Consumer / Employer, Health Tech

Progyny Dips Into Menopause Support

Traditionally offering family building support, Progyny is expanding into the menopause space. Employees of its employer customers will receive a personalized care plan that includes support for nutrition, sleep, mental health and hormonal health — all factors that affect menopause.

Just about every woman goes through menopause in their life. Yet, less than one in five OB/GYNs receive formal training in menopause care, creating a massive gap in support.

Progyny hopes to fill this gap by launching a menopause offering for employers. The New York City-based benefits management company has traditionally specialized in fertility and family building support. It gives employees a patient care advocate for guidance and education, and connects them to a network of fertility specialists for care.

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Now, Progyny’s employer customers have the choice to add perimenopause and menopause care to their benefits. Perimenopause is the transitional time before menopause when women start to experience irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, sleep problems, decreasing fertility and other issues. Menopause is when women go through a full 12 months without a menstrual period (which typically happens when women are in their 40s or 50s).

To provide the menopause care in all 50 states, Progyny is working with Gennev and Midi Health, two digital health companies specialized in menopause treatment. Patients will receive a personalized care plan that includes support for nutrition, sleep, mental health and hormonal health — all factors that affect menopause.

“Right now, millions of women are suffering in silence,” said Joanna Strober, founder and CEO of Midi Health, in a statement. “In addition to careers and family, they’re managing menopause symptoms that go far beyond hot flashes. Our goal is to offer women in midlife the personalized support they need to restore their confidence and help them bring their best selves to work.”

Progyny chose to expand into menopause care to fill an unmet need, said Pete Anevski, CEO of the company.

“We are a women’s health company overall,” he said in an interview. “The thing about menopause is it is the end of your reproductive health journey. One of the issues in the U.S. related to treating and addressing issues and symptoms around menopause is access to care.”

Progyny’s existing employer customers can opt into having the menopause benefit on top of their fertility and family planning benefits (prospective employer customers will also have the option to add the menopause benefit), Anevski said. It costs an additional per member per month fee for the menopause offering. The company has more than 390 employer customers (including Amazon and Nike) that cover a total of 5.4 million lives.

There is a big economic incentive for employers to offer menopause benefits to their women employees given that more than 75% of women ages 45 to 54 are in the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women undergoing menopause experience hot flashes, sleep issues and cognitive challenges that can impact their performance in the workplace. Due to these difficulties, menopause costs U.S. employers $1.8 billion in lost work time per year and $26.6 billion when medical expenses are included, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study.

“Overlooking menopause exacts a heavy toll on women’s overall well-being — physically, emotionally, and financially. Not only is it costing women, but it’s also costing employers in added health expenses, attrition and absenteeism,” said Jill Angelo, CEO of Gennev, in a statement.

Other companies in the fertility and family building space for employers include Kindbody, Carrot Fertility and Maven Clinic, which also provide menopause support.

Photo: :Peter Dazeley, Getty Images