In an age where the majority of female reproductive products are designed by men, a woman is at the helm of a new product which could completely change all that. A duo of American engineers – Harvard engineer Ridhi Tariyal (pictured above) and her business partner Stephen Gire – has come up with an innovative product designed to monitor menstrual cycles and collect vital information about a woman’s reproductive health – an external “tampon” machine that extracts liquid from a tampon (after your cycle has ended, obviously) and uses these samples to collect data to detect early warnings of cancer and reproductive diseases. As well as aiding vital research, the product will be simple enough for women to use in their own bathrooms.
According to The New York Times, Tariyal was trying to develop a way for women to monitor their fertility at home, and create a more painless why to take blood samples, when she had her brainwave. “I was thinking about women and blood. When you put those words together, it becomes obvious. We have an opportunity every single month to collect blood from women, without needles.”
After having little success pitching the initial prototype to investors, the pair honed in on the fact that menstrual blood is also rich with cells shed by the ovaries and uterus. Those cells, paired with genomics tools, could, therefore, open up a window on women’s bodies and give early warning of cancer and reproductive diseases. This aspect appealed to a particular US group who backed the product, and now the duo are using their prototype to run diagnostic tests for endometriosis.