending on your personal needs.
Using a state-of-the-art sensor, it detects your body's signals to recognise when you're entering your fertile window, giving you ovulation predictions based on your data (a year-long clinical study found that it could predict fertile days with 89% accuracy).
If you do become pregnant, the app then gives detailed explanations about what to expect in each week of your trimester, as well as tracking your sleep, physiological stress, and resting pulse rate.
3. Thinx Period Pants, £26.70 for 1 pair of classic hiphuggers, shethinx.com
Single-use sanitary products are not only expensive to keep purchasing over your lifetime, but the plastic applicators and coatings can also be pretty bad for the environment too.
Thinx have changed the game by creating reusable underwear that absorbs your period in a leak-proof way, so you can feel comfortable and anxiety-free, even on your heaviest days. Once you've used them, you can simply chuck them in the washing machine and keep them in a safe place until you need to use them again.
No fuss, no mess.