Health startup Evvy has been offering diagnostic testing for vaginal infections. Now, they’re launching a full service vaginal healthcare platform. This means users don’t just get to find out what’s wrong but also how to treat it—all in one place.
“Vaginal discomfort is misdiagnosed 77% of the time due to a lack of research, so it’s no surprise that women have been suffering from chronic and recurrent vaginal symptoms in silence for years,” says founder Priyanka Jain, co-founder of Evvy.
“The status quo of vaginal healthcare is simply unacceptable for conditions that are so prevalent and have such a significant impact on our quality of life and health outcomes,” adds Laine Bruzek who went through an ordeal herself, being misdiagnosed for months, before she started Evvy with Jain. “We knew that we could leverage Evvy’s first-of-its-kind data platform and scientific advisory board to develop a new standard of care—so that’s exactly what we did. Our new vaginal healthcare platform is the first and only place to receive comprehensive at-home testing; precise, integrative treatments; and science-backed education and support—all from the comfort of your home.”
Two years ago, Jain and Bruzek launched Evvy to provide women with a breakdown of their vaginal microbiome. While the test did come with a brief consultation, Evvy couldn’t prescribe medications; just make suggestions of over-the-counter products that could help.
Now, each user will not only do the vaginal swab, but follow it up with a telehealth appointment, which could include a prescription. More precisely, each user will get personalized care, Jain emphasizes, and an integrative approach. “Evvy’s treatment programs include both targeted prescription medication and research-backed supplements to ensure that we don’t just fight the disruptive microbes—but regrow the protective ones that help prevent future infections,” she says.
So many women are given antibiotics to fight yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, the two most common issues plaguing a woman’s vaginal health. Yet those antibiotics can lead to subsequent infections and affect the gut microbiome, neither of which are ideal. As a result, women with chronic infections find themselves revisiting the doctor’s office with one problem after another. Meanwhile, probiotics, vaginal suppositories, and other more holistic approaches could help in addition to proper treatment. While some doctors have started to recommend these, it’s still not widely practiced.
That’s why Evvy hopes to break the cycle of endless doctor visits by offering personalized care, and follow up telehealth chats until the user has hopefully resolved or managed her issue. Now the question of who pays for it? While Jain and Bruzek are working to make the tests as affordable as possible as they want this to be a viable option for women, it’s not covered by insurance, at least yet.
“Evvy services are not covered by insurance today, but they are offered with transparent, upfront pricing that is often cheaper than it would cost for most people to see a doctor and get testing and integrative treatments in the current system,” says Jain.
Also for some women, it could be covered by an HSA or FSA plan. Patients are requested to check with their individual plans to see if Evvy fits the guidelines. All users can obtain an itemized receipt, as long as their kit is registered, by contacting Evvy’s care team, and then submit the claim.
But Jain and Bruzek hope that their customers don’t have to rely on their system for too long; the idea is that the vaginal microbiome test will produce an accurate and more detailed diagnosis from the get-go, which means treatment will be more effective as well.