The pelvic floor is a “hammock” of muscles and connective tissues holding up a woman’s uterus, bowel, bladder, and vagina.
This hammock often weakens, resulting in pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP), affecting up to half of all women over age 30.
Israeli OB/GYN and urogynecologist Dr. Elan Ziv says that less than 10 percent of affected women ask their doctor about POP, and only 2.9% are treated.
Still, the numbers are huge. In the United States alone, some 1.4 million women are fitted with supportive pessary devices each year and another 200,000 undergo POP repair surgery.
Stating the obvious, Ziv says women aren’t wild about either of those solutions.
He’s offering a different approach through his 20-year-old medical device company, ConTIPI Medical.
Below we’ll also look at how two other Israeli femtech companies have introduced minimally invasive surgical alternatives to address this medical problem affecting millions of women worldwide.
Caesarea-based ConTIPI is introducing a unique disposable pessary that a woman can insert and remove at home. The physician only needs to write the prescription.
The FDA and CE cleared ProVate is very similar to a tampon so it’s easy for women to use. The applicator holds a supportive ring attached to a string. Tugging on the string collapses the ring for comfortable removal, which is done about every seven days.
Impressa, his previous invention for home management of female stress urinary incontinence, was designed along the same lines and was acquired by Kimberly Clark in 2013.
Escala’s device, Apyx, anchors sutures into ligaments on one or both sides of the pelvic floor in a procedure that can be performed vaginally under local anesthesia in five to eight minutes in a doctor’s office.
Escala, a portfolio company of The Trendlines Group, recently received a total of 5.5 million euros in grant and equity investment from the European Innovation Council.
FEMSelect’s EnPlace device attaches anchors and sutures to ligaments of the pelvic floor at the sides and top, requiring only a small incision to anchor to the cervix.
A recently published four-year follow up evaluation found that EnPlace had a success rate of 92.3%.
EnPlace is sold currently in Israel and in the United States, where FEMSelect and LiNA Medical USA handle promotion, distribution and physician education.
Because millions of women and their doctors are eager for new ways to deal with POP, Garner points out that there’s plenty of room for a variety of similar products.
“More solutions are better for everyone,” she says.
Produced in association with ISRAEL21c