I was introduced to the cofounder of Pollie, Jane Sagui, by last month’s Seed Spotlight founder, Manan! Healthcare is a small world.
I knew absolutely nothing about PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) before talking with Jane. So, for those who also don’t know much about the topic, here is the TL;DR from Mayo Clinic:
PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
This hormone imbalance can cause many issues including infertility, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, depression/anxiety, acne, and hair loss. PCOS is often exacerbated by obesity.
The good news… women with PCOS can manage their symptoms, and in some cases, fall off the “PCOS spectrum.” Enter Pollie.
I admire healthcare founders who are patients first - it’s what drew me to Headway
. From the start, Jane was very open with me about her struggles with PCOS. In her late teens, Jane struggled with acne, insomnia, anxiety, and many other common symptoms. After many visits to various doctors, she was diagnosed with PCOS. A diagnosis is a rarity when dealing with PCOS - 50% of cases go undiagnosed.
Over the course of the next few years and through college, Jane learned to deal with her symptoms. She found the best treatment was a holistic approach, focusing on hormonal health and wellness.
Fast forward to early 2020, when Jane and her college friend, Sabrina Mason, decided to launch Pollie. Jane has a background in healthcare management consulting and venture capital, and Sabrina has a background in public health and operating roles at health tech companies.
There are so many different ways to keep PCOS symptoms at bay, Jane shared with me - it’s just different for everyone. Taking a bird’s eye view, a care plan typically consists of targeted lifestyle tweaks, wellness coaching, and symptom tracking - nothing revolutionary, but such changes take work and structure, and it is confusing for patients to learn what really works for them without the proper support.