FemTech at the Forefront: Expanding Awareness, Engaging New Audiences - Samantha Butts

Inspiration And Insights
3 min readJun 17, 2023
Image from Unsplash by Peter Boccia

In recent years, women’s health issues have rapidly moved to the forefront, thanks in part to pioneering FemTech startups that are normalizing once-taboo topics — from reproductive health to menopause. In the process, these companies are enabling more accessible, more personalized care for women from all walks of life.

Still, not everyone understands, or is in sync with, the promise of the industry. What is needed to expand awareness of FemTech and extend its reach to benefit women across the globe?

We’re in conversation with Samantha “Sam” Butts, MD, a FemTech thought leader who is devoted to expanding reproductive health equity worldwide.

Sam, why should we involve new audiences in FemTech? How do we bring them onboard?

Small steps can lead to big changes. Key to expanding FemTech advocacy is inspiring people to reach out — from sharing individual stories on social media to asking employers to expand their benefit plans to contacting elected officials who can raise visibility on the issue and help move us forward, together.

Several advocacy groups have at their core that very mission — to invite people into a greater movement that creates positive change for our communities.

The universe of action continues to expand. Several pharmaceutical companies, for example, are supporting research into reproductive disparities. More and more employers are seeking to improve health benefits, realizing that reproductive health is an area where employees need to be supported — and may even be key to their retention.

What developments have you seen in the legislative arena?

A bill was recently proposed in Pennsylvania, where I live, to increase insurance coverage for infertility treatments for citizens in our state. I was honored to be part of the conversation at the Pennsylvania statehouse to talk through the many benefits of the bill, designed to improve access to fertility treatments and fertility preservation treatments for patients who need this care. We’re not yet sure when it will come up for a vote, but are hopeful it will receive fair consideration and hope that it is passed.

At the national level, bills have been introduced in the House and Senate. This legislation would provide those who receive their health care through government-sponsored health plans, such as TRICARE, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, to receive coverage for infertility services. It also provides access to vital fertility preservation services for those, like cancer patients, who are at risk of infertility due to medical treatments.

RESOLVE and other advocacy groups anticipate that momentum has begun for lawmakers and regulators to focus on the FemTech space. Their proactive measures, coupled with increased collaboration with innovators and investors, bodes well for the industry in realizing its full potential to improve the lives of women, wherever they are in the world.

Thank you, Sam. We greatly appreciate your knowledge and inspiration.

Connect with Samantha on LinkedIn.

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Samantha Butts, MD MSCE, is a reproductive endocrinologist and sought-after thought leader in FemTech. She specializes in treating individuals and couples who require fertility treatments to achieve pregnancy. Currently, Sam serves as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Penn State Health. She is devoted to building the next generation of medical leaders, who will lead the way in health tech, patient education, and reproductive health equity.

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