U.K. menstrual and sexual health company Daye is now selling tampons that test for STDs.(Credit: Marco Verch, Flickr)

An ounce of prevention – or in this case, a tampon – is worth a pound of cure.

Daye, a menstrual and sexual health startup founded in 2017 and based in the U.K., put itself on the map with its CBD-infused tampons, garnering coverage from the likes of Cosmopolitan and Forbes magazines. Now, it has just announced its newest innovation: period products that can test for a number of common sexually transmitted diseases. 

Daye founder Valentina Milanova called them “an ideal approach for at-home sample collection,” which goes toward their aims to “reduce patient wait times and improve access to care.”

“We’ve gathered a significant amount of data from our diagnostic tampon over the past few months,” she added to the Guardian, noting that they conducted clinical trials with 600 patients ahead of the tampons’ launch.

Experts are excited by the possibilities the product has for streamlining home testing – and for better ensuring patients’ comfort. These tampons give users “their ownership back, which historically has been known to be quite a lonely and very personal struggle for some to overcome,” says Dr. Amira Bhaiji, an internal medicine physician at Chelsea and Westminster hospital and Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

Here’s how it works: Customers put a used tampon from the kit into a provided solution. Then, they seal up the package and ship it out for processing in a lab.

Despite the added step, Daye says this can help some patients access information faster – a critical factor when it comes to properly treating STDs. Chlamydia, for example, is often asymptomatic, or comes with mild symptoms. But if left untreated, it can cause serious health problems for sufferers, including infertility. 

Beyond that, Daye’s latest innovation could have a far-reaching impact, as the World Health Organization estimates that about a million such infections are acquired by sexually active people every day. The tampons are presently available for sale in the U.K., with plans for a U.S. launch in the coming months.

The announcement of Daye’s new tampons was released a year after Daye completed a successful Series A fundraising round in which it raised the equivalent of $12.3 million from several U.K investment firms and healthtech companies. 

“We have ambitious plans to ensure women’s health is finally treated with the importance it deserves, and we are grateful to our investors who are joining us on that journey,” Milanova said to Femtech Insider at the time.