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Shop-bought menopause tests need to be better, says Cambridge Design Partnership’s femtech specialist

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Cambridge Design Partnership’s (CDP) femtech specialist and consultant mechanical engineer Sukie Whitehall has called for a more sophisticated approach to at-home testing for the menopause following publication of a report saying that “shop-bought menopause tests are not worth it”.

The BBC report says that “urine tests are not predictive enough to tell whether a woman is going through the phase when her periods stop”.

Menopause tests can be bought at pharmacies - but have been criticised (57527062)
Menopause tests can be bought at pharmacies - but have been criticised (57527062)

The CDP specialist said: “Having no menopause test is better than an inaccurate test. Poor test performance undermines patient outcomes, trust in over-the-counter products, and can lead to higher healthcare costs because of unnecessary investigations. To make matter worse, and as the British Menopause Society has pointed out, these tests are too narrow, normally measuring only follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

“We can do better. Let’s develop solutions that people can use at home that look at the wider clinical picture.

“Imagine your FSH test came with an app that logged symptoms, like irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, sleep problems, and mood changes. Are there are other digital biomarkers of menopause we’re yet to explore and understand?

“Menopause testing, as with the wider femtech space, is ripe for research and innovation.”

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