The health, wellness, and beauty sector is one that is well-known to be both consistent and lucrative. Economic recessions may come and go, but these industries usually weather the storm quite well. As such, most new offerings in this market represent innovations that have emerged through science and technology. Research discoveries or breakthroughs in treatments introduce new opportunities. It is therefore rather unusual for an untapped portion of the sector to be discovered without such advances… but that is precisely what is happening when it comes to menopause products and the menopause treatment market.
Over the last few years, there appears to be a shift in social attitudes and market trends when it comes to menopause. What was once considered a topic to avoid has now become one that is openly discussed. Menopause itself is no longer being swept under the rug of conversation but instead a subject of investor interest. Why? Because health and beauty are being more broadly defined beyond longstanding stereotypes. As a result, middle-aged women are seeing a significant increase in menopause products available to aid with bothersome symptoms. And there continues to be a growing number of startups in the menopause treatment market to meet menopause-related needs.
“To discover an entire category of health care that is entirely underserved is very, very rare.” – Alicia Jackson, CEO of Evernow, a telemedicine menopause startup
Menopause and Health
Given that the subject of menopause has been somewhat taboo for decades, it’s worth defining it in greater detail. In essence, menopause in the strictest sense represents the year after a woman’s last menstrual cycle. But in terms of menopausal symptoms, the duration of time women are affected is much longer than a year. Peri-menopausal symptoms can begin in a woman’s 40’s and last as long as a decade. This is a period of time when estrogen levels decline and ovaries are less active. There is also a post-menopausal period that lasts indefinitely beyond the year after menstruation stops. All three of these phases (peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause) are areas where the menopause treatment market is expanding.
With each of these phases, women often experience bothersome symptoms as well as health risks. Peri-menopausal complaints are the most frequent and can involve a host of issues. These include hot flashes, mood swings, headaches and what many call “brain fog.” Likewise, vaginal dryness is a common issue for which many women seek menopause products. And this can persist throughout the post-menopause period. it must also be noted that women develop other health risks after menopause occurs. The chance of heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression all are higher in this regard. As is evident, there are a number of issues that deserve attention and that might benefit from menopause products. But until recently, the menopause treatment market has severely neglected this population.
Shifting Attitudes and Perspectives
In previous times, the subject of menopause was one of dread and embarrassment. From a societal perspective, it represented the inevitable decline of aging with one’s pinnacle now in the rearview mirror. But that has since changed. As new generations of women have embraced an expanding view of beauty and wellness, menopause has entered into the limelight. Youthfulness and a slim physique are no longer the only defining qualities of aesthetics and health. Instead, perspectives of beauty now embrace a more inclusive range of shapes and sizes as well as ages. The growth of the femtech market and women’s health apps reflect this. Likewise, this has helped usher in the new menopause treatment market as women feel more comfortable in sharing their experiences.
With these changes in attitudes and perspectives have come a number of new menopause products and startup companies. Understanding that nearly all women will experience menopause and menopausal symptoms, it’s clear the menopause treatment market is tremendous. And with women less shy or embarrassed about seeking help for their complaints, previous market barriers are evaporating. Savvy investors who have stayed abreast of these trends are funding a variety of new companies promoting menopause products. And in all likelihood, they’ll be the same ones who capitalize on this rapidly growing health and beauty sector.
“Sexual currency is suddenly much more expansive and inclusive now. I think we are becoming more open to the notion that worth and value comes from more than shiny faces and tight bottoms and thigh gaps.” – Naomi Watts, Actress and Founder of Stripes
Startups in the Menopause Treatment Market
In terms of companies offering menopause products and treatments, two major segments have emerged as of late. The first group involves companies that are introducing telemedicine platforms for women with menopausal complaints. Most of these facilitate clients discussing their issues with a healthcare professional before receiving hormonal replacement therapies. But they may also provide other menopause products and treatments depending on the specific issues. The other group of companies tend to address beauty and aesthetics through a host of new products. By addressing age-related changes associated with menopause, these companies have significantly expanded their offerings and clientele.
Notably, the pandemic and increased use of telemedicine helped portions of this new menopause treatment market. Likewise, similar telemedicine models used to provide Viagra, Rogaine, and birth control pills have proven these approaches can be successful. In this regard, Evernow and Alloy are two startups taking this type of approach to address menopausal needs. Those involved in selling aging and beauty-related menopause products have simply taken advantage of the more open dialogue surrounding menopause. Stripes and Pause represent two growing companies in this sector of the menopause treatment market. Given their success thus far, in both sales and investments, it’s highly likely many more such companies will soon appear.
Filling a Notable Void
One may presume that addressing menopausal needs of women would fall under the scope of gynecologists. But remarkably, the degree of training these providers receive in menopause care is quite minimal. As a result, many feel poorly prepared to address such complaints. Combined with women’s prior reluctance to bring up such subjects, it’s not surprising a huge void in care exists. This is precisely why startups and investors see significant potential in the menopause treatment market. Indeed, there are a number of new menopause products and treatment options now available that weren’t before. And with startup funding increasing, there’s little question these options will continue to grow in the coming years.