The Tampon of the Future Can Diagnose Infections

To engineer Ridhi Tariyal and her business partner Stephen Gire, the tampon is much more than just a women’s hygiene product—it’s a treasure trove of information. The duo is currently working to develop a tampon that can one day analyze blood to help women self-diagnose infections like chlamydia or even endometriosis in their own home. Though their research is now in full swing, their initial proposal met much opposition—especially in the male-dominated field of venture capitalism. “When you say that you’re going to build a company around menstrual blood, people think you’re joking,” Gire says.