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) that live 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 explaining the microbes found in their vagina, along with the health conditions related to the microbes. For example, the test can pick up 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 deliver the next steps. If the consumer chooses to receive treatment through the company, they will be given a two-month treatment plan, which may include prescribing medication and nutritional supplements. Treatment plans are personal, but examples of medications a provider may prescribe are medical-grade boric acid or an antibiotic/fungal agent, 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 to take medication.
“You get a one-on-one health coach who helps walk you through everything your doctor prescribes, how it works, how you take it, how it fits into your sex life or your travel schedule and really helps you with making sure that achieving the vaginal health goals that you have is actually possible,” 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 per 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 launching in 39 states with plans to expand nationally.
The company also recently published results of a examination on 23 users of the platform. It showed that 83% of participants went from having a disruption in the vaginal microbiome to having a protective microbiome. In addition, all participants said their symptoms improved.
“We were able to move the whole community into a much more protective state, which led to probably decreasing incidence of infections, which is huge in vaginal infections,” said Pita Navarro, head of clinical research and operations at Evvy.
Evvy’s news comes at a time when vaginal discomfort is one of them leading causes for women seeking health advice. More than 90% of these cases due to vaginal microbiome imbalance. Jain has his own experience in this field.
“I think every woman has her own version of this story. But I had my own journey within the health care system and I felt like I had all these mysterious health problems and just couldn’t get answers from doctors,” she said . “I felt like I was going to doctor after doctor and was constantly being told, ‘Maybe you should drink more water,’ or ‘Maybe you should sleep more,’ or ‘It sounds like you’re stressed.'”
Ultimately, with the launch of the new platform, the company hopes to improve access to vaginal care, Jain said.
“Obviously, 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 who don’t have access to that care.”
Other companies that offer vaginal microbiome tests include Juno Bio and BiomeFx.
Photo credit: Andrii Shyp, Getty Images