Some 70 years after the contraceptive pill for women was introduced, a male pill is set to go to human trials this year. Meanwhile, a host of bio-tech start-ups are offering sperm analysis—with home collection—and sperm freezing for men who want to delay having children for career or other reasons.
This shift to men as a focus of fertility—and infertility—has implications not just for gender dynamics but also for culture and business. For example, employers who have been covering egg freezing for female employees might similarly start looking at sperm freezing as a health benefit. Low male fertility is also considered a canary in the coal mine, and early sperm analysis may also offer clues about overall health.
In January 2022, Ro, a New York-based telehealth company valued at $7 billion, bought Brooklyn start-up Dadi, which collects sperm samples at clients’ homes in temperature-controlled kits and sends them to labs for analysis and freezing. The acquisition came on the back of Ro buying women-focused Modern Fertility, strengthening its position as a sexual health destination.
“We see a massive opportunity in reproductive health,” CEO Zachariah Reitano told Fast Company.