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Femtech Mindmap

Femtech (or female technology) is a term used to define software and services that use technology tailored towards women's health. This includes fertility solutions, period-tracking apps, pregnancy and nursing care, women's sexual wellness, and reproductive system health care. While there are several different aspects of women's health femtech applies to, femtech mainly focuses on menstruation care through period-tracking apps.[1] Before Femtech was officially established, Luna Luna, created by a firm in Japan, helped women keep track of their menstruation cycles.[2] Now called Luna, the app uses AI to predict those cycles.[2]

Femtech didn't become an official term until 2016—Ida Tin, a Danish entrepreneur, created the term.[3] Femtech is specifically focused on applications for women's health. These applications come in several different forms, such as mobile apps and medical devices. The industry has grown and continues to grow since femtech was official established. By 2025, with continuous growth, the femtech industry could be worth $50 billion.[3]

Companies and products[edit]

There are numerous femtech companies offering a variety of different products throughout the world, such as Clue, DOT, Glow,[4] Eve, Cycles, My Calendar, Life,[5][6] FertilityIQ, Extend Fertility, Forte Medical, Flo, Lady Cycle and others.[7][8][9][10] Companies that offer services like IVF, egg freezing, and medical treatments include Univfy,[11] Progyny, Apricity and Prelude Fertility.[8] Valley Electronics created the original fertility tracking tech device, called the Lady-Comp fertility tracker, which was first produced in Germany in 1986 and which has a modernized model still on the market in addition to a newer variant of fertility tracking device called the Daysy fertility tracker, which was the first device to pair a fertility tracker with an app. Similarly, the fertility company, Ava, produces a wearable that tracks fertility.[12] By contrast, Nurx provides a telemedicine service where women can get birth control prescribed via an app, and have the pills delivered.[8] Twentyeight Health, another birth control delivery service, takes this model a step further by providing resources for underserved women and Medicaid populations.[13]

Several companies also produce internet-connected medical devices that are often paired with mobile apps to track specific data. For instance, Elvie and Willow produce a wearable breast pump.[14] The Elvie breast pump also connects to an app.[5][9] Elvie also offers a kegel-tracking device.[15] Elvie was founded by entrepreneur, Tania Boler, and backed financially by entrepreneur-turned-investor, Nicole Junkermann, a specialist in the Femtech sector.[16][17] In 2020 Kegg launched a 2-in-1 fertility tracker that senses electrolyte levels of cervical fluid and assists the user in pelvic floor exercises.[18] Lioness produces a smart vibrator with an app that uses biofeedback to help people learn more about their own bodies.[14] Other medical devices and implements produced in the femtech category may or may not use an internet connection. Joylux is a women's health technology company creating medical and feminine wellness devices under the vSculpt and vFit brands.[19] Companies like L. and Flex offer alternatives to standard tampon and condom products.[5] Thinx sells reusable underwear that absorbs menstrual blood.[14] iPulse Medical sells a menstrual pain relief wearable device.[20]

Swedish company Natural Cycles was the first to receive official approval to market its app as digital contraception in the European Union and in August 2018 the Food and Drug Administration approved marketing in the U.S.[21] Controversy around the app as a contraceptive device grew stronger after numerous women in Stockholm reported unplanned pregnancies after using the app.[22] After Swedish authorities concluded the investigation, the amount of unintended pregnancies was found to be in line with claims made by Natural Cycles.[23]

Innovators in the breastfeeding/breast-pumping space like Milk Stork make the logistics of being a working, traveling, breastfeeding mom manageable through breast milk shipping services.[24]


There have been concerns about data-sharing practices in Femtech, particularly within fertility-trackers. This issue has affected several applications outside of Femtech, but due to the sensitivity of the data being shared within Femtech, it becomes more urgent. In the aftermath of the overturning of Roe V. Wade and the laws passed by states banning abortion, there was a widespread fear Femtech would be weaponized to monitor women and whether or not they get an abortion.[25] Some apps have come under fire for ambiguous privacy ethics after it emerged that user data had been shared (without consent) with companies such as Facebook. This allowed Facebook, and other companies that Facebook shares their data with, to target users with fertility or pregnancy related products based around which point in their monthly menstrual cycle they were. Flo, a well-known period tracking app, which collects personal data from users, has also sold that data and attempted to conceal who it was sold to.[26] The Federal Trade Commission did step in and Flo is no longer able to conceal what they do with data from users and must ask for their consent if they want to share their data.[26] However, though Flo was stopped, companies such as Facebook and other period-tracking apps continue to share user data. Some have argued this is harmful, as it assumes things such as intended eventual pregnancy and disregards alternate conception outcomes such as termination or miscarriage. There have been additional concerns about Femtech apps reporting false information regarding users' reproductive health. While the intention behind Femtech is to give visibility to women's health and empower women, there have been several issues with Femtech perpetuating social inequalities, such as sexist stereotypes, going against what they're original goal. Feminists who have studied Femtech closely came to conclusion that rather than empowering women, they're exploiting the anxieties women have when it comes to their health.[27] The main issues are medical reliability, privacy, gender stereotyping and epistemic injustice. Proposals to combat data-sharing practices have arisen through the use of ethics-by-design tools that stem from the CSD (Capability Sensitive Design) framework.[28] However, it is more of a theoretical framework rather than a permanent solution.[27] There has yet to be a permanent solution presented.

