U-T-I. Mention these three letters to just about any woman and you’ll likely elicit instant recognition. In this episode of the Busine$$ of the V, Rachel and Dr. Dweck introduce a proactive advance of interest to anyone who has dealt with a urinary tract infection – which is millions of us every year. Jenna Ryan, founder of Uqora, explains how her line of health products is jumpstarting a neglected area of women’s health while becoming a gold-standard business startup at the same time.

Contracted nearly as commonly as the common cold, women are particularly prone to UTIs. A chronic sufferer herself, Jenna was inspired (along with her now-husband) to found Uqora out of a personal desire to foster better options than were available. As many as one in seven hospitalizations and health care visits are devoted to urinary tract health, so clearly the market for at-home test kits and preventative measures is there!

HOT FLASH: Some 50-60% of adult women have suffered at least one UTI and that risk increases with age and sexual activity. The result? Seven million health care visits and related costs of about $1.7 billion annually. 

Jenna shares the personal experience that played a role in her decision to start Uqora in 2017 as well as exciting news about the company’s recent acquisition by Pharmavite, the parent of Nature Made, a major drug store vitamin and supplement brand.

In addition to products that promote urinary tract health, Uqora is also conducting research on new, non-antibiotic UTI treatments and providing UTI education and research updates. Maintaining optimal urinary tract health isn’t just smart medically; it’s also key to avoiding the anxiety and emotional baggage that comes with UTIs.

It’s no surprise that Uqora’s website boasts more than 11,000 positive reviews from women who have found relief. Enjoy hearing about the many ways in which Jenna and her team are enjoying a win-win, both as an innovator and advocate for women and as a tremendous entrepreneurial success story in the women’s health care space.

Watch the Uqora Interview with Founder Jenna Ryan

Contact Jenna Ryan:

Website: www.uqora.com

@LinkedIn

@Twitter

Today’s Episode is Sponsored by Attain

Do you get up several times a night to go to the bathroom? Do you wear pads or diapers due to bladder leaks? Attain, by InControl Medical, will stop the leaks and give you back control. Attain is the only FDA cleared at home device, for the treatment of stress, urge and mixed urinary incontinence as well as fecal incontinence. Visit InControlmedical.com for more information.

Topics Covered in Today’s Episode with Jenna Ryan of Uqora

  • UTI 101: Dr. Dweck explains why sufferers are predominantly women.
  • Untreated UTIs can ultimately travel to the kidney and cause significant damage.
  • Jenna shares the backstory on Uqora and how she came to the idea.
  • Exciting News: Uqora was very recently acquired by Pharmavite, the parent company of Nature Made vitamins and supplements – boding well for more attention to women’s health issues in general.
  • Uqora’s “emergency kit” includes symptom control drugs as well as test strips.
  • Jenna explains her three-fold approach to urinary tract health, which includes a strongly proactive element (drink mix and supplements).
  • Not only are UTIs inconvenient and uncomfortable, they also start to generate mental and emotional baggage.
  • The interconnectedness of UTIs and their wider implications for women’s mental, physical and emotional health. 
  • About the different role microbiomes and various probiotics play depending on whether issues are gut- versus vaginal-related.
  • Consumers have different styles of managing their health, but the majority of customers take advantage of Uqora’s three synergistic products.
  • Women’s health as big business: Jenna shares the story of her company’s evolution from a subscription-based business model, direct to the consumer, to a retail outlet orientation.
  • Beyond its retail presence, Pharmavite also offers an exciting research orientation with numerous published clinical studies and scientific/technological resources on staff.
  • Benchmarking: Triple-digit year over year growth from 2017 made Uqora a very attractive investment prospect.
  • How involved will Jenna and her team be going forward post-acquisiton? Very!
  • Future projects are in the works for Uqora, including an emerging over-the-counter treatment for menopausal symptoms.
  • Insider Info: What it’s been like working with a partner/spouse: “Will we do it again? Probably not. Are we glad we had this experience? Very much so.”

Quotes from Today’s Episode with Jenna Ryan of Uquora:

04:07 – “UTIs are the second most common infection in the U.S. – second only to the common cold.”

05:58 – “We just have one of those products that people feel really compelled to share their story about.”

10:43 – “We’ve done a lot of work around messaging the fact that consistency is key and habits are important when it comes to sustaining good urinary tract health.”

11:19 – “We are giving (women) the arsenal to be proactive and ahead of the problem and have some power back in their hands.”

14:03 – “People don’t think about the linkage between vaginal health and urinary tract health but they’re super-tightly related and just another example of how there’s so much interconnectedness when we’re thinking about women’s health.”

17:28 – “When we were thinking about our next stage of growth we knew omni-channel was really important and knew we didn’t have the skill set.”

20:34 – “(The Uqora team) is staying on board and Pharmavite is excited about the expertise we bring and I think we’ll actually get to work on a lot of different women’s health initiatives as time goes on.”

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