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Health

Elevating Reproductive Health

A new tonality around sexual wellness and reproductive health has been spurred into the mainstream by Millennial moms and inclusive-minded Gen Zers, giving rise to a new mindset around reproductive health. Divisive policies seen throughout the country this year galvanized #metoo leaning women and men to push brands to speak more directly to their concerns. Think of the rapid rise of the feminine hygiene brand Thinx or the men’s brand Hims, specializing in erectile wellness for men. As brands and platforms position self-sex as the new form of self-care, the healthcare industry can become an essential part of this space.

With the global sexual wellness market expected to reach $39 billion by 2024, there is an opportunity to step into the space by offering a tone of inclusive expertise. The feminine hygiene market alone is set to reach $42.7 billion by 2022, and younger women are clearly looking to change longstanding societal perceptions. Medical professionals with a wide range of different areas of expertise have the opportunity to re-engage with consumers through education. The popular podcast Lovelink specializes in content that deals with modern relationships, while Planned Parenthood’s new chatbot Roo is designed to answer the most basic questions about health and sex. More and more, reproductive health, sexual wellness, and relationship guidance are being combined together into one-stop-shops like Allbodies or hubs like LA’s Loom.

As gender-neutral consumers continue to shift away from conventional norms, the growth of medical retail hubs stands to benefit by shifting what were once novelty concerns into over-the-counter health issues. In 2017, there were 2,800 medical clinics in retail spaces in the US, and that number is expected to nearly double by 2022. CVS alone plans to launch 1,500 HealthHUBs in its stores by the end of 2021, putting retailers in a good position to engage in new dialog around sexual wellness.

The Shift: A new demographic of consumers and brands have elevated sexual health into the wellness space, opening up new conversations, platforms, and business models.

The Takeaway: Expected to reach a total $39 billion by 2024, the sexual wellness market is an evolving space and a good investment for HCPs ready to capitalize.

Consider: OBGYNs, sex education professionals, and medical retail hubs should engage by addressing topical problems through digital and D2C formats.