Evvy, a vaginal health company, launched a new platform Wednesday that combines vaginal testing with prescription treatment and coaching.
New York City-based Evvy, founded in 2020, is a direct-to-consumer company. Its at-home vaginal microbiome test — which launched in 2021 and is CLIA validated — looks for the bacteria and fungi (microbes) living in people’s vaginas. It differs from other vaginal microbiome tests that only test for a limited list of microbes. Evvy’s test uses metagenomic sequencing, which allows for an analysis of the entire genome. After consumers take a test, a provider reviews the results and then sends a report that explains the microbes found in their vagina, along with the health conditions related to the microbes. For example, the test may pick up on Candida albicans or Candida glabrata, which are related to yeast infections. If treatment is needed, consumers will also receive a list of recommended next steps.
Now with the new platform, Evvy can actually provide those next steps. If the consumer chooses to receive treatment through the company, that person will receive a two-month treatment plan, which may include prescriptions of medications and supplements. The treatment plans are personalized, but examples of the medications a provider could prescribe are medical-grade boric acid or an antibiotic/antifungal, both of which are often used for yeast infections. Consumers will also be able to communicate one-on-one and virtually with an Evvy health coach, who can answer any questions and explain how medications should be taken.
“You get a one-on-one health coach who helps walk you through everything that your doctor prescribes you, how it works, how to take it, how it fits into your sex life or your travel schedule and really helps you make sure that it’s actually possible to achieve the vaginal health goals that you have,” said Priyanka Jain, CEO and co-founder of Evvy.
A one-time test costs $129, or consumers can become a member with Evvy and test every three months for $99 a test. If the consumer chooses to receive treatment along with their test, they pay at least $199. The test is available to consumers in all 50 states, while the full platform is starting in 39 states with plans to expand nationally.
The company also recently published results of a study on 23 users of the platform. It found that 83% of participants moved from having a disruption in the vaginal microbiome to having a protective microbiome. Additionally, all of the participants said their symptoms improved.
“We were able to shift the entire community into a much more protective state, leading to probable decreased rates of infection recurrence, which are huge in vaginal infections,” said Pita Navarro, head of clinical research and operations of Evvy.
Evvy’s news comes at a time when vaginal discomfort is one of the leading reasons for women seeking healthcare advice. More than 90% of these cases are because of vaginal microbiome imbalances. Jain has her own experience in this area.
“I think every woman has her own version of this story. But I had my own journey within the healthcare system, feeling like I had all these mysterious health problems and just couldn’t get answers from doctors,” she said. “I felt like I went to doctor after doctor and was constantly told, ‘Maybe you should drink more water’ or ‘Maybe you should sleep more’ or ‘Sounds like you’re stressed.'”
Ultimately, with the launch of the new platform, the company hopes to improve access to vaginal care, Jain said.
“Of course you can take your results in the plan we give you and bring it to your own provider if you’re lucky enough to have one,” she said. “But now I’m just really excited that we can close that gap for so many women and people with vaginas that don’t have access to that care.”
Photo credit: Andrii Shyp, Getty Images