Carrot Fertility rolls out age-inclusive benefits for menopause, low testosterone

To address the full breadth of fertility healthcare needs throughout a person’s life, Carrot Fertility will add benefits for menopause and low testosterone services to its platform.

Carrot wants the new coverage options to help destigmatize fertility care for people of all ages. The startup partners with companies to provide fertility benefits to employees including offerings for egg and sperm freezing and IVF as well as less commonly covered services including adoption and surrogacy.

Lack of support for hormonal health concerns like menopause and low testosterone can affect an employee’s well-being, thereby impacting their productivity and job satisfaction, an issue to which employers are increasingly paying attention.

In a January survey conducted by childcare company Koru Kids, 18% of women aged 45 to 67 said they were considering quitting their jobs due to menopause symptoms.

Co-founder and CEO of Carrot, Tammy Sun, was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure while seeking egg freezing services in her mid-30s. That meant she was at risk for early-onset menopause, something she hadn’t considered could happen to her so young, since the average age that women begin to experience menopause in the U.S. is 51.

Armed with the diagnosis, Sun underwent three cycles of egg freezing, which yielded a total of 10 eggs. Most women at that age would get between 15 and 20 eggs for a single cycle.

“It’s really important to consider the implications of how people go through menopause and perimenopause, whether it’s part of the natural part of aging or whether it happens much earlier in life,” she told Fierce Healthcare, noting that a better understanding of reproductive health throughout life can affect patient decisions around topics like IVF and adoption.

The company introduces the offerings for menopause and low testosterone “as part of our complete solution, so they have an equal place at the table,” Sun said. Patients who opt in to the features will gain access to Carrot’s network of providers that offer specialized care for menopause or low testosterone, plus expert-led support groups and opportunities for one-on-one coaching.

While all women with ovaries go through menopause, about 40% of men aged 45 and older have low testosterone levels, which can lead to mood changes, fatigue and difficulty concentrating, among other symptoms.

Sun said the “Great Resignation” is forcing employers to rethink fertility benefits, since many female leaders in the workforce experience perimenopause or menopause.

“Employers have come to recognize that retaining that talent and making sure they’re doing everything to increase productivity and happiness of their women leaders is important to the business and the bottom line,” she said.

Investors are following suit. Women’s health startups pulled in $1.3 billion in venture capital in the first eight months of 2021 alone, according to Rock Health.

Companies like Progyny and InsurMedix have gained traction in public and private markets, respectively, for providing fertility benefits. Other players like Modern Fertility and Dadi, both acquired by digital health unicorn Ro in the past year, boast a range of fertility products.

“We believe in age-inclusive fertility healthcare, which is why we’re delighted to see Carrot leading the way with this robust solution that includes fertility treatments, pregnancy, as well as menopause and low-testosterone care,” said Kat Judd, senior vice president of people and culture at Lucid, one of Carrot’s clients, in a statement.

Carrot works with more than 400 employers across the world.

The startup landed $75 million in series C funding in August and has raised more than $115 million to date from investors like Tiger Global Management, F-Prime Capital and Maven Ventures.

Carrot was also a recipient of Fierce Healthcare’s Fierce 15 of 2021 awards.

With offerings in 120 countries, Carrot plans to focus its 2022 strategy on investing in areas including cultural competence and payments platforms to support its global membership, Sun said.