Cropped studio shot of a woman's hand holding a tampon against gray background

British Startup Creates Tampon That Could Revolutionize Women’s Sexual Health

An at-home testing option could spell a revolution in sexual health resources.

Daye, a company dedicated to expanding options and improving standards for gynecological health, has introduced a product to make at-home STI testing easy and accessible.

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In 2022, the UK Health Security Agency reported a nearly 24% increase in people experiencing STIs in the UK. In spite of this, numbers for women and AFAB individuals receiving sexual health screenings actually decreased by 1.2%. With no marked change in the availability of sexual health resources in the UK, this drop in individuals seeking care is troubling.

For some people, access to sexual health resources may be limited. For example, those living in rural areas could have to travel longer distances to get care and testing compared to those living in cities. Daye’s innovative product is a tampon that collects the needed cells and bacteria from the user. It’s delivered to your home and can be mailed to a lab for diagnostic testing. This system brings needed resources to anyone with a mailing address, and can help put women and AFAB people in control of their own health. Discreet shipping and testing done in one’s own home also help fight the social stigma of STIs. Having privacy to test yourself offers a solution for those embarrassed to go to a clinic for help.

The tampon works by using Polymerase Chain Reaction technology, or PCR for short. It can detect common infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia, ureaplasma (which can cause kidney stones), Trichomonas vaginalis (a sexually transmitted parasite), and mycoplasma (which infects the urinary tract). It works just like a regular tampon, and does not require the use of uncomfortable cervical swabs. In addition, Daye offers follow-up care for those who test positive, including treatments and consultations with sexual health professionals.

(via The Guardian, featured image: Adene Sanchez/Getty Images)


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