Health and Science

Start-up behind erectile dysfunction website Roman launches health service for women

Key Points
  • The start-up behind Roman is launching a new product aimed at women.
  • Rory is a telehealth service targeting women suffering from menopause.
  • Online physicians can prescribe medications, vaginal creams and all-natural lubricants, among other treatments.
Source: Ro

The start-up behind Roman, the men's health service known for its discretion in treating erectile dysfunction, is launching a new service aimed at treating a similarly delicate problem for women without having to go to the doctor's office.

Rory, launched by Roman's parent company Ro, is a new "telehealth" service specializing in treating menopause and its myriad of symptoms, including thin eye lashes, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, chills, night sweats and insomnia. It's targeting the estimated 43 million American women suffering from perimenopause or menopause, offering treatments for the worst symptoms without the consumer having to leave home to go to a pharmacy.

Like Roman, Rory is a "telemedicine" provider that connects patients to doctors online to offer maximum privacy and convenience. Online consultations with Rory-affiliated physicians start at $15. That's followed by a treatment plan and a prescription if needed, the company said.

"Many other services have been targeting millennials and birth control. ... But there's a population of women who are not getting that kind of access," Rory co-founder Rachel Blank told CNBC.

The average age of U.S. women going through menopause is 51, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms can start before age 40. Available treatments for the symptoms of menopause may include estrogen or other hormone therapy.

Source: Ro

Rory said its treatment plans typically include supplements and prescriptions to help alleviate the symptoms, including Estradiol cream, melatonin and Latisse. Depression medications venlafaxine or paroxetine can be prescribed at physicians' discretion. Treatments take two days to arrive in the mail and come in discreet packaging like Ro's other products, the company said in announcing the program Wednesday. The service will be available in 47 states.

Rory is the New York-based start-up's first foray into women's health. Ro, previously called Roman, was co-founded by CEO Zachariah Reitano in 2017 and launched to treat erectile dysfunction. Since then, the health-care company has expanded its services to treat other embarrassing ailments for men, including hair loss and sexually transmitted diseases.

The company is backed by $91.1 million in funding from firms including FirstMark Capital, SignalFire, Initialized and General Catalyst. In September, the company said it raised $88 million of that in a series A funding.

The company said the new vertical boasts an all-female advisory board, including former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders. It's nicknamed after Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn.

Last year, rival start-up Hims also launched a women's service, which included sexual wellness, skin care and hair-loss treatments. Ro said it decided to instead tackle menopause in part because it saw it as an underserved market.