Access to Femtech[edit]

While there are several advantages to femtech, it's not accessible to all women, specifically women in low-income countries—over 44 million women in those countries lack access to the services offered.[29] Period-tracking apps, for example, assume users have cellphones to download and use their applications. When it comes to the digital health, only 3% of the deals they've made were focused on women's health, while the rest of that focus went to men's health.[3] With women's health already not being prioritized, femtech reframing itself to consider women globally is becoming a necessity. To close that gap, "e-hybrid" prenatal care has been proposed, which will allow flexibility is providing services to pregnant women and the kind of care that they need, specifically for women in low-income countries.[29] However, it is mainly a potential model rather than a solid solution with many obstacles to overcome before it could actually be implemented. Femtech could start to move in the direction of operating in a global context in the meantime, though it could be some time before that happens.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Femtech". Dealroom.co. Retrieved 2023-12-14.
  2. ^ a b Wiederhold, Brenda K. (November 2021). "Femtech: Digital Help for Women's Health Care Across the Life Span". Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 24 (11): 697–698. doi:10.1089/cyber.2021.29230.editorial. ISSN 2152-2715. PMID 34806914.
  3. ^ a b c Faubion, Stephanie (April 2021). "Femtech and midlife women's health: good, bad, or ugly?". Menopause. 28 (4). PMID 33534432.
  4. ^ Burke, Adrienne Jane (17 October 2013). "When the Quantified Self Wants to Conceive a Child". Techonomy Media. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Magistretti, Bérénice (5 February 2017). "The rise of femtech: women, technology, and Trump". VentureBeat. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  6. ^ Buhr, Sarah (30 November 2016). "Period tracking app Clue pulls in $20 million Series B from Nokia Growth Partners". TechCrunch. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  7. ^ Richmond, Jill (31 December 2016). "The New Year Of Optimisim For Femtech". Forbes. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Hinchliffe, Emma (29 December 2016). "Why 2016 was a huge year for women's health tech". Mashable. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b Mack, Heather (16 September 2016). "Digital health tools for women a growing, necessary and wanted market". MobiHealthNews. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Testsieger Stiftung Warentest Zyklus-Apps". Zyklus-Apps - Stiftung Warentest. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  11. ^ Burke, Adrienne Jane (4 March 2013). "Startup's Data Helps Women Succeed with In Vitro Fertilization". Techonomy Media. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  12. ^ Hinchliffe, Emma (19 November 2016). "The next frontier in wearables is helping couples conceive". Mashable. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Twentyeight Health is a telemedicine company expanding access to women's health and reproductive care". TechCrunch. 14 October 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-10-19. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  14. ^ a b c Fromm, Mona (4 March 2017). "The Femtech Revolution". Handelsblatt. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  15. ^ Magistretti, Bérénice (22 March 2017). "Femtech startup Elvie raises $6 million for its kegel tracker". VentureBeat. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  16. ^ Tucker, Charlotte (2021-03-08). ""When I first approached investors, I was told women's health products were too 'niche'": Interview with Elvie's CEO and co-founder, Tania Boler". EU-Startups. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  17. ^ Tobin, Lucy (2019-11-18). "Entrepreneurs: 'Femtech' firm Elvie is aiming to boost women's health". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  18. ^ "Femtech Company Lady Technologies Launches kegg, the First 2-in-1 Medical Device to Help Women In their Conception Journey". BioSpace. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
  19. ^ "Joylux - Products, Competitors, Financials, Employees, Headquarters Locations". www.cbinsights.com. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
  20. ^ "The Israeli invention that could end period pain". The Times of Israel. 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  21. ^ Ong, Thuy (2017-08-15). "This app is certified in the EU as a form of birth control. Is the US next?". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  22. ^ "Hyped birth control app Natural Cycles has been reported to the authorities - after 37 unwanted pregnancies". nordic.businessinsider.com. 2018-01-11. Archived from the original on 2018-08-14. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  23. ^ "Swedish regulator says contraceptive app works as advertised". Engadget. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  24. ^ Holley, Peter (19 October 2017). "The latest way companies are luring top female talent: Breast milk shipping". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  25. ^ Nellore, Nidhi; Zimmer, Michael (2023-10-14). "Femtech Data Privacy post-Dobbs: A Preliminary Analysis of User Reactions". Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. CSCW '23 Companion. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 226–228. doi:10.1145/3584931.3606986. ISBN 979-8-4007-0129-0.
  26. ^ a b Gupta, Alisha Haridasani; Singer, Natasha (2021-01-28). "Your App Knows You Got Your Period. Guess Who It Told?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-12-14.
  27. ^ a b Burt-D'Agnillo, Madelin (2022-12-19). "FemTech: A Feminist Technoscience Analysis". The IJournal: Student Journal of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information. 8 (1). doi:10.33137/ijournal.v8i1.39909. ISSN 2561-7397.
  28. ^ Jacobs, Naomi; Evers, Jenneke (June 2023). "Ethical perspectives on femtech: Moving from concerns to capability-sensitive designs". Bioethics. 37 (5): 430–439. doi:10.1111/bioe.13148. hdl:1887/3674187. ISSN 0269-9702. PMID 36807364.
  29. ^ a b Hod, Moshe; Divakar, Hema; Kihara, Anne B.; Geary, Michael (October 2023). "The femtech revolution—A new approach to pregnancy management: Digital transformation of maternity care—The hybrid e-health perinatal clinic addressing the unmet needs of low- and middle-income countries". International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. 163 (1): 4–10. doi:10.1002/ijgo.15032. ISSN 0020-7292. PMID 37554042.