Recent statistics from the ONS have revealed that both fertility and birth rates in the UK fell to almost record lows throughout the pandemic with the latest data showing a 4.2% decrease year-on-year, falling to 1.58 children per women during 2020.
There are many reasons behind this decrease in numbers with one notable statistic being the significant drop in the number of “first births” i.e.: women having children for the very first time. Digging deeper, this decrease has been motivated by a range of factors spanning from improved access to contraception all the way through to women proactively delaying motherhood; partly due to anxiety brought about by the pandemic but also due to the increased availability of resources enabling women to take charge of exactly when they want to have children.
There are many businesses emerging providing support for women at every stage of their fertility journey; for those going through the menopause all the way through to businesses supporting those having difficulties getting pregnant. Here we identify some of the businesses supporting people at every stage of their fertility journey.
TMRW Life Sciences:
Pioneering innovation within the IVF space, TMRW Life Sciences specialise in the storage, management and maintenance of life’s most precious cells, eggs and embryos. The business has created the world’s first and only automated platform that can be used to help store eggs and embryos for IVF.
Founded by serial entrepreneurs Joshua Abram, Alan Murray with the support of Chief Medical Officer Jeffrey Port, the fertility tech business provides a solution that will enable millions of people around the globe to start a family. Employing the varied expertise they have developed through working in multiple different sectors, the founders have created a platform that will transform the management of frozen eggs and embryos and set a new standard for IVF care.
Unique in the sector given their B2B focus, Peppy is a digital platform that employers can use to provide their staff with access to vital support and advice for areas of healthcare such as fertility and the menopause.
Working with businesses including Clifford Chance and Santander, the platform puts employees in touch with qualified experts through video consultations and instant messaging as well as providing a bank of resources that staff can access to support their healthcare needs.
Peppy’s impressive recent growth ($10m Series A July 2021) coincides with a shift within the business community towards an increased awareness for the importance of supporting employees through health challenges that have long been neglected. Multinational businesses such as Kellogg’s have recently announced that they will provide staff with fertility, menopause and miscarriage leave. As the dial begins to shift on this conversation it will be fascinating to see how Peppy continues to grow.
Another business providing women with vital resources and knowledge about their reproductive health, Hertility was launched to make information about women’s health more accessible, empowering users to take control of their fertility.
Launched by co-founders Dr Helen O’Neill, Dr Natalie Getreu and Deirdre O’Neill, the business has recently received more than £4m in seed funding and since its launch in 2019 has already provided support to more than 2,000 women.
Following a virtual health assessment users are then sent an at-home hormone test that is tailored based on your results. These results are then sent to a lab for analysis before being made available in just seven working days. Recognising that users need more than just a set of numbers and charts, the business then provide support in the form of two different pathways to care; either a virtual consultation with an expert clinician or a clinic meeting with one of their partners.
Due to launch in 2022 Béa Fertility is on a mission to democratise fertility treatment. The recipients of $1m in pre-seed funding earlier this year, the business was founded to remove some of the barriers to fertility, namely the prohibitively high cost of entry.
When the business launches it will provide at-home fertility treatment as a monthly subscription service supported by an app as well as access to a community of experts. This support system will be an invaluable resource for underserved segments such as men and the LGBT community who typically lack the channels to talk about the challenges of infertility openly.
Currently the process for securing treatment is complex at best and downright impossible at worst with couples having to jump through several hoops in order to meet NHS eligibility criteria. There are particular challenges for both single women and LGBT couples with one lesbian couple recently challenging the NHS over their ‘discriminatory’ fertility policy.
If Béa receive clinical approval their alternative solution will drastically improves access to fertility for all, enabling treatment for thousands of people who may not previously have met this stringent criteria or had the financial means to pay for treatment privately.
Also targeting markets typically underserved by the industry, ExSeed specialise in providing men with home sperm testing services and helpful tips that enable them to improve their chances of conception. With 40% of infertility issues around the globe coming from men yet several taboos remaining when it comes to talking about these challenges, ExSeed was born to raise awareness around male fertility and provide vital support to a segment that is currently being neglected.
Offering results in as little as 15 minutes, ExSeed’s tests provide 95% accuracy, each of which is reviewed and analysed manually by fertility experts.
Once users have received their results ExSeed then provide advice that empowers men to take the required steps and lifestyle changes in order to improve their fertility. Offering a range of support services from supplements all the way through to a fertility bootcamp, the business empowers users to make the right choices and take control.
Is your fertility business looking for support reaching its key audiences? Why not get in touch today to discuss how our award-winning team could support you